Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ambition, thy name is Fashion

FASHION (2008)

Producer: Ronnie Screwvala for UTV Motion Pictures, Bhandarkar Entertainment
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Starring: Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, Arjan Bajwa, Mughda Godse and others
Rating: ***** (5 of 5)
The censor board gave this movie an 'A' Rating (18+)

Few care about the real lives behind the artificial world of fashion. Every model has a tale, every collection has a human story. Fashion, the Rs. 18 crore film by veteran director Madhur Bhandarkar, is a well-researched, well-presented blockbuster that tackles these issues.

Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) is a small-town girl from Chandigarh whose dreams became too big for her little town. In Mumbai, she faced the struggle associated with becoming a model. Her ambition: to take over the reigns from India's top supermodel, Shonali (Kangana Ranaut). During her climb to the top, she meets new faces, including Manav (Arjan Bajwa), the man she loves and ditches. 

The opening scenes of the movie are beyond excellence: Kangana Ranaut spreading her arms out to the tune of the smash hit Mar Jawaan is unforgettable. Her story is sad: from fame and glory to defeat and shame, she faces it all as she watches Meghna spread her wings.

But the real emotion behind the film is ambition: success is never enough, and a successful person scarcely notices the steep cliff they are climbing, until they fall off. The movie is as much a depiction of the fashion world as it is of human emotion.

The costumes are beyond comment: Priyanaka Chopra herself wore 136 outfits for the movie. Kangana Ranaut's black gown in the opening scenes take the wind out of you. The lighting, scenes, story: all of them were superb and no amount of praise is enough. The music starts just at the right moments: no silly dancing girls, every song, from Mar Jawaan (my favourite) to Fashion ka Jalwa, had a role to play.

The acting was the main highlight: each emotion was portrayed so well that you could feel the ambitious streak in Maghna, cry for Shonali and understand the realities of being gay in India. The actors give you an insight into your own mind.

Even if you are not interested in fashion, Fashion is a movie you have to watch. Every dark trait of human character can be found here: some character will remind you of yourself. This movie is Bhandarkar's very best: that's reason enough to watch it.

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