It’s quite late in the day to talk about “Fashion” (Hmm… I seem to be saying that about all the movies I watch!.. Well.. with a toddler in tow, it’s good that I get to watch anything at all!).. but I watched it last night and felt so disappointed that I thought I should write about it to get it out of my system.
It starts well enough with the character of Priyanka Chopra called Meghna Mathur in the film. Meghna Mathur hails from a middle class family in Chandigarh and she lands in the.. well.. Land of Dreams, which is unsurprisingly Mumbai. Then the film takes us through her initial struggle and her big breaks… all ok enough… She also gets together with another struggling model .. Don’t know the actor’s name but he is cute and has done a good job.
She meets another B-list struggler as they call themselves in the movie called Janet (Mugdha Godse). After impressing Sareen or whatever his name is ( Arbaaz Khan, he’s good) who is the owner of the company Panache, she ousts Shonali Gujral (Kangana Ranaut) from the supermodel position. So far is ok. Then the film starts rolling down the hill. MM turns from a conscientious nice middle class girl to an attitude-laying, alcoholic, cigarette smoking, drug-doing sleep-around! Which is also ok if that is the side you want to point out about fashion models. But she also turns nasty and arrogant with her friends ( namely Janet and her boyfriend) and after finding herself in bed with an African( after a night of drug-snorting and dancing), she goes back to Chandigarh in some state of psychological shock.
Won’t go on with the rest of the sordid saga but the things that sort of jar are:
1) Her parents watch their daughter get into a run-in with the police on TV and the father rants about it. Agreed they can be mad but that is apparently all that they did. They are shown to be caring middle-class-values-upholding type of parents and they do not bother to go to Mumbai (or call or to be part of their daughter’s life in any way!) to see what is wrong. They wait for their daughter to turn up at their house some time later in a state of shock. Possible but strange.
2) When MM returns to Mumbai at the urging of her father ( who now feels he was wrong to have not encouraged her in the first place!), she goes to Janet and they hug and make up. Which is ok but there is no chemistry whatsoever between them. Janet and her husband do all they can to get MM’s life and career back on track. So you would expect a certain warmth in their interactions… but it is no joy watching MM and Janet together…
3) MM rescues Shonali from the streets ( their chemistry is good….Kangana has done a good job) and MM tries to rescue herself and get back her confidence by treating Shonali. MM also gets to be the showstopper for a fashion show ( done by Janet’s husband whose name I don’t recall). At this point I suppose Madhur Bandarkar thought things were beginning to get too joyful and hunky dory. I know he loves the shock elements of his cinema and probably wants to stay far away from creating cheerful cinema ( maybe he thinks he cannot better Karan Johar and he might be right) so the director decides that the moment MM is to get onto the ramp is a good time to bring in a shock element. Which is also ok but it is not very believable. I mean it is possible but it felt a little forced. If any reader has not seen the movie, I am not describing what happened so as to keep the “Shock” element as that. But the second half seems very contrived.
The one scene that I liked was when MM , on her return to Mumbai for her second innings, goes back to mend and patch up with her boyfriend. He has now become an A-lister. He talks to her very nicely and seems to be genuinely glad that she has come back. Then the door opens and his fiancee walks in. Thankfully the fiancee doesn’t throw a fit when she sees them together (MMs hands clasped in his). Nor does the boyfriend fidget guiltily. They smile at each other and tell MM that they are engaged and MM takes the cue and whooshes out. No unnecessary drama. Nicely done.