Saturday, November 01, 2008

Fashion - Review

If the first few scenes are more realistic takes from Bunty Aur Babli, then the body and soul of the movie is heaviy borrowed from Laga Chunari Main Daag and Page 3. After Chandni Bar, Page 3 and to some extent Traffic Signal expectations from Madhur Bhandarkar's latest movie were high to begin with. And maybe that's what ended being it's bane as compared to the previous projects this one is definitely a lot less fresh, hard hitting and rivetting.

The story is extremely predictable after watching a few teasers itself. Small town girl with big modelling ambitions goes to Mumbai. Gets noticed by the men and women who matter and rises quickly to the top. Along the way she sheds some of the usual morals portrayed in our movies - smoking, drinking, getting touchy-feely and also her attitude turns to arrogance. And as you expect all bad things come to an end and so does her career once she suddenly gets back to her middle class mindset. She loses it much faster than she achieved it all. Writing about the rest will perhaps be a spoiler.

From most other directors this would have been considered a refreshing movies, but Madhur actually disappoints slightly with the use of cliched emotions, sensibilities and props. Some examples would be bad girls smoke and drink, good girls recoil at the taste of wine; bad times signified by black nailpolish compared to the birght red ones during the positive times; good girld recoil at the touch of a male hnd on the shoulders during photoshoots (these are professional models mind you) while bad ones coil up with men in bed; a middle class girl will ultimately get back to her middle class 'uprighteous' roots and so on and so forth.

Two real life incidents were included in the script - Carol Gracias wardrobe malfunction during a fashion show a few years back (don't buy the tickets just for this, the 'intersesting' part was blurred out) and the story of Geetanjali Nagpal, the model who was found begging in the streets of Mumbai as a result of getting into drugs. The maker has categorically said that no parts of the movie are based on real life incidents but he could well have done without that obviously false disclaimer. Both of these were filmed on the same character played by Kangana Ranaut and it must be said she put up a watchable performance.

Continuing with the actors, most of them have put up decent performance with the requisite eccentricities the roles of 'fashion-world people' demanded. Arbaaz Khan, Kitu Gidwani, Samir Soni, Ashwin and Harsh Chhaya did justice to the somewhat stereotypical roles of a rich, unfaithful fashion magazine owner, head of a model agency, gay fashion designer and another gay fashion designer respectively. The one take away from the movie, if true, is that the Indian fashion world has many times more gays than straight men.

Finally, Priyanka Chopra has delivered a very strong performance. Very reminiscent of Rani Mukherjee in Laga Chunari...So far it was just the body and a lot of luck but after this movie she is a major force to reckon with in Bollywood. And yes, she looked stunning all through the movie.

The editing department definitely has a lot of learning, as the movie could well have been 30 minutes shorter. The music was just some background score, and good at that but nothing more.

On the whole a good watch, 6.5 on 10.
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