Maybe I shouldn't have high expectations when watching his films but most of the time I don't. That's the reason why it took me so long to actually watch Fashion because I didn't want to be disappointed. However, I was -- and I even watched the film twice! Last week, I first saw it and was un-motivated to write up this review. But saw it again and gave in and decided to since many people know I love Madhur Bhandarkar's films. What I love about his films is that they are female-focus (except for Traffic Signal) and portray the dark side of whatever his storylines may be. Let me start off by saying that it was a huge disappointment for me and why.
To me, having Priyanka win the Best Actress Award from Filmfare is a joke -- I still like her most in Karam. In the past, none of the other actresses in Madhur's films took an award -- Tabu in Chandni Bar, Raveena Tandon in Satta, Konkona Sen Sharma in Page 3, and Bipasha Basu in Corporate -- were much better. Were the films in 2008 that bad and had no competition that Priyanka actually had to win an award? Especially for a Popular Award. For me, Aishwarya Rai all the way for Jodha Akbar so far. Tabu won the National Award for Chandni Bar, which his much more note-worthy than any Filmfare Awards. Why does she only win Critics Awards and never the Popular ones? Well, I did lose respect for Filmfare Awards long ago so......
Having said all this, I may just slowly watch Madhur's older films again, review them here, and encourage others to watch his earlier works. Then, many will see why I was disappointed in Fashion.
Meghna wants to be a supermodel. Her path to success is not an easy one. Once she taste her taste of fame, she loses herself and will have to re-define herself. But will her heart sway from her passion of the modeling world?
Meghna is a middle-class aspiring young model who wants to make it big. When she finally gets there, she loses control and everyone around her.
Priyanka Chopra aka Piggy Chops has been given so much praise this year to her films Dostana and now, Fashion. Still I stand by what I say, she's overrated. That's not by any means about me "hating" on Priyanka. I have seen most of her films and think she can do better and really thought that Fashion will show off more of her acting ability. But I was wrong. Priyanka failed to portray Meghna. I wanted to feel for this middle-class girl with big dreams but her quick, irrational decisons made me dislike her more. That part was mainly how Madhur wanted Priyanka to portray Meghna. However, Priyanka did not deliver well with her emotions and facial expressions. Even my brother-in-law, who has no knowledge on Bollywood, saw part of the movie with me was saying how beautiful Priyanka was but her acting was horrible.
Shonali is the top diva supermodel whose career goes down-the-drain.
Tidbit - the character Shonali is based on true incidents from supermodel, Geetanjali Nagpal. Maybe I'm a bit more biase towards Kangana cause I absolutely love her. But I will admit if a star has disappointed me or not. Not the case with Kangana. When I first saw her in Gangster, I knew she was going places. This lead me to watch the rest of her films. I even watched the boring Shakalaka Boom Boom because she was in the film! Although she usually plays these girls with a mental breakdown (but not in Shakalaka Boom Boom), she scores every time. Since she's been playing these type of roles, I definitely do not want to see her play the girl-next-door. The critics will bash and tear her down. Instead, I would like to see her play a stronger role like Konkona's in Page 3 or Mr & Mrs Iyer. I have Raaz 2 at home and can not wait to watch it!!
Rohit (Ashwin Mushran) helps Meghna break it in the modeling world. He is an old friend who believes in her. Unable to find a lot of information on Ashwin, just by judging his looks, he does not look Desi and looks more British. On IMDB, he is listed to be mixed but with what? I don't know. Update 03/08/2009 - mother is half English, half German and father is North Indian (Kashmiri ). His character Ashwin speaking mostly Hinglish was annoying, but I know he was trying to sound "cool."
Janet (Mugdha Godse) is an aspiring model but never made it big. OMG, I can not believe this is Mugha's debut film. She is beautiful and does wonderful job. I can not wait to see more of her in the future.
Abhi (Arbaaz Khan) is in charge of Panache and gives Meghna her big break being the show stopper of the catwalk. Of course, there's always favors; nothing is free. Although he's a married man, he is attracted to Meghna. Arbaaz is Arbaaz. He is best at supporting roles like this, but I like him better in comedies with his brothers.
Abhi's wife - I don't even know her name in the film! All I know her as is "Mrs. Sarin." Definitely an attractive lady but she looks older than Arbaaz. Was her character intentionally trying to portray a cougar? Her acting doesn't impress me.
Anisha (Kitu Gidwani) is a modeling official agent who admires Meghna and gave her big break into the modeling world. Kitu is lovely and gives off that bitchy-boss mode. She was also in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, playing Meghna's mother. Funny since there's a character name Meghna in Fashion too.
Maanav (Arjan Bajwa) is a struggling model, who keeps on bumping into Meghna. He later helps out Meghna but she takes advantage of his kindness. Arjan is very good-looking and I just want to see more of him because of that. Honestly, I didn't really look into his acting because the ladies carried off the film.
Rahul Arora (Samir Soni) is the very famous fashion designer. Out of all the guys, Samir takes the most controversial role since Rahul is a gay character. He has appeared in short roles in other films too but I'm sure he will be known for his role in Fashion the most.
Look! Special appearances. There were more but did not spot them all, or did not know how the others look like. But found these......
Raj Babbar - he actually plays Meghna's father. He is against Meghna pursuing a unrealistic dream.
Karan Johar - probably playing himself and had no speaking role. He was just in the audience.
Konkona Sen Sharma - playing herself with her real-life boyfriend Ranvir by her side. It's more of she doesn't want to wear a certain, revealing outfit.
Ranvir Shorey - playing himself with his real-life girlfriend Konona by his side. He gets annoyed with Koko and even calls her Koko.
Didn't really care for the music. All of them are in the background and fits what is going on, I guess.
Song #1 - "Fashion Ka Jalwa" (1)
Rohit takes Meghna to a fashion show.
Song #2 - "Mar Jaava" (1)
Meghna finally in a fashion show, in which the show stopper is the one and only, Shonali.
Song #3 - "Kuch Khaas"
Meghna and Maanav spend time together and support each other since they're in the same business. Eventually they fall for each other. Still trying to make it big in the fashion world.
Song #4 - "Aashiyana"
Finally, Megha is a supermodel and the show stopper. In addition, she is the new face of Panache, working in commercials and photoshoots. She gets involve with Abhi, the guy who helped her career.
Song #5 - "Fashion Ka Jalwa" (2)
Meghna has a melt-down
Song #6 - "Mar Jaava" (2)
Meghna's modeling comeback
Overall, the film was boring and dragged a lot, especially towards the end. It could have been a 2-hours film instead of a 3-hours film!! I felt that there was nothing new to add to this dark side of the glamorous fashion world. Arguably, there may have not been extra insights in his other films but I empathize with the characters in his other films more. They were portrayed with more personality and much more rational. Don't believe me? Go watch his other films and let me know. And if Fashion was your first film of Madhur and enjoyed it, then you'll be in for a treat when you watch his earlier works.