• Publication date: April 1, 2010

What Glitters Is Not Always Gold The Highs & Lows Of The Fashion World

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar has established a reputation in Bollywood for creating socially conscious films, including the likes of �Page 3� (2005), �Corporate� (2006), and �Jail� (2009). His eighth endeavor, 2008�s �Fashion� is no different, and attempts to illustrate the interpersonal and psychological trauma of modeling. While not a biography, Bhandarkar took time to research the industry, including the life of Indian supermodel Geetanjali Nagpal, whose real life story inspired the picture.

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar has established a reputation in Bollywood for creating socially conscious films, including the likes of �Page 3� (2005), �Corporate� (2006), and �Jail� (2009). His eighth endeavor, 2008�s �Fashion� is no different, and attempts to illustrate the interpersonal and psychological trauma of modeling. While not a biography, Bhandarkar took time to research the industry, including the life of Indian supermodel Geetanjali Nagpal, whose real life story inspired the picture.

The focal character is Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra), a small town girl who aspires to walk up and down the world�s most famous runways. Though her mother supports the idea, Meghna�s father is naturally unenthusiastic, horrified that his daughter will be exploited and the family shamed.

Despite her father�s commands Meghna heads to Mumbai, India�s entertainment capitol, where her maternal aunt and uncle provide free lodging. With each initial audition she faces harsh criticism, and ultimately, rejection. Circumstances slowly change though when Meghna bumps into Rohit Khanna (Ashwin Mushran), a past friend and emerging gay fashion designer. With his meager industry connections, Meghna gradually discovers the necessary steps to promoting herself.

However, if Meghna wishes to be taken seriously at auditions she will need to develop a professional portfolio; this requires the assistance of an outstanding photographer, whom the fledgling model cannot possibly afford. Yet if there is a will there is a way, and Meghna lands a gig modeling in a series of risqu� lingerie ads, which provide sufficient funds to create a portfolio. Still there is a major problem ahead: Meghna�s aunt and uncle stumble upon the sexually charged ad in a magazine, and then kick her out of the house in anger and shame.

Luckily her friend Maanav (Arjan Bajwa), a male model with an unmentioned desire for Meghna, provides housing during her temporary homelessness. During this time she catches the attention of an esteemed fashion executive, and almost immediately becomes the agency�s foremost model. Meghna�s success was the result of a colleague�s failure however. For years Shonali Gujral (Kangana Ranaut) reigned supreme in the industry, though fell victim to drug addiction and alcoholism, subsequently destroying her career.

Shonali was not the first model to fall into a downward spiral of addiction, and she will most certainly not be the last. Will Meghna fall victim to the same vice, or learn from her predecessor�s mistakes? �Fashion� takes many twists and turns at this point, leaving viewers uncertain as to whether success or failure is around the corner.

Bollywood critics gave the film generally favorable reviews and it almost instantly recuperated its budget following release. Similarly the soundtrack was a success, and numerous songs from the picture could be heard echoing throughout Indian streets.

�Fashion� has a runtime of 178 minutes.