Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fashion Ka Hai Yeh Jalwa

This is for Beth!! It's funny going back and reading old reviews. I remember Fashion as rather dull on a whole but having bursts of Priyanka and Kangana steaming up the place. Priyanka was extremely unconvincing as the "ordinary girl" but gave a very entertaining performance as the DIVA - much like her character in Love Story 2050. Reading my review, it seems that I was less impressed with the film and more just crushing on Piggy Chop's wicked Diva character. So, take this review with a grain of salt and knowledge that if I did ever watch this again, it would be with a remote control so I could fast forward through the non-Kangana Ranaut non-diva bits.

Priyanka Chopra is not my favorite actress. However, if there is one role she excels at, it's DIVA. Ms. Piggy Chops does fierce like nobody else, which is why I was looking forward to Fashion.

Fashion is the story of aspiring model Meghna (Priyanka Chopra) who rises to the top of the profession and then falls and then rises again. That is the whole story. Really. And, it's great! Not what I was expecting, but great!

Priyanka is, as always, unconvincing as the aspiring model but once she hits the big time, Priyanka tears it up Tyra-style. This is quite possibly the role she was born to play. The character of Meghna is an interesting one. She's entirely career focused and refuses to give everything up for a man, not once but twice. Meghna has a relationship with a - male - model which goes sour when she becomes more successful than him. Stereotypical gender roles are reversed as we here her give excuses that "Oh, I was working late and couldn't come home for dinner" and he's concerned about how things look to their friends. She leaves him because she's better than him and doesn't regret her choice. The message that it's okay to be a driven career woman and not to care about pleasing a man or worrying about having a perfect relationship is one that you don't see even in Hollywood movies. Even in the more feminized arena of the fashion industry, Priyanka's ambitious Meghna is really quite a revolutionary character.

Another unusual touch in Fashion is that the villain of the piece is Arbaaz Khan as a fashion house big wig. He seduces Priyanka and then ditches her when she becomes too much work. Instead of feeling sorry for his wife and shocked at Priyanka's participation in an adulterous affair, we're struck but what a jerk Khan is and shocked at how complacent his wife is at the whole mess. Khan is heartless - uses these women and tosses them aside.

What would the fashion industry be without gay guys? Fashion has them in spades and all normalized, unlike the camp gay guys as seen in Partner and (I'm sure) the upcoming Dostana. One of the plot points I was not suspecting involved gay designer Rahul Arora (Samir Soni) and his female best friend Janet (Mugdha Ghodse). He asks her to marry him so that his mother isn't harrassed by the neighbors for having a gay son. She does even knowing that he's gay AND he doesn't turn straight or give up his boyfriend. Apparently, there was even a sweet romantic scene between Rahul and his boyfriend that was cut out for the censors but will be put back in the DVD. Rahul's marriage is a convenient lie.

With all that, I have to admit that my favorite thing about Fashion is the love story is between Meghna and her rival Shonali (Kangana Ranaut). The ladies have more chemistry than Priyanka Chopra with any of her male co-stars in any movie, ever. A big part of that is due to the amazing Kangana Ranaut. Shonali's downward spiral is pretty fantastic and her catwalks are even better. Priyanka rescues her from the gutter and takes her home and she forms the one emotional connection she has with anyone in the entire film. (And I swear they are the fem-slashiest couple since Buffy and Faith waltzed onto our TV screens in season three of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)

All in all, Fashion is a stylish, well-made soap opera of a film. Meghna's triumph at the end has Priyanka walking the catwalk with this amazing disdain for the entire fashion show audience. It's like she can't believe that these jerks are the ones judging her. Well, this jerk highly recommends that you all go see Fashion!


Banno said...

Yes, Kangana-Priyanka make a hot pair. I thought Kangana was even fiercer than Priyanka. SHE does Diva like no body else. That girl deserves a big break.

Beth said...

ZOMG two of the four identified-as-gay male characters were TOTALLY CAMP! You found the pink-ascot wearing, lisping, literally-wrist-flopping designer normalized?!?

I thought everything about this was totally unconvincing (except maybe Kangana's struts, which I agree were the best and WAY better than Priyanka's - but still worse than anything on Project Runwayand ill-conceived. But I like your point about how it's the woman who doesn't care about external impressions of her relationship for a change. Unfortunately, I think that same character cared a lot about external impressions of other aspects of her life, but it was really nice to see her self-motivation in the relationship. Too bad she was a lying, mean-spirited cheater in the process...guess we can't have it all :)

re: Rahul's love scene - it's not in the version of the film Netflix has on instant demand, unfortunately (not sure if that's the same as DVD). Boooo!

Beth said...

Ooops PS - thanks for digging this up! Very happy to read your thoughts as always.

Filmi Girl said...

@banno Yeah, Kangs was way fiercer than Priyanka but she didn't have half as much screentime. I'm hoping Once Upon A time in Mumbai puts Kangs on the A-list!

@Beth IDK I don't really remember. Maybe I was thinking that they were more normalized than, like, that gay guy in Partner or the slutty gay guy in Page 3.

And Boo! that they didn't put Rahul's love scene in!

Probably the entire film was a lot less entertaining if you weren't hoping for Kangana/Priyanka to start making out at any second.

This is not going on my re-watch pile, for sure.

Beth said...

This does really make me want to see Page 3 again, which I remember liking, but it's been a loooong time since I saw it.

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