73 Years of Pakistan China Friendship

Directed by: Madhur Bhandarkar
Producer by: Sanjay Mehta
Starring: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mugdha Godse, Manoj Bajpai, Arya Babbar, Chetan Pandit, Ghanshyam Garg, Rahul Singh, Sayali Bhagat, Kaveri Jha, Mukesh Tyagi
Music Dir: Sharib Sabri, Toshi Sabri, Shamir Tandon

Madhur Bhandarkar who began his career with 'Trishakti' has since traveled a long way in the film industry. He has proved as one of the very few directors whose movies sell because of them rather than the stars. No sooner Madhur completed his 'Chandni Bar' than he started making movies on the themes which no other film director dare.

His latest movie' Fashion' is immediately followed on as dark a subject as jail. A convict who came out of the jail and found the outside world worse than inside inspired Madhur to do this film, it is said.

Hence the movie tells the tales of hundreds of thousands of such people, who are innocent but still suffer long imprisonment.

It's significant that the director who had in his 'Fashion' shown the glittering world of pomp and show sooner than later decided to expose the dark side of the lives of the "convicts" languishing in Indian jails even after over six decades of Independence. The director has hit on our legal system and called for its complete overhaul. Are those responsible for it listening?

In the movie's story, Parag Dixit (played by Neil Nitin Mukesh) who has just been promoted at his job and is poised on the threshold of a bright future with his girlfriend Mansi (played by Mugdha Godse), falls into the trap of his roommate who is a drug peddler.

Parag ends up first in police custody and then in jail, despite his bemused innocence! He spends two years of his prime youth in jail for no fault. Though not guilty his trauma doesn't end as his pleaders fail in their job to get him freed. Again, it's not his fault.

Incidentally, his girlfriend Mugdha Godse who plays Mansi, and his loving mother also fail in getting their love interest and son, get justice in the courts. What a pity! Not only this, the pitiable Parag witnesses the harrowing ordeal behind the bars.

Madhur is excellent in portraying the true conditions of Indian jails. He depicts chilling shots of a barrack brimming over with body parts; one man's torso sticking to another man's head whose arm is crushed beneath the foot of another.

While critically examining the movie we find that its USP is the human face of its each character in spite of their involvement in heinous crimes. The movie rests on the strong shoulders of Neil Nitin. He has excelled in his performance.

Looks like the actor will shine in Bollywood sooner than later. He has very truly depicted his character while emoting well when he is taken to the court for seeking a bail and then returning empty-handed. He suffers to no end and in desperation tries to cut his veins. Similarly, Manoj Bajpayee has performed his character of Nawab though brief very well.

He plays a meat-seller-turned-murderer who turns everybody's godfather! Madhur's favorite actress Mugdha Godse emerges better even in her short duration role. Mukesh Tyagi isn't far behind. He has been progressing in each of his film.

We wonder if the movie could have afforded better music than what Sameer Tandon has given in a movie that always moves around the dark side of the jail world.

Parag Dixit though most desperate in jail lives on the only hope that melody queen Lata Mangeshkar provides through her prayer. That's why Parag doesn't abandon hope. A must watch movie!

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