Movie Review: Page 3

The 2005 Hindi movie "Page 3" by realistic filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar refers to the popular "Page 3" culture which is exploited by tabloids and newspapers alike. For the uninitiated, the Page 3 culture is the name given to the tabloid culture where India's partying upper-class from certain specific Indian cities get featured on the third page of a newspaper, even if it means doing nothing more than attending parties and shows. Through the film, Madhur Bhandarkar tracks the rich and glamorous parties and later moving on to the dark recesses of the glitterati.

The story is narrated through entertainment journalist Madhavi (Konkona Sen Sharma), who is a Page 3 correspondent for "The Nation Today", a leading daily. In parallel leads, we meet Pearl (Sandhya Mridul), an airhostess who has a fiery tongue and Gayatri (Tara Sharma), an upcoming actress. Being a journalist in the party beat, Madhavi is a Page 3 regular and most of the socialites know her by name. Hence, on one end, we have a cop (Madan Jain) who is more interested in attending parties and training film actors for police based movies than his job of policing. At the other end of the spectrum, we have industrialist Romesh Thapar (Nasser Abdullah), who is more interested in his business than his wife Anjali (Soni Razdan), we are then introduced to leading film actor Rohit (Bikram Saluja) and a rising model Tarun (Jai Kalra). 

As Madhavi begins to get disillusioned with her job, she works with fellow journalist Vinayak Mane (Atul Kulkarni) in the crime beat. It is here that she meets drug addicts, pimps, prostitutes, terrorists, bomb blasts and even comes across child abuse. She realizes that it is in such places where real stories take place. Her disillusionment with Page 3 is brought out well as high society spurns her. As her friends move out of her apartment and when she discovers her boyfriend's activities, her world shatters and falls miserably around her. The cinematography by Madhu Rao captures Konkona's emotions really well in an 'as-it-is' mode without romanticizing the situation further.

The film explores several important issues such as disturbed families, depression leading to suicide, cheating spouses, wife-swapping, drug peddling, child prostitution and casting couches. Each of the issues has been addressed through different protagonists who are regularly featured on page 3. Taboos like homosexuality and bisexuality come out in the open. Backbiting, bitching on the phone, networking at celebrity funerals and the Indian language press against the special treatment meted to out to English speaking journalists are other issues the film reflects on.

Konkona Sen Sharma is a thinking man's dream girl. As the journalist Madhavi, she is first rate as the lone moral voice in the film. She guides the viewers through the farce, disgust, betrayals and the shady deals of the world within and outside of Page 3. Sandhya Mridul as the fiery tongued airhostess is competent. Boman Irani as the editor who must do he must personal feelings and morals notwithstanding reflects the true state of most newspaper editors of today. Tara Sharma as the rising starlet is fit. The music by Shamir Tandon is also deftly woven into the plot of the movie. 


R. Ramesh said…
akshay..hi..thanks for passing by yar..(Global Madrasi)..wish u all d best..will stay connected

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