Page 3 Hindi Movie

Feature Film | 2005
Dec 21, 2004 By Dr.P.V.Vaidyanathan

The common man is ever so interested in the private lives of celebrities, and Madhur Bhandarkar, after a successful "Chandni Bar" and "Satta", and a not so successful "Aan", decides to unwrap these public figures.

A bold step, considering that he is part of the same fraternity, and also given the fact that, in the recent past, he himself has been the target of allegations by a young starlet. Even so, Madhur has let loose his camera on the world of glitz and glamour, probing and reaching into the deep and often dark recess of the glitterati. Early in the film, it is made clear that "Page 3" stands for that page of the newspaper, in which the social happenings and social figures of the city are displayed, day in and day out, doing nothing more than attending parties and shows.

Cut, then to Kurush Deboo, an NRI, who wants to do business in India. His PR agency suggests throwing a party and inviting all the important people. As the story unfolds, enter our protagonist, Madhavi (Konkana), who is a page 3 reporter, for a leading publication. She reports to her editor Deepak Suri (Boman Irani), who is a tough taskmaster, often balancing the truth against the needs of the rich and famous and those of the management. Madhavi, who left her hometown to pursue a career in meaningful journalism shares her apartment with Pearl (Sandhya Mridul), an air hostess who is obsessed with marrying a rich guy, never mind who, and later on with Gayatri (Tara), an upcoming actress.

The journalistic streak makes Madhavi want to get behind this facade and write more truthful and relevant articles, but her editor cuts her off, each time. Madhavi’s now become a pro at these gatherings, where everyone knows her, if only because she is a page 3 reporter.

So the drama unfolds, and we are introduced to the various characters, most of which may well be caricatures of real; life individuals about whom one reads off, every day. So, you have a super cop (Madan Jain), who is more interested in film shootings and parties, an industrialist (Naseer), who is more interested in his business than in his social worker wife Anjali, (Soni Razdan) or his drug addicted, loose daughter, a politician who promises heaven for all those who are willing to come to Delhi, an individual of indeterminate sex, a homosexual make up artist, a leading actor Rohit (Saluja), and a rising model (Jai Kalra).

Gayatri gets into trouble, and that’s when something snaps inside Madhavi. She refuses to live this plastic life, and gets herself transferred to the crime beat, under the tutelage of Mane (Atul Kulkarni). This is where she comes face to face with reality, as she sees the underbelly of the city, replete with drug addicts, pimps, prostitutes, terrorists, bomb blasts and even famous individuals indulging in child abuse.

Madhavi’s disillusionment is brought out beautifully, as her friends leave her; high society spurns her, and her world shatters and falls around her. Madhur leaves no stone unturned, as the camera catches life as it is. Whether it is a funeral that becomes a meeting point for the opportunists, or a fashion show where there is constant one-upmanship, Madhavi’s shocking discovery about her boyfriend’s activities, or the goodbye scene between Madhavi and Pearl, Madhur handles them all well.

Performance wise, Konkana Sen is first rate, as you would expect her to be. After her brilliant performances in "Mr. and Mrs. Iyer", and "Amu", this is one more feather in her cap. Sandhya Mridul was impressive in "Saathiya", and here also, she impresses, with her fiery tongue and temper. Boman Irani is excellent, as the editor who must do what he must, personal feelings and morals notwithstanding. Tara Sharma is competent, and carries herself off well enough. Atul Kulkarni and Kurush Deboo leave their mark, in short cameo roles.

The music is also good, and is deftly woven into the plot. Although there are no love duets,