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Spoiler warning – plot revealed

It was just by chance that I went to watch this movie. I was really not interested in watching P3 even though it had been given a good rating by the papers (journos really identified with it or what?)

Anyhow, my reservations had to take a backseat when we decided to draw a lot and select the movie for a team outing from office. The best I could do was to draw the lot myself, which I did. Few hours later, I was watching Page 3 at PVR Gurgaon.

The movie has no crisp storyline as such. The first half is just about a snapshot of the life of a P3 journo. Young and ambitious as they come, Madhavi (enacted by Konkona Sen Sharma), goes to all P3 dos, fashion shows, gliteratti parties, you name it. People are nice to her. Of course, they want good press. The movie shows life the way it is. Madhavi has 2 roommates – Pearl (enacted by Sandhya Mridul) who is no non-sense, practical and knows the way Mumbai works, and Gayatri (enacted by Tara Sharma) – a lost lass from Delhi, in Bombay to try her hand at movies. The plot reveals the superficial lives that social butterflies lead, flitting from one party to another, bitching about each other, screwing anyone and everyone who they could manage to “lay” their hands on (age no bar, gender no bar), air kissing, name dropping… the works. One can make out a lot of characters shaped out of known P3 regulars, be it the police office who’s more at parties and at filmsets than at his own thana or area of jurisdiction, the lady who writes novels on what else – sex, the gay fashion designer, the director with the casting couch, the hero sleeping with young, nubile, wanna be’s. But there are a few other people in this otherwise “artificial” mix, who are genuine, like the honest Inspector Bhonsle (Upyendra Limaye) who tries putting an end to crime in his own way, the journo Vinayak (Atul Kulkarni) who works in the same paper as Madhavi, but on real stories rather than superficial party dos, the odd socialite who does social work whether or not there are journos to write on her. The movie gradually proceeds with Madhavi’s love life blooming with the struggling model Tarun, pragmatic Pearl hitching a millionaire, so that she is served to rather than *she* serving ppl (as an air hostess) and Gayatri finding love in a successful hero who impregnates her as nonchalantly as he would swat a fly. Madhavi is gradually disgusted with all that has been happening.

Post interval, she decides to do meaningful journalism like crime reporting, instead of smiling plastic smiles whilst watching the plastic lives of social butterflies. She gets trained under Vinayak. Just when she thinks that things are becoming more meaningful, she discovers that her model boyfriend has been screwing a gay ‘makeup man’ friend of hers. She takes this in her stride along with all the other things which disgust her. One fine day she witnesses a blast. The misery, helplessness, blood, gore, bhaichara, all affect her deeply. She realises that life is not a party and blurts the same to the police officer who she encounters as a cover up journo in a P3 party. One night when Vinayak is out covering other cities, she gets a tip from an informer. She ropes in the inspector and goes on to expose a child abuse scandal involving a major tycoon, who happens to sponsor her paper. Needless to say, the news never makes it to the paper, the proof gets destroyed and she gets sacked. Life moves on, and she learns that one must “try to change the system while being a part of it”.

The acting is generally good. But the actor I like most is Sandhya Mridul. I found her better than Konkona Sen. Atul kulkarni is also good. Boman Irani (as Madhavi’s editor) is wasted. Soni Raazdaan looks awfully old. There are lot of P3 types who play themselves like Suchitra Pillay, Dolly Thakore etc. Upyendra Limaye is also good and there were times when the audience started clapping/cheering. I also liked the driver bunch who keep talking about their saab/memsaabs.

The soundtrack is good. I registered only 3 songs out of which one was pure torture to the ears, referred to as “truck driver” song in the movie. A deep, thought provoking “Kitne ajeeb rishtey yahan par” – has been sung by Lata Mangeshkar and an utterly melodious “Maar daala, Huzoor-e-aala” – has been sung by Asha Bhonsle.
The movie can make you cry and make you laugh. Basically shows what life can be all about. Overall rating – eminently watchable.

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