On Friday I began to clean out my closet. Naa, not really. Its still a mess. But since then I keep on trying to watch movies I have bought because they either seemed interesting or where must-sees or had Sanjay or Anil in it. And are still patiently waiting to be watched. Page 3 is one of them.
It features some of my favorite actors. Boman Irani, Konkona Sen Sharma and Atul Kulkarni. Its a behind-the-scenes look on Mumbai´s high society story that sounds fascinating. It definitely is a must-see. And still. Somehow I just did not feel like watching it for a long time. But now I finally got around to put it into the DVD player.
Good thing I did. Not that I was shocked or even suprised at any of the twists and turns. But its interesting to see that, even disgused as movie characters, the "in-people" are the same and act the same in any western (or westernized) society. You could have set this thing here in Vienna as well.
Back to the film. The title refers to the page 3 in tabloids where society news and pics of parties and socialites are printed. If you make it there your "in". The story follows a young page 3 journalist as she writes her stories about moviestars, parties and the in-people.
She´s young, well liked by the people she writes nice things about, her editor and generally a nice person with a almost too naive outlook on the world around her. Her shiny partyish world starts to fall apart when first a friend gets knocked-up by a famous actor who does not take up his responsibilities. And she is forced to officially apologise to him after writing a not so nice piece about it.
Then the aspiring young actor who she fell in love with turns out to be willing to do anything for a break in the industry, which also makes her loose a supposedly close friendship.
So she tries to turn her back to the society pack and changes from page 3 to the crime beat where she gets to work with the newspapers top man, Atul Kulkarni.
And gets to know a very different side of Mumbai. One that eventually will uncover the very ugly side of the high and mighty. And due to her somewhat naive understanding on the procedures and interconnections of the media it will make her a) a pawn sacrifice in the big game and b) shed the youthful naivité that got her into that mess.
What I really liked in Page 3 was the way the characters were made to talk and act. Some of those dialogs, be it superficial party small-talk or especially the dialoges at the funeral were so real life deja-vu. My work as a sound engineer until a few years ago made me witness some of the exact same scenes. Sad? Funny? - No, human actually.
PS: My favorite side-characters were those two gate-crashers. They´re a bit too impudent, but a little gate-crashing really is fun. And you get to know interesting people if you have the guts. Or how else would two 18 year old girls have had the chance to be spoon-fed by Dennis Hopper while he was signing his photo-exhibit catalogues back in the 80ies in Salzburg?