In Britain page 3 may be associated with topless glamour models, but in Indian tabloids it's reserved for something entirely different - celebrity news and gossip. And it's in this area of entertainment which director Madhur Bhandarkar bases his new satire. Examining the superficial world of Indian showbiz and high society through the eyes of female journalist Madhavi Sharma (Konkona Sensharma), Page 3 takes a daring but low-budget look at the power play between the air-kissing celebs and the media who help keep them in champagne.
Sensharma's Madhavi is a talented entertainment reporter, but to the discontent of her editor Deepak Suri (Boman Irani), she yearns to write about worthy social causes instead of concentrating on the latest A-list happenings and hearsay. Surrounded by wannabe starlets, camp fashion designers, rich housewives and perverted businessmen, Madhavi has the added stress of coping with her struggling actress and airhostess friends Gaytri (Tara Sharma) and Pearl (Sandhya Mridul). But when Madhavi threatens to quit her job, she gets more than she bargained for by being paired up with ace crime reporter Vinayak Mane (Atul Kulkarni).
"DOESN'T SHY AWAY FROM CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES"
Delving below the glitz and glamour of celebrity lifestyle to touch upon such dark subjects as paedophilia, homosexuality, drug abuse, and the casting couch, Page 3 doesn't shy away from tackling controversial issues. For this reason alone the films' writers must be applauded. But the tacky sets and wooden supporting cast soon destroy any social message the film is trying to convey. By the final credits, Page 3 leaves you feeling as hard done by as its desperate characters.
Music: Shamir Tandon.