Page 3: Madhur Bandarkar & Konkona Sen scintillate 1


Page 3

IMDB

Year: 2005

Director: Madhur Bhandarkar

Category: Drama

Rating: 5 out of 5

A fantastic out of the box movie from India

‘Page 3’ by Madhur Bhandarkar is one of the nicest Indian movies I have seen in the last five years or so. The plot of page 3 is available in many sites, and I will not write about it here. I shall concentrate instead on some aspects that liked most in the movie.

Unique story line

The story, to begin with, is refreshingly different, and is a drastic shift from the typical formula-based movies. This does not mean that page 3 does not have ‘prescribed elements’ of Bollywood movies: barring fights, it has every element that is typical of our masala movies – love, sentimental scenes, a deliberately inserted sexy dance i.e. “item number”, humour, glamour, etc. Madhur Bhandarkar’s brilliant direction of the movie has made each of these elements rather unique and has saved the movie from becoming a run of the mill one. A major creative step in the movie is to make the movie appear ‘natural’: the content of the story, costume, delivery of dialogues, characters, use of language, and most other aspects of the movie could all have been real. But for a scene or two, one cannot feel a sense of things being unreal through the movie. Konkona Sen (the heroine) and Boman Irani (the Editor) contribute to this in a big way.

Powerful storytelling

A second high point of the movie is powerful storytelling. It starts with Konkona Sen covering parties and lives of celebrities regularly and feeling reasonably satisfied with it. As the movie goes the persona of various celebrities evolve and become more complex. She starts discovering the nature of various people – many of them being negative. She also develops a party fatigue and yearns to do more meaningful work. The movie ends in one more party. The gala, celebration, people, and everything in the nature of parties continue to be the same, but Konkona’s view of them is profoundly different. Madhur Bhandarkar has done a fabulous job with this key scene. Konkona’s conflicting emotions are portrayed in a background of festivities as she slowly reviews the people in the party. Lighting and ‘coloured filters’ have been used with utmost creativity in expressing the emotions of the scene. Shamir Tandon has done a wonderful job with music through the movie and is specially impressive at this point. His use of Lata Mangeshkar’s kithe agib song at this point is remarkable. This short scene also has some of the best dialogues of the movie.

Sensitive background music

Shamir Tandon needs special kudos for the movie. But for kitne ajib sung by Lata Mangeshkar, the movie lacks in blockbuster songs. But the background music in the movie is impressive, and complements the story well. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is that at no point the background music is conspicuous. Many of the scores are creative and they fit the scenes neatly. At times there is no background music at all, which has contributed to the naturalness of the story. Tandon has avoided the temptation to make the ‘silence’ conspicuous.

All round performance by actors

Most actors have done a neat job, including those with very small roles. Contrasting characters, their accents, priorities and experiences are used to bring out a sense of irony that Page 3 is all about. There are very few personality stereotypes in this movie. There is a diversity of characters ranging from journalists of different beats, policemen, an aspiring actress, a young airhostess aspiring for a comfortable life, gossipy drivers of the rich and famous, party gatecrashers, plebeian businessman, et al. Each have their role in the movie, and none of them is overwhelming.

Page 3 joins a range of classic movies in its ability to communicate powerful themes and emotions without much dramatisation. The heroine and other characters are simple folks. There are no high-voltage scenes. The music is homely. But the movie leaves a emotional impact on the viewers by the sheer power of story telling. It is one of those occasional movies which a movie lover can enjoy in an all-round fashion.

‘Page 3’ by Madhur Bhandarkar is one of the nicest Indian movies I have seen in the last five years or so. The plot of page 3 is available in many sites, and I will not write about it here. I shall concentrate instead on some aspects that liked most in the movie.

<h3>Unique story line</h3> The story, to begin with, is refreshingly different, and is a drastic shift from the typical formula-based movies. This does not mean that page 3 does not have ‘prescribed elements’ of Bollywood movies: barring fights, it has every element that is typical of our masala movies – love, sentimental scenes, a deliberately inserted sexy dance i.e. “item number”, humour, glamour, etc. Madhur Bhandarkar’s brilliant direction of the movie has made each of these elements rather unique and has saved the movie from becoming a run of the mill one. A major creative step in the movie is to make the movie appear ‘natural’: the content of the story, costume, delivery of dialogues, characters, use of language, and most other aspects of the movie could all have been real. But for a scene or two, one cannot feel a sense of things being unreal through the movie. Konkona Sen (the heroine) and Boman Irani (the Editor) contribute to this in a big way.

<h3>Powerful storytelling</h3> A second high point of the movie is powerful storytelling. It starts with Konkona Sen covering parties and lives of celebrities regularly and feeling reasonably satisfied with it. As the movie goes the persona of various celebrities evolve and become more complex. She starts discovering the nature of various people – many of them being negative. She also develops a party fatigue and yearns to do more meaningful work. The movie ends in one more party. The gala, celebration, people, and everything in the nature of parties continue to be the same, but Konkona’s view of them is profoundly different. Madhur Bhandarkar has done a fabulous job with this key scene. Konkona’s conflicting emotions are portrayed in a background of festivities as she slowly reviews the people in the party. Lighting and ‘coloured filters’ have been used with utmost creativity in expressing the emotions of the scene. Shamir Tandon has done a wonderful job with music through the movie and is specially impressive at this point. His use of Lata Mangeshkar’s kithe agib song at this point is remarkable. This short scene also has some of the best dialogues of the movie.

<h3>Sensitive background music</h3> Shamir Tandon needs special kudos for the movie. But for kitne ajib sung by Lata Mangeshkar, the movie lacks in blockbuster songs. But the background music in the movie is impressive, and complements the story well. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is that at no point the background music is conspicuous. Many of the scores are creative and they fit the scenes neatly. At times there is no background music at all, which has contributed to the naturalness of the story. Tandon has avoided the temptation to make the ‘silence’ conspicuous.

<h3>All round performance by actors</h3> Most actors have done a neat job, including those with very small roles. Contrasting characters, their accents, priorities and experiences are used to bring out a sense of irony that Page 3 is all about. There are very few personality stereotypes in this movie. There is a diversity of characters ranging from journalists of different beats, policemen, an aspiring actress, a young airhostess aspiring for a comfortable life, gossipy drivers of the rich and famous, party gatecrashers, plebeian businessman, et al. Each have their role in the movie, and none of them is overwhelming.

Page 3 joins a range of classic movies in its ability to communicate powerful themes and emotions without much dramatisation. The heroine and other characters are simple folks. There are no high-voltage scenes. The music is homely. But the movie leaves a emotional impact on the viewers by the sheer power of story telling. It is one of those occasional movies which a movie lover can enjoy in an all-round fashion. // –>


About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.


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One thought on “Page 3: Madhur Bandarkar & Konkona Sen scintillate

  • Dr. Ajaypal Kaur

    Madhur Bandarkar has entered the domain of perfection with ‘fashion’,good story,music, direction and editing and acting ,every thing got blended in the right proportion.one thing for Mr. bandarkar, it will be good if he cares to have a look on how same things happen with students in academic places as happened to his lead characters in Fashion .sure..he will get stuff to show the people about things in academic field as well,so unforunate but true.