Thursday, January 11, 2007

Page 3

Watched Page 3 yesterday
among a number of other films in timepass mode.

Konkona Sen made the film work when it could have easily failed. A coming of age story of a young idealistic journalist stuck in the Page 3 department covering the shenanigans of India's rich and oh so flamboyant high society crowd.

The production values and the unfolding of the plot were crude and linear but the narrative was interesting and relevant enough to sustain the film along with the aforementioned Ms sen. Believe it may have been based on a tell all novel that came out a number of years ago, Among the Chatterati: The Diary of a Page three hack by
Kanika Gahlaut.

The premise of the book and the film both, the mean and vapid nature of the party set, all caught up in self indulgence and keeping score in a game of low gossip. The buzz on Gahulaut's book when it came out was how the cartoonish characters were often dead on shap shots of real figures in the jet set party merry go around, proving once again that there is no parody greater than self parody.

Superficiality, however, is not the exclusive domain of the well heeled as anyone who has lived in India for a while will attest. Idle gossip is a pastime there and the speculation about neigbours, rife with innuendo. If no facts are present then they are just made up. People develop a thick skin and roll with the punches or they will go mad. After a while its best to join the crowd.

Sen's character appears to understand that and she makes a crucial next step that prevents her from falling into the path of the malicious aunties and self aggrandizing uncles, she tries to connect to something larger, to make a difference.

The film ends on a light touch. No heavy handed sermons. Sen laughs at the overgrown children and moves on.

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