Film: 3 Storeys
Cast: Richa Chaddha, Pulkit Samrat, Renuka Shahane, Sharman Joshi, Masumeh Makhija, Aisha Ahmed, Ankit Rathi
Director: Arjun Mukerjee
Rating: 3 MOONS
Besides packing an interesting pun in the title of the film, 3 Storeys genuinely tells 3 beautiful stories that all merge into a mind bending climax that one doesn’t expect at all. It’s almost like a psychological thriller that makes you quip, ‘I didn’t see that coming bro!’ The end is indeed the highlight of the film.
3 Storeys is set in Mumbai Chaul. And mind you it’s not the kind of Chaul you have watched in Begum Jaan or any such Hindi film. It’s the kind of Chaul that safeguards dark tragedies in its bosom, a Chaul that witnesses budding romance between young individuals belonging to the same building but different religions. Eavesdropping is a routine here, space is crunched and privacy is a myth. Your life and all your darkest secrets are staged to the world that play out like an uncomfortable tragedy because peering eyes and nosy ears are just a step away, eagerly witnessing your life behind thin walls.
Yet there is warmth. Bowls of sugar are exchanged, candies are bought from the local shop, one for one’s son and the other for the neighbour’s daughter. Dinner parties and Garba nights are happily organized and help is literally next door, though it might come at a price.
Each story in 3 Storeys packs different emotions and each one of them touched by tragedy and a climactic surprise.
If Renuka Shahne - Pulkit Samrat story makes you feel uncomfortable, Sharman Joshi -Masumeh story leaves you with a sense of deep, painful longing. Their love story seems implausible especially in cellular times but wait for it till the end.
The third story of debutante Ankit and Ayesha is all about a young rebellious couple and their heartbreaking story that makes you feel their pain.
Simple things happen in the movie that subtly build characters. Like a brief lewd moment between a housewife, Varsha and a shopkeeper, Rizwan where he sugarcoats letching with a concerned smile, that eventually gets threaded later in the movie. The moment is so short lived you might even miss it.
3 Storeys packs beautiful performances. You might ‘initially’ have a problem with a few stereotypes, like Renuka’s Catholic aunty act who "'bring up' kiya hain apna son” and inserts a Jesus every now and then, lest we forget what her religion is. Or Richa Chadhdha’s character of a woman with high libido who sashays around in slow mo with red lipstick, anklets and flowers. But it all gets justified towards the end.
Althea Delmas Kaushal strikes gold for writing such an engaging film, giving you delectable insights into the Chaul life of Mumbai.
Director Arnab does a stellar job in handling so many characters without ever confusing the viewers. The way he has made Chaul and Mumbai city come across as characters in the movie is indeed commendable. Kohinoor Bridge and Kohinoor Mills have never been used so creatively before.
The only grouch I have is a couple of songs and scenes that pace down the film and make it a bit lengthy. A sharper edit could have made it even more exciting, but that shouldn’t stop you from watching 3 Storeys.