‘3 Storeys’ Review: Has Strong Characters But Lacks Consistency

Three stories linked to people living in three storeys of a Mumbai cluster. Word play aside, Arjun Mukerjee's directorial debut makes an interesting observation about the "extraordinary" lives of seemingly nondescript people.

How many skeletons in the closet do you think lie buried in a decrepit Mumbai housing society? Turns out, many.

Also Read: ‘3 Storeys’: Pulkit, Richa & Renuka Shahane in Tangled Tales

Richa Chadha makes a brief appearance, doubling up as the sutradhaar of the film and the resident seductress. She introduces us to the principle characters. There is a young businessman (Pulkit Samrat) with his harried broker, looking for a house to buy. A woman (Masumeh Makhija) dealing with an alcoholic husband, and what looks like a budding innocent romance between a girl and a boy belonging to two different faiths (Aisha Ahmed, Ankit Rathi).

Writer Althea Kaushal dexterously reveals that their placid lives have more than what meets the eye, which further leads us to many intriguing, and some weirdly exasperating moments.

Story one has Aunty Flory demanding an exorbitant price for selling her tiny little accommodation. However, the deal is fixed and papers signed. As she and the new owner sit together in the drawing room sipping coffee, we see Aunty Flory’s life in a flashback mode, generously supplying us with the details of her life. It's delectably engaging, and Renuka Shahane, as an old wrinkled lady whose beguiling smile doesn't fade, slowly reveals chilling details of her life is in top form.

Masumeh Makhija plays a battered wife Varsha, whose unquestioning surrender to her husband 's abusive and alcoholic behaviour is heartbreaking to watch. The pathos often leads her to daydream about how her life would have been if she
had a chance to wind the clock back in time and tread on a different path with her lover Shanker (Sharman Joshi).

Masumeh and Sharman are both so beautifully measured, conveying  a gamut of emotions expertly.

The third story has Suhail and Malini stealing glances and exchanging love messages . Their innocent romance meets the disapproval and angry stares from their respective parents. Belonging to two different faiths seems to be main reason,
but given the makers proclivity to introduce a slew of shocks, we brace ourselves . While what follows is predictable, the actors Ankit Rathi and Aisha Ahmed's endearing screen presence is an added charm.

What the film is trying to show is that stories reveal as much about the characters as the storyteller and his/her ingenious creativity.

While some details are withheld and selective focus is put on others, the plot contrivances appear a little too forced . If only the other two stories had matched the intrigue and finesse of the first one (which also had Renuka Shahane’s skillfulness to boast of), it would have been a far better film. Still an interesting watch though.

3 Quints out of 5!

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