By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | March 10, 2018
Rating: 4 / 5
The essence: Renuka Shahane’s haunting performance and the calm manner with which she executes her plan is what you take home. Masumeh Makhija and Sharman Joshi both draw you into their lives while Ankit Rathi and Aisha Ahmed deliver their roles like veterans. There is never a dull moment when the two are together. Their chemistry is just too good. The surprise package is Himanshu Malik who delivers a nondescript character with a resounding impact.
Experimenting and coming up trumps with a story idea is always a good feeling. And when the audience goes home feeling satisfied, it is doubly exciting. 3 Storeys by debutant director Arjun Mukherjee is a slice of life film that has you engrossed and involved. It’s almost a thriller, with you trying to figure out the plot, even though this is just everyday life. Moreover, only a good story-teller can twist a tale towards the end with a completely new plot, with the same characters, and be as effective within just under a minute.
Although the jugglery is mesmerizing, the end-effect is not. Methinks, if the film had ended where it had, with Shankar (Sharman Joshi) telling Varsha (Masumeh Makhija) that he and his wife have decided to name their second girl after her, it would have left the viewer in a daze!
Writer Althea Delmas-Kaushal weaves a good plot, set in a Mumbai chawl, spinning three stories that are inter-linked with the characters living there. The suspense is delivered without much of a fuss and all three stories leave you nodding your head in approval for the manner of its treatment. The set design, cinematography, performances by every actor and direction all add up to make this an interesting watch this weekend.
Renuka Shahane has delivered perhaps an award-winning performance as Flory Mendonca, an overprotective mother, who spoils her son silly, and in the bargain loses out on her family. But beneath that unsuspecting loner, who is a jewel in her chawl, lurks something disturbing.
Masumeh Makhija’s story of a loveless marriage, trapped with a drunkard for a husband is another that merges with Saunskruti Kher (Suhana) and Sharman Joshi.
Suhail Ansari (Ankit Rathi) is in love with his neighbour Malini Mathur (Aisha Ahmed), and even though his nikaah has been set elsewhere they both elope only to be brought back by their parents. They learn a bitter truth which peels off a layer from a character who mingles freely with the youngsters, and the others in the chawl.
Renuka’s haunting performance and the calm manner with which she executes her plan is what you take home. Masumeh and Sharman both draw you into their lives while Ankit Rathi and Aisha Ahmed deliver their roles like veterans. There is never a dull moment when the two are together. Their chemistry is just too good. The surprise package is Himanshu Malik who delivers a nondescript character with a resounding impact.
A song which pops out of nowhere during an intense moment is the only jarring moment, apart of course, from the jugglery towards the end.
Eleven years ago, Sanjay Gupta experimented with Dus Kahaniyan with 10 short individual stories. 3 Storeys is different: like I mentioned, they are interwoven and makes for a wonderful watch.
Take a bow Althea, Arjun and the entire star cast.
Producer: Priya Sreedharan, Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar
Director: Arjun Mukherjee
Star Cast: Renuka Shahane, Sharman Joshi, Richa Chadda, Masumeh Makhija, Pulkit Samrat