The three stories in 3 Storeys are the kind that eventually land up on YouTube. But debutante director Arjun Mukherjee decides to merge these with each other. The 3 storeys refer to the three floors of a chawl in Maya Nagar, Mumbai and also to these three stories.
All the stories are beautifully told and portrayed, but the first one stands out. And while the first is a perfect ten, the others lack in plot. All the characters of the film are present at all times and their life keeps on running simultaneously. It is the focus that shifts.
Featuring the wonderful Renuka Shahane and Pulkit Samrat, the first story deals with the life of a widow who wants to sell her apartment. While on one hand, it seems like Samrat has walked from the sets of his last release Veerey Ki Wedding to the sets of 3 Storeys, with no change but of clothes, on the other, Shahane owns each and every frame, whether she is in it alone, with someone else, or even just in narration.
The second story tells us the story of this couple who once fell in love, wanted to get married, but couldn’t and then years later fate makes them meet again. Here, we have the wonderful Sharman Joshi and Masumeh who grab and portray every single nuance of their characters, Shanker and Varsha. It makes me wonder why do we not see such terrific actors on screen more often. But this story isn’t as fine as the first one. I would have loved it had the reason behind the couple’s split not been so ridiculous.
Finally, the focus of the film shifts to a younger couple, a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl. Of course, there have to be complications here but is their love powerful enough? Is there more to their story? I won’t get into the details because that is for you to find out, but let’s talk about the performances. Ankit Rathi and Aisha Ahmed make their debuts with this film and both of them are amazing finds, especially Ahmed. She has a smile so vibrant and eyes so expressive that it makes you wonder why didn’t she debut earlier.
There also is the wonderful Richa Chadha who doesn’t have a single dialogue in the film till the last scene but OH-THIS-WOMAN-CAN-ACT! With just her eyes and body gestures she does what very few actors can!
While the idea of stringing stories together as parallel narratives seems interesting, it is not new. And 3 Storeys definitely needs some polishing. Of course, a debutante director cannot have the finesse of Mani Ratnam (Yuva) but Mukherjee seems to be the kind who will learn from his mistakes and come out an out and out winner in his next…