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Posted at: Mar 9, 2018, 6:29 PM; last updated: Mar 9, 2018, 6:29 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: 3 STOREYS

Slice of mysterious lives

Three stories well told in less than two hours—that is pretty much what sums up 3 Storeys. However, give it a pass if you are looking for the razzmatazz
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Slice of mysterious lives
A still from 3 Storeys

Nonika Singh

Three stories intertwined yet apart, each one peppered with a dash of intrigue...that's 3 Storeys for you. Set in a chawl with characters drawn from its labyrinth that are connected yet separate, intermingling yet disparate. If cinema be the art of storytelling then the film does score high on that count. 

It begins with a rather interesting tale, held masterfully by its lead actor Renuka Shahane. As the robust Mrs Florie Mendoca her past is as eventful, even tragic, as the future. Dead giveaway is the huge gap in the flooring of her apartment as also her demand of a king’s ransom as its asking price. How it gets filled, how her story moves between theft, death and diamonds as well as buyers, well you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to decode the mystery. But the goings on, maneuvering if you wish, add sufficient spice to the film that is otherwise realistically and simply told. 

Too simply you may say, especially if you want razzmatazz and glamour as is the norm with average masala films which 3 Storeys certainly isn’t.  Instead, it is built level by level on stories with a sting and a twist in the tale, all of which are engaging enough. The second story is an unrequited love tale across caste divide, so is the third one across the religious chasm. But here the real barrier is not love jihad but something else and a somewhat shocking revelation awaits you.

To be fair the director does lay clues for us…one dialogue alone is a pointer and truly telling of what it entails. And actors (there are quite a few known ones like Sharman Joshi, Pulkit Samrat and several not so familiar) not only say their lines well but also get into the skin of their characters. Realistically etched, they carry the tales forward as well as keep the curiosity element alive.

What we love is the climax where both characters and tales are deconstructed…in a way offering the director and writer’s perspectives. What we have seen all through the film, the director almost throws a spanner our way. Was that a flight of imagination, the writer’s exaggerated sense of drama, director’s skilful art of dramatizing? Indeed, who can know in a story what is real and what’s imagined...reality indeed can be daunting yet often very different from what the story teller chooses to tell us.

The film leaves you with this thought too, besides its tingling and throbbing stories. If you like to be told stories then you are likely to find these delectable and dramatic enough, especially since these are told in less than two hours. But if you care for more than a story then you might find it wanting. For this is no spectacle mounted on a lavish scale. Slice of life… yes and no.  But then we all know truth is stranger than fiction.

nonikasingh@tribunemail.com

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