Arjun Mukerjee directed '3 Storeys' is an exact portrayal of the people residing in the Chawls of Mumbai. Where your privacy is your neighbour's cup of tea, where one's personal problem gets viral faster than social media. Minute details along with the character portrayal and authentic set design have been beautifully taken care of. The film begins with Richa Chadda's voice over beautifully defining her passion and love for knowing people in this busy City of Dreams. She says how every face speaks through their emotions, every individual has a story to tell from the past. There are some strong dialogues in Richa's narration that will hit your heart and here begins the story of the respective characters residing in the Chawl.
Going by the name itself, the film narrates three stories of different individuals residing in the same Maya Chawl from the city. The script has been woven with twist and darkness blending with stellar performances from the entire cast. Although it can shock a non-moviegoer to speculate that it was Renuka Shahane to play the old Flory Aunty from the Chawl. Her acting prowess and stellar performance remain in our head as we move out of the theatre. She firmly fits in the shoes of a Goan Catholic lady speaking Konkani fluently in an interaction with businessman Vijay Naik played by Pulkit Samrat who wants to purchase an apartment nearby his workplace. Every story takes back you to the deep and darkest past carrying the film's narrative in an intriguing manner. You barely get your eyes away from it getting totally glued to your seat wondering the depth-ness of each story.
It was good to see Sharman Joshi back on-screen and he has splendidly performed his decent lover boy role of a 12th pass guy from Mumbai pursuing his family business of embroidery. His love interest is Varsha played by Masumeh Makhija who at present lives with a jobless drunkard husband treating her even worse than a household maid. Masumeh's character looks authentic and plays the chords of our emotions with her innocent housewife character bearing all the pain just because she lost her war of love. The interesting moment of the film comes when destiny makes them meet once again, the intense act screams the sadness out of the situation. The last story has been my personal favourite. A shout out for the debutants Aisha Ahmed and Ankit Rathi who plays Hindu-Muslim youngsters, truly in love with one another but not at all entertained by their family. Ankit Rathi an on-screen Muslim guy is forced to marry within a week but decides to run away with his ladylove. Even after restricted by her widowed Mother, the girl and the guy elope from the reality. I can simply vouch that the climax of their story will blow up your mind. Overall '3 Storeys' is a content driven film cooked with the flavour of the original script and stellar performances from its cast.
The songs are entwining as well right away from the Arijit Singh, Jonita Gandhi number 'Bas Tu Hai' showcasing the sweet local town middle class couple chemistry that many of the audiences would definitely relate. It is the charm of their relationship that makes this song special somewhere or the other. The next song is a Navratri number titled 'Raasleela' where all the members of the Chawl unite to celebrate this joyous festival of togetherness. Everyone's expressions light up the dandiya raas celebration and the teen couple just dance their heart out. Sumedha Karmahe's voice showers the festive touch in the song, making it a feel-good number. Cinematography by Will Humphris is majestic, the montage scenes from Mumbai were classy.
The location of a dense populated ordinary chawl is shot with every possible angle. Set decoration by Shailaja Sharma needs applauds taking care of the location making it an absolute authentic place for the film's narration. Editing by Arindam Ghatak is flawless and smooth. Althea Kaushal has written an artistic script that raises our thought meter, thinking about those dark dramas with a lot of empathy.
Overall, if you want to get mesmerized by the acting performances and good script definitely watch this film.