B4U Motion Pictures, Excel Entertainment and Open Air Films’ 3 Storeys is about three different stories told from one person’s viewpoint. All the three stories are of people living in one lower middle-class three-storey (ground plus two) building. The viewpoint is that of a widow, Leela (Richa Chadha), living in the same building and refusing to conform to tradition or care for what people think about her dressing up gaudily and flaunting her figure.
Flory Mendonca (Renuka Shahane) lives alone in a flat in the three-storeyed building. Her husband, Dominic (Laksh Singh), and only son, Anton (Omkar Kulkarni), are dead. One day, Vilas Naik (Pulkit Samrat) comes to buy her house although she quotes an unrealistically high price for it. Flory tells Vilas about her son’s tragic death several years ago. Anton had fallen in bad company and had, one day, stolen diamonds, alongwith two friends. While one of the three friends had been shot dead at the scene of crime itself, Anton (with the diamonds) and the other friend had escaped. While escaping, Anton had also been shot at by the police. Anton had succumbed to his injuries soon thereafter. The diamonds were hidden by Flory before the police had reached her home, hot on Anton’s trail. Does she sell the house to him? Why is Vilas Naik ready to pay the high price for the house?
Varsha Atre (Masumeh) and husband Rajesh Atre (Tarun Anand) are Flory’s neighbours who live in the same building. They have a little son. Rajesh is an abusive husband but Varsha has no option except to bear his barbs and physical assaults. Before marrying Rajesh, Varsha had been in a relationship with Shankar Varma (Sharman Joshi). However, since Shankar did not have a well-paying job, Varsha’s parents had dissuaded her from meeting him. Respecting her parents’ wishes, Shankar had decided to give their relationship a year in the hope that he would by then be well-settled in life. In that one year, the two decided to never meet or even keep in touch on telephone. Did Shankar keep his promise and return to Varsha after a year? Did Varsha ditch Shankar?
Another neighbour of Flory is Suhana (Saunskruti Kher) whose husband works in Dubai. She is friendly to Varsha also. One day, Suhana invites Varsha and Rajesh over for dinner as her husband is in town. Varsha is speechless when she goes to Suhana’s house for dinner. Why?
The third story is a love story of a Hindu girl, Malini Mathur (Aisha Ahmed), and a Muslim boy, Suhail Ansari (Ankit Rathi). Both live in the same three-storeyed building. The two elope one day. All hell breaks loose when Suhail’s father, Rizwan (Dadhi Raj Pandey), learns of the elopement. Malini’s mother (Sonal Jha) is also against the relationship. What happens then?
Althea Kaushal-Delmas’ story is unusual. All the three stories are interesting and keep the audience engaged in the drama. There are a couple of implausible twists in the tale but otherwise, the story is truly engrossing. One implausible twist is One implausible twist is Vilas Naik’s reason for buying Flory’s house at the unreal price.
The screenplay, also written by Althea Kaushal-Delmas, is fast-paced and, therefore, keeps the viewers hooked to the proceedings. No doubt, the story and screenplay are more for the class audience because they are devoid of the usual drama but they are, nevertheless, well-penned. Anvita Dutt’s dialogues are nice and realistic.
Performances of the cast members are excellent. Renuka Shahane is first-rate as Flory Mendonca. She looks the Christian lady she plays and she slips into the character effortlessly. Pulkit Samrat is restrained as Vilas Naik. Sharman Joshi is, once again, extraordinary in the role of Shankar Varma. He is such a fine performer that it is a delight to watch him act. Masumeh comes up with a fine performance in the role of Varsha Atre. Ankit Rathi leaves a mark as Suhail Ansari. Aisha Ahmed makes her presence amply felt as Malini Mathur. Saunskruti Kher is effective in the role of Suhana. Tarun Anand leaves a mark as Rajesh Atre. Omkar Kulkarni is alright as Anton. Laksh Singh has his moments as Dominic. Richa Chadha is very good in a special appearance. Dadhi Raj Pandey is natural to the core as Rizwan. Himanshu Malik is adequate as Ganpatrao. Happy Sharma (as Ramoji), Aalam Khan (as Sagar), K.K. Shukla (as the school principal), Rajeev Saxena (as Varsha’s father), Annapurna (as Varsha’s mother), Varun Sharma (as Malini’s father), Sonal Jha (as Malini’s mother), Alok Nath (as the doctor), master Swadhyay Vijh (as little Anton) and the other actors lend decent support.
Arjun Mukerjee’s direction is good. He has handled the subject with the sensitivity it deserves. Clinton Cerejo’s music (one song, ‘Raasleela’, by Amjad-Nadeem) is in synch with the film’s mood but the absence of hit tunes is felt. Lyrics (Puneet Krishna, Shellee, Pushaan Mukherjee, Amjad-Nadeem and Alaukik Rahi) are meaningful. Song picturisations (by Henry Stevens and Tarun Anand) could’ve been more eye-catching. Background music (by Clinton Cerejo and Simaab Sen) is appropriate. William Humphris’ camerawork is quite good. Meenal Agarwal’s production designing is fair. Arindam S. Ghatak’s editing is reasonably sharp.
On the whole, 3 Storeys is a well-made film which boasts of fine performances by the lead actors, but the fact remains that its commercial prospects are very weak.