The concept of weaving multiple stories in one film is not new to the Hindi film industry. We have had films like 'Yuva' and 'Dhobi Ghat' where there were multiple characters which crossed paths with each other each one or a group of them had their individual story. Then, there was also 'Dus Kahaaniyan' which had ten different stories. '3 Storeys', co-produced by Excel Entertainment and directed by Arjun Mukherjee, tells three different stories of characters living in a three storeyed building.
Vilas Naik (Pulkit Samrat) is a young businessman who has recently set foot in Mumbai and is looking to buy a house in the suburb he works from. He urges the broker to show him the flat owned by a certain Flory Mendonca (Renuka Shahane) who intends to sell it. Vilas meets Flory and despite the flat being overpriced, decides to buy it. Varsha (Masumeh) is unhappy with her life which includes dealing with an abusive husband. She reminisces about the days she spent with her then boyfriend Shankar (Sharman Joshi). Malini (Aisha Ahmed) and Suhail (Ankit Rathi) are in love with each other but their parents do not approve of their relationship. Suhail's family sets up his marriage with a Muslim girl. With no other option in sight, Suhail and Malini decide to elope.
Though some of the characters from the stories (and storeys) interact with each other, their respective story has no link to the story of the other character's story. It would not be wrong to assert that that these three stories could have been made as three separate films. The only thing the three stories are linked to each other by is perhaps a sense of grief. Also, the three stories offer a twist each. The twist, in the first one, is fantastic. The first story, featuring Shahane and Samrat, is also the best of the lot. The narrative moves in a particular direction and then, catches you unaware by the sudden shift in its tonality. The second story is high on emotions and leaves a lump in your throat by the time you realise why Varsha and Shankar could not be together. The third story about the two inter-faith couple has its moments and does not leave an impact as strong as the first two. The twist is quite predictable and one also feels the story has been stretched for far too long.
It is a delight to see Renuka Shahane on the big screen after a long time. What is also heartening is the fact that she makes a comeback with a very strong character that is going to be etched in one's memory for a long time. Pulkit Samrat needs to get rid of the mannerisms that he has imbibed from Salman Khan and work on building a personality of his own. His performance is alright. Masumeh delivers a very compelling performance as Varsha. She brings her helplessness, sorrow and grimace to the fore effectively. Sharman Joshi leaves a mark in a brief role. Tarun Anand looks sufficiently menacing as Varsha's alcoholic and abusive husband. Ankit Rathi and Aisha Ahmed are great finds and one looks forward to see them in more films. Richa Chadha is nice in a cameo.
Arjun Mukherjee makes an assured debut as a director. With a compelling script by Athea Kaushal in hand, he uses his vision effectively to create a highly engaging narrative that evokes emotions of different kinds.