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When the story of three people becomes a poem

by Afonso
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Well, do you ever think that the past time of life is another birth? It means so far away, as if from another reality in another world?

But it can happen. Just fighting to get through life somehow in the busyness of the present, when you suddenly remember seeing the shadow of people in that small corner of school many years ago and being scared of ghosts, then you can compare this coming and going of past and present with interstellar travel. Remembering the time spent may feel that it is actually a fairy tale heard by someone!

One such travel story is ‘Three of Us’. After a theatrical run in India, it was also released on streaming platform Netflix a few days ago. The film has been receiving praise ever since its release. Hearing about the film by word of mouth and especially after seeing a small dialogue spread through social media, the eyes are intrigued for 99 minutes of tireless viewing. After spending the first 25 minutes on the screen, however, one realizes that the eyes are not being tortured.

Shefali as Shailaja.  Image: Netflix

The movie starts with Shailaja Desai. This character played by Shefali Shah is the main of the three characters in the film. The story of the movie proceeds with the small incidents of everyday life. If two people who are tied by the knot of marriage want to go for separation, then the work of Shailja starts. Sometimes Shailaja tries to delay this separation by making it legal. Because Shailaja himself is in the group of those who are stuck in the bond even though he earns a living by separation.

The natural flow of the story gradually informs the audience about Schilzer’s dementia. There was no imposed drama in the matter. Rather, it is presented as if it were part of the daily routine of the middle class. Isn’t that really the case? The middle class that has developed in the countries of the Indian subcontinent is often in such a precarious situation that extreme crisis is only a ‘situation’ there at times. Families are saddened by the situation, but with nothing much to do, acceptance becomes the only reality. Shailja’s husband Dipankar Desai in the film also tries to move forward with a somewhat accepting mindset. So is Shailaja. It is only suddenly that he feels the urge to touch his own past once more. Because the doctors said, once he can forget all the past. Since there is no way to prevent the slate from being wiped clean, is it too much to hope to re-weld the memory or extend the memory’s durability?

Dipankar and Shailaja.  Image: Netflix

Yes, not at all. So Dipankar does not hinder at all, but on the contrary becomes Shailaja’s companion. And after that the unforgettable journey began. It has less breaks. On the contrary, this trip is more like a reunion with all the characters of childhood and adolescence while walking in the neighborhood lane. The same is true of Shailja. Along with friends, he also met his ex-lover. He is the third person in this movie. At least that’s what it looks like in terms of visuals. Not just a friend or a lover, even a trauma from childhood is not excluded from the list of interviewees. This is how Shailaja touches all the memories of life at once. Maybe like the last time.

The story telling of ‘Three of Us’ is a bit like a river. The story flows in small waves. A bit slow, but never boring. Yes, this film is totally out of place in the current tide of thriller or mystery genre. No adrenaline rush, no ‘what happens, what happens’ atmosphere. But after watching the whole film, you can have a light conversation with your own memories. Either ask politely. The biggest gain is peace of mind and eyes.

This film is directed by Avinash Arun. Before this, he made a name for himself by making a series called ‘Patallok’. He has gone completely out of that trend in ‘Three Ab Us’. Avinash Guni is cinematographer. He has put the signature of that quality in this film as well. All in all, no flaws were found in the direction of the film.

Joydeep  Image: Netflix

Not to mention acting. Shefali Shah as Shailja, Swanand Kirkire as Deepankar and Jaideep Ahlawat as Pradeep—all three were superb. They have given such modest performances that they want to watch again and again. Unlike the characters, their real names were lost! So much they were mixed with the character.

In a word, the feeling of watching ‘Three of Us’ is like reading poetry. At present we are all more or less crushed by the troubles of life. Turning away from it, the picture opens the window of the house and gives a chance to breathe in the rain-soaked air. It is guaranteed that you will get more oxygen than dust!

Rating: 4.5/5
Director: Avinash Arun
Story & Screenplay: Omkar Achyut Barve, Avinash Arun and Arpita Chatterjee
Dialogue: Shoaib Nazir
Actors: Shefali Shah, Jaideep Ahlawat, Swanand Kirkire, Kadambari Kadam etc.
Language: Hindi
Genre: Drama
Release: 3 November 2023 / Netflix



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