The Scottish locales shot with tender care by cinematographer Pravin Bhatt in “Three…” are in one word breathtaking. In two words breathtaking and eloquent. And if you want a third word – ominous!
Often thrillers about disturbances within the human heart are manifested in outdoors that mock the deceptive method behind the madness.
That theme is taken to quite a peek-a-boo peak of visual beauty in “Three..”. As the title suggests there are only three characters locked in a battle for property in a Scottish mansion.
Akshay Kapoor is the embittered husband, pounding away on his laptop in search of virtual gratification. Once a television star, Nausheed Ali Sardar gets the tough role of a wife trapped in a loveless marriage. She tries to blend the guilt of Mala Sinha in “Gumrah” with the deceptive sensuality of Zeenat Aman in “Dhund”. But this isn’t the occasion for high ambition.
Ashish Chowdhry gets the role of a lifetime as the house guest-turned-psychotic intruder, who wants to take over the couple’s life and home.
Debutant director Vishal Pandya keeps the theme of adultery and deception going without getting his plot into a mess. There’s an uncluttured, stripped-down quality to the narrative that helps us get into the sordid triangle without much ado.
The narrative is elegantly paced. And the dialogues hint at a layer of eroticism without actually reaching for it. Come to think of it, there’s an absence of lovemaking sequences in a film that talks about infidelity…Not even a kiss!
To its credit, the film keeps us watching to the end, not necessarily because we care for these despicable characters caught in what one of the trio calls a ‘Kaminey contest’ but because we want to see how and if the threesome pick up the broken pieces of life.
Suspiciously close to Ira Levin’s play “Deathtrap” in the way the husband, wife and intruder cross each other’s prickly path, “Three…” is carried forward by eye-catching locales and good background music by Raju Khan.
The three main players go from over-the-top to the absent-minded without bringing the plot down. Akshay Kapoor, as the weak, embittered and violent husband, has the toughest part. He gets some of the most ironical and hard-hitting lines.
Inebriated and driving back with his wife and her secret lover, Kapoor mocks himself for being the ‘wife’ in the marriage.
“She wears the pants, I wear the skirt. In bed there’s a Great Wall Of China between us,” hisses Kapoor while the wife Nausheen Ali Sardar tries to look embarrassed.
She barely succeeds. Just like the film.