CAST: Shefali Shah, Jaideep Ahlawat, Swanand Kirkire,

DIRECTOR: Avinash Arun

Memory serves as a poignant cornerstone in storytelling, both in literature and on the silver screen. When executed with finesse, it resonates profoundly.

The film stars the incomparable Shefali Shah, whose expressive eyes alone are enough to evoke a deep emotional response. She embodies the role of Shailaja, a middle-aged woman from Mumbai who convinces her husband, Dipankar (Swanand Kirkire), a reserved life insurance agent, to journey with her to Vengurla, a tranquil coastal town in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg, where she spent four years of her youth.

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Upon arrival in Vengurla, Shailaja silently reconnects with her old group of friends, who, after 28 years, recognize her instantly. A visit to her childhood love, Pradeep, at the bank where he works leads to a surprising and wordless request for a reunion, which a stunned Pradeep (portrayed brilliantly by Jaideep Ahlawat) eventually accepts. This marks the beginning of their reflective journey through the physical landscape of her past, revisiting places embedded in her memories.

Pradeep is depicted masterfully – a man wary of others, who, despite his imposing presence, finds solace in writing and embroidery as a means to navigate his feelings. This contrasts yet complements Dipankar’s quiet kindness, reminiscent but distinct from Arthur (John Magaro) in “Past Lives.” However, any similarities with other films end there. Shailaja’s urgent need to reconnect with her past offers a more immediate and compelling motive than the latent longing seen in other narratives.

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The film subtly explores the generous and patient nature of its characters. Shailaja and Pradeep’s renewed bond is accepted without question or need for justification by their spouses, reflecting a profound understanding and acceptance. Director Avinash’s prowess as a cinematographer shines through in every frame.

The film is crafted with minimal dialogue, thoughtful symbolism, and quiet moments that capture the essence of a woman in search of her origins, as eloquently described in one of Pradeep’s poems. These elements combine to make “Three of Us” an understated yet powerful meditation on memory and its indelible impact on our lives.

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