Three of Us: A Haunting Melody of Lost Love, Acceptance, and Letting Go
Director: Avinash Arun Dhaware
Cast: Shefali Shah, Jaideep Ahlawat, Swanand Kirkire, Kadambari Kadam
Release Date: November 3rd, 2022 (Theatrical); Now Streaming on Netflix
“Three of Us” is a poignant tapestry woven with threads of love, loss, memory, and the bittersweet yearning for what remains. Avinash Arun Dhaware’s directorial debut navigates the emotional complexities of a middle-aged trio caught in a tangled web of past desires and present realities. The film, released on November 3rd, 2022, has now found a broader audience on Netflix, where its melancholic beauty continues to resonate.
Shailaja (Shefali Shah), a woman battling early-stage dementia, is the central character of the narrative. Haunted by the fading whispers of the past, she embarks on a journey to her childhood home on the Konkan coast with her supportive husband, Dibakar (Swanand Kirkire). But the trip holds another unspoken purpose – reconnecting with Pradip (Jaideep Ahlawat), her first love, a man whose memory shimmers across the landscape of her fading recollections.
Shah delivers a masterclass in emotional vulnerability. Her portrayal of Shailaja is nuanced and layered, capturing the confusion, fear, and fleeting moments of clarity that come with dementia. As she confronts the ghosts of her past, Shah imbues Shailaja with quiet dignity and a yearning for closure that is both heartbreaking and deeply relatable.
Ahlawat is equally compelling as Pradip, a man burdened by unspoken regrets and the bittersweet joy of rekindled affection. The chemistry between Shah and Ahlawat crackles even as their past hangs heavy in the air. Their tender moments are tinged with the sorrow of what could have been, while their silences speak volumes about the baggage they carry.
Kirkire’s Dibakar is the picture of patient understanding and unwavering support. He portrays Dibakar’s love for Shailaja with a quiet strength that provides a much-needed anchor in the emotional storm. Kadambari Kadam, Pradip’s wife, adds another layer of complexity to the dynamic, creating a web of conflicting desires and unspoken resentments.
Dhaware, in his directorial debut, demonstrates a remarkable sensitivity to the emotional nuances of the story. He masterfully captures the beauty of the Konkan coast, using its lush landscapes and serene beaches to mirror the characters’ internal journeys. The thoughtful pacing of the movie enables viewers to lose themselves in the characters’ feelings and ideas altogether.
“Three of Us” is not a film that offers easy answers or pat resolutions. Instead, it delves into the messy reality of human relationships, exploring the complexities of love, loss, and forgiveness. The film’s strength lies in its honesty and its willingness to confront uncomfortable truths. It doesn’t shy away from depicting the hardships of dementia, the fragility of memory, and the challenges of navigating complicated familial dynamics.
While the film primarily focuses on the adult characters, Dhaware subtly weaves in the experience of Shailaja’s young niece, Anu (Kadam). Anu’s innocent observations and playful interactions provide a poignant counterpoint to the adult characters’ emotional turmoil. Through Anu’s eyes, we see glimpses of hope and resilience, reminding us that life, even amidst loss, continues to find ways to bloom.
“Three of Us” is not a film for the faint of heart. It is a deeply emotional journey that will linger long after the credits roll. However, for those willing to open themselves to its melancholic beauty, the film offers a profound and ultimately uplifting experience. It is a story about learning to live with the ghosts of the past, finding acceptance in the present, and letting go of what we cannot control. It is a testament to the human spirit’s capacity for love, forgiveness, and, ultimately, a quiet redemption.
So, if you’re looking for a film that will challenge you, move you, and stay with you long after the screen fades to black, then “Three of Us” is a must-watch. Just be prepared to bring a box of tissues.