Three - Love, Lies And Betrayal is a very unambitious effort at brightening up lonely multiplex screens, and that's a chicken-and-egg situation actually. Vikram Bhatt has been credited for the script of this one, but it just looks like all he'd got to do with the script was to sneeze on it.
Anjani Dutt (Nausheen Ali Sardar) and her husband Rajeev Dutt (Akshay Kapoor) live in the middle of some obscure far-flung Scottish highlands, in a multi-million dollar mansion. The couple, we are told, is daintily treading on the poverty line - he's an unsucessful entrepreneur, it's the wife that brings home the money from her violin classes, and they cannot make ends meet. And come what may, Anjani won't let her humongous ancestral house - in which they're living their bleary lives - be sold. Their nuptial cauldron is, thus, a simmering nuclear bomb waiting for a cue.
The free neutron makes its entry in the form of a paying guest, Sanjay (Ashish Chowdhry, who's determined to make his Saif act not go unnoticed). On his very first evening with the couple, after a party at a pub, Sanjay gets to watch a trailer of their marital situation.
Sanjay then starts shamelessly leading the snivelling Anjani on. A night of passion later, equations in the house are slightly rearranged. Anjani and Sanjay carry on stealthily for a few days, and then plan to elope.
The flimsy veil on Sanjay's motives starts lifting when he cites sham reasons to make her sell the estate. Anjani snaps out of her nasty reverie, but life is known to stink when you're carrying a smelly bag of guilt on your shoulders. From here on, it's all about blackmail, plotting, forest-chases, and much sentiment over the inherited property, to the end of the nightmare.
The result of having to rely entirely on the genre of the plot, rather than on the plot itself, is what Three exemplifies. If a movie's not going to make you feel good, it had better offset this inability by using, at the very least, great dialogues, or intense performances - neither of which the movie has. There's just a lot of word play with nursery rhymes, and that's about it in the creativity department.
Inconsistencies aren't the problem here, because there's not much convolution in the story, but directorial details are. 'Fashionable clothes' and 'swanky car' are not key words that describe bankruptcy.
And centering 2 hours around a trio of mediocre performers is no winning strategy. The actors are not exactly incompetent, but the sub-par performances just don't lend any weight to the script. Ashish Chowdhry sure is enthusiastic to prove his mettle at these 'serious' roles, but he's definitely better at the lighter ones. The only real actor around is Achint Kaur, who occasionally peeks out from behind the dusty curtains of mediocrity.
There's some fairly impressive camera work in the film, but the visuals have a washed-out look. The well-composed soundtrack is melancholy, but it's essentially just one tune that keeps playing.
No one's getting thrilled with this affair, unless your screening's been cancelled, which means you're getting your money back.