A love story, lost in the pre-independence era.
Refreshing, well-scripted and flavored with the perfect dosage of drama, comedy and tragedy, 3 Sakina Manzil is a beautiful tale of love that will touch your soul. Set in the ’40s, the play awakens the horrific episode of our country’s history that is lost in the pre-independence era.
April 14, 1944: Two explosions at the Victoria Dock in Bombay changed many lives forever. Families were torn apart, thousands died and many were left injured. However, amidst all this chaos was the story of Shashi and Comrade Shashi’s (Yes, same names!) unrequited love. The play begins 5 decades after the incident, and transports viewers back and forth in time. The actors effortlessly switch between their younger and older characters without much hassle. As a matter of fact, the play is so well-directed and controlled that it is easy to ignore the switches made by the actors. Moreover, the background music is apt and creates the perfect ambience of the ’40s. The set-up arrangements are kept minimal, simple and are efficiently utilized by the cast.
Speaking of the cast, Puneet Sikka and Tarun Singhal, who play Shashi and Comrade Shashi respectively, are brilliant. Their chemistry, conversations and evocative monologues are the main highlights of the play. One simply cannot take their eyes off these two actors; that is how engrossed they will keep you with their performances.
Overall, this historical drama is top-notch as far as the story, dialogues, acting and music are concerned. However, the duration of the play could be a letdown. The background score, as mentioned earlier, swings beautifully with the story , but the high decibels might make the dialogues difficult to keep up with. However, these issues can be ignored, considering the commendable efforts put in by the director Deepak Dhamija, and writer Ramu Ramanathan.
And if you think this love story is one of those ‘Happily Ever After’ tales, then here’s the cue to build up more curiosity. Shashi and Comrade Shashi, now in their declining years do meet again but whether their love story sees the light of the day or not, is the mystery for you to solve.
3 Sakina Manzil is a hard-hitting drama with a fair share of light moments that keep the viewers entertained and engaged. It pays an inadvertent tribute to the victims, who lost their lives in the Bombay Docks explosion. To sum it up, it is definitely a must-watch, as it awakens a moment in our history that needs to be remembered.