Tribhanga Movie Review Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and A Half Stars)
Star Cast: Kajol, Tanvi Azmi, Mithila Palkar, Kunaal Roy Kapor, Vaibhav Tatwawaadi, Manav Gohil and ensemble
Director: Renuka Shahane
What’s Good: This is a woman telling women stories, and she never judges them regardless of the flaws. There is a beating heart to Tribhanga that craves stability and love.
What’s Bad: The idea of stuffing too much in a short time fades the beats and results into things managing to make points just on the surface. Depth takes the backseat.
Loo Break: It’s a 90-minute film, a lot of melodrama in here. Sit through it if you can control.
Watch or Not?: If you are a fan of anyone from the team, there isn’t any second choice. But if You aren’t, and watching Tribhanga judging the trailer, I would suggest don’t go in with any expectations.
Written and directed by Renuka Shahane, Tribhanga is a story about a troubled family, especially three generations of women and the conflicts that have been constant between them. Kajol aka Anuradha who is at loggerheads with her mother Tanvi Azmi aka Nayan. All of this is witnessed by Mithila Palkar, aka Masha. When Nayan is on the death bed, Anuradha recalls the ghost from her past and the can of worms is wide opened.
Tribhanga Movie Review: Script Analysis
Sisterhood is not a phenomenon, it is a reality. When a woman decides to tell stories of three other women from distinct generations, her gaze is that of a person telling just the story without judging them. Renuka Shahane, who makes her Hindi feature debut as a director & a writer (she has the Marathi film Rita to her credit), at the heart of it makes Tribhanga a tale about the importance of a family, about being a powerful voice in times when the gender was considered weaker.
To prove this, Shahane changes the power dynamics. Tribhanga spans from the ‘80s to the present day. Tanvi Azmi’s Nayan is a misfit to the era she is set in. She is a writer, strong-headed, not that all her ways are good or have good intentions, but everyone’s made of flaws. Kajol’s Anu is a generation ahead and takes some traits of her mother and is a women with voice and anger. Cut to Mithila Palkar’s Masha born in the present day. She is expected to have a combination of her mother and grandmom. But she is a contradiction.
In my opinion, Shahane writes Masha as a conclusion to dark environment that all three have faced. Masha surrenders herself to a patriarchal family just so her kids could have people to call theirs and not be treated as orphans. Again, the movie does not judge Masha for doing that.
But while all of this is a strong base and hard-hitting, Shahane tries to fill the bag out of proportion. There is a lot for 90 minutes. She touches child abuse, female feticide, undemanding love, personal conflicts and a few other things. All of this keeps adding up with no conclusion in sight.
I understand as a writer who is making her second feature film, the veteran actor will still have a lot to say and I am all ears. But, maybe diving deep into a limited subjects than going all over could have been a wiser approach.
There are also points that do not have any effect on the larger scheme of things. Like Kajol being an actor has nothing to do with the whole set up. She could easily be a professor and everything could have been the same.
Also, in the effort to show how Anuradha had to face criticism for being a child to a single mother is shown in a very unreal manner. I can’t think of a primary teacher asking a child if her parents are divorced. Or making fun of her having her mother’s second name and not father’s. Unrealism rides too high there.
Tribhanga Movie Review: Star Performance
The makers rope in three of the most prominent actors of their generations. Tanvi Azmi, who plays Nayan, knows what is expected from her. The actor adds a spirit to her character and even knowing the number of mistakes her character has done you root for her.
Kajol, on the other hand, is the high note of this show. Imagine Anjali from K3G in her 50’s, that’s Anuradha in Tribhanga. Also, add a bag of cuss words to it too. But, the melodrama and tone surrounding the actor after a point gets too high. I, for once, wanted her to tone down a bit in parts.
Mithila Palkar with her straightened hair, impresses with her balanced demeanour. Also, it must have been a pressure to have herself get noticed between the above mention two ladies. Mithila manages to grab eyeballs.
Others including Manav Gohil, Vaibhav Tatwawaadi do justice to what is offered. Kunaal Roy Kapur is a constant and a good actor, but his ‘Shudh Hindi’ seems to be forced at places.
Tribhanga Movie Review: Direction, Music
Tribhanga must be a beautiful tale on paper. But the pyramid to build on it needs too much depth (Zoya Akhtar’s dept). Renuka Shahane manages to be a director who does justice to what’s on the paper. While doing that she also adds her titbits. Having set the story in a predominantly Maharashtrian set-up, there are references to a Marathi household. ‘Kagdad Bandlele Besanache Ladoo’ (Sweets packed in paper), the typical houses, there is nostalgia for a Marathi viewer.
What lacks in the direction are smooth transitions. For, e.g. the climax comes at an abrupt spot, and it took me a good 2 minutes to digest, that is how it all sums up. It takes Nayan a life to understand her mistakes, but Kajol a minute. The outcome is diluted.
Tribhanga Movie Review: The Last Word
Renuka Shahane has a lot to tell, and I want to listen. Yes, there is a scope of a lot of improvement. Tribhanga is about the conflict many of us might have faced, but it just gets a lot on its plate and becomes difficult to digest. Also, there is a homage to Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhianvi’s beautiful story if I am not reading too much beyond the line. That part is love. Watch Tribhanga on Netflix!
Tribhanga releases on 15th Januar, 2021.
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