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Ribbon movie review: A reality check. But where is the feel?

Directed By: Rakhee Sandilya
Produced By: Prakash Mondal,Swathi Mondal
Cast: Kalki Koechlin, Sumeet Vyas
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2.5/5

In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.
-Hunter S. Thompson

And that’s probably why the guilty ones often fly free.

Rakhee Sandilya’s ‘Ribbon’ started off as a chronicle of a young couple’s dilemma as they embrace parenthood when they’re least prepared for it, and ended on a note we didn’t see coming.

One fine morning, Sahana (Kalki Koechlin) discovers herself to be pregnant. This leaves her husband Karan (Sumeet Vyas) elated, but Sahana herself isn’t prepared to become a mother yet. A bright marketing professional herself, she fears losing out on important career goals if her focus diverts elsewhere.

Karan’s character, here, couldn’t have turned another misogynist who would pull out the best tricks to convince his wife how refusing motherhood is almost a crime. Thankfully enough, it doesn’t. A respectful Karan is ready to abide by his wife’s will and let go of the child for this time, but the child arrives anyway.

The next few years, wrapped in an hour, are a thorough narration of how parenthood brings in its own challenges. This includes Sahana being demoted at her workplace as the Boss thinks she isn’t capable of devoting enough time to work any more.

This is where  crucial questions are subtly put up. Into 2017, and something as personal as becoming a mother is yet looked at, like a disability nourished in secrecy. Why would a corporate setup ideally even entertain a setup that leaves its people with no time to fulfill personal commitments whatsoever? This is where ‘Ribbon’ strikes a familiar chord.

Next, it is a slight relief from run-of-the-mill depiction of young couples in metro cities. Karan and Sahana are often short of money. They got responsibilities they can’t deny. They don’t wake each other up with a gentle kiss everyday. Every night isn’t dreamy, and there are plenty of bad days as well. Unlike how Bollywood often claims, they don’t boast of a lavish house either. Much like you and me, and less like unrealistic ideas of a modern-day relationship.

The second half, however, takes a massive turn as we learn their only daughter Arshi is a victim of child sexual abuse. None saw it coming, and the director has pulled this one off efficiently. Arshi’s childish confession is disturbing on the nerves, and an effective punch. One crime changes the course of the film, and could’ve changed its fate too. But the rest of the time has ben devoted in ‘finding’ the culprit which takes us nowhere. Does he get away? Does he not?

Kalki, throughout the film, is as natural as she gets. Like every other time, she has lived her skin this time too. But at the same time, ‘Ribbon’ witnesses a top-notch deliverance from Sumeet Vyas as well. An often troubled husband and then a father, Sumeet wins our hearts with how he pulls it off. But from the beginning till the end, ‘Ribbon’ suffers from major problem of pace.

In a film that deals with so many crises, you want to live the story, and not scattered moments. While there are plenty of moments we take back, as an end product, it doesn’t leave the desired impact. Rakhee Sandilya, whose directorial repertoire begins with this, does have the eyes for right moments. But she hasn’t been able to infuse the necessary strength in the film.

‘Ribbon’ is no piece of cinematic brilliance. But a round of applause for keeping it real!

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