Tribhanga Movie Review: Renuka Shahane, Kajol bring forth a tear-jerking and near-perfect tale of flawed-yet-real women

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Directed By
Renuka Shahane

Produced By
Ajay Devgn, Parag Desai, Deepak Dhar, Rishi Negi, Siddharth P Malhotra, Sapna Malhotra

Kajol, Tanvi Azmi, Mithila Palkar, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Vaibhav Tatwawaadi, Manav Gohil, Kanwaljeet Singh, Shweta Mehendale, Nishank Verma

Bollywood Bubble Rating
Tribhanga Movie Review
What’s It About
Tribhanga revolves around a dysfunctional family of three women (Tanvi Azmi, Kajol, Mithila Palkar) and their unconventional life choices. The title is derived from an Indian classical dance pose, Odissi, which is described as imperfect but beautiful quite like the lives of the three women. Will the three women have a coming of age moment in their respective lives? Will the three be able to work things out and live happily with each other in their personal space? Well, for that you will have to watch the movie.

What’s Hot
Renuka Shahane, you’re the star of this project. What layered writing and what an aesthetic direction! Wow! The way Renuka has written the three central characters of women, along with the character of the writer penning the biography, shows great attention to detail and makes one wonder about how well she knows the human psyche. From a film star (Kajol) abusing a writer (Kunaal Roy Kapur) in pretty much every frame to a journalist stating a star’s (Kajol) arrival in hospital in an Odissi outfit as a fancy dress, the writing nails the nuances of how a star is perceived in the today’s world. At the same time, the daughter’s (Kajol) realisation that she was no different in raising her daughter (Mithila Palkar) than her own mom (Tanvi Azmi) has been depicted beautifully. At the same time, the hard-hitting truth about how one shouldn’t hold grudges against near-and-dear ones as no one knows what conversation could be the last for anyone is a shown with class and utter panache. It’s very difficult to hold on to your tears towards the climax of the movie when the coming of age happens, and you’re left wondering at the sheer genius of the writing. Superb job Renuka.

We all have heard our parents say to us, “You’ll realise when you have your own son/daughter, and they will do the exact same thing to you.” Tanvi Azmi, Kajol and Mithila Palkar’s performance personify this statement in BOLD. The three women may have had their own fallacies in their personal lives, but they always loved the other one, and that’s what these three stellar actresses bring to the table. Even though Kajol has the lion’s share of the screenspace, Tanvi Azmi and Mithila Palkar’s character also stand out in the minimal screentime they have.

I wonder always why Kunaal Roy Kapur doesn’t do that many films, as he definitely should. While he is always known as the funny guy, he manages to bring laughter and emotional touch at the same time in a very nuanced way in this story. His portrayal of the writer penning a biography of a senior writer, whom he considers as a god, is so very authentic.

What’s Not
I am just left wondering about the men in the movie, except Kunaal Roy Kapur, who are left to pick up the bits and pieces of the women they love and care about. While Kajol’s fascination towards Odissi has been justified, there is hardly much explanation about why her brother (Vaibhav Tatwawaadi) turned towards Krishna. At the same time, not much has been explained or rather explored about Kajol’s relation with Manav Gohil. Kanwaljeet Singh, who’s always a delight onscreen is also reduced to just a couple of scenes. Least to get mentioned was Mithila Palkar’s husband, who was hardly even shown during the one scene which he had, where his and Mithila’s marriage discussion was happening. Could have shown the men slightly more.

What I absolutely love about Tribhanga is the perspicacious, non-judgemental treatment of relationships. We have so often seen that in order to show the shyness of Indian relations, filmmakers often end up going to exaggerated lengths to prove their point. Renuka Shahane with Tribhanga has an unapologetic treatment for women’s inherent desire to make a mark for themselves in a patriarchal society. At the same time longing for normal family life is also a personal choice that a woman can make, and she shouldn’t be judged for that at all. Does longing for these make a woman selfish and self-absorbed? Or does that mean that she is actually being true to her own self desires? Renuka Shahane’s Tribhanga doesn’t answer that and lets the viewer decide it for themselves. Also, you will end up starting to see your mothers as human beings, and not the godly being who can never do any mistakes in her life.

I don’t remember the last time I cried this much watching a movie. Probably it was The Sky Is Pink. Tribhanga is a definite MUST WATCH. I am going with 4 stars.

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