‘Tribhanga’ movie review: Of mothers, daughters and then some

Renuka Shahane’s family drama on Netflix has its intentions in the right place, but falls short of expectations

How often do we see stories of women on-screen, especially told by a woman? It is rare. What is even rarer is when the story is told right. In Tribhanga – Tedhi Medhi Crazy, writer-director Renuka Shahane, a well-known actor herself, attempts at making an emotional drama around three generations of women. But while the plot seem pitch-perfect, the narration falls short of expectations. Even the lead actors fumble while pushing the storyline forward.

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Tribhanga – Tedhi Medhi Crazy is essentially a story about a family; three women, their struggles and aspirations. Tanvi Azmi is Nayantara, an acclaimed writer and mother of Anuradha (enacted by Kajol). Anuradha, a Bollywood actor-dancer, is as complex and fierce as her mother and also a single mother. Mithali Palkar, who is playing Masha (Anuradha’s daughter), is different from the rest of the women in her family. She is a housewife who is willing to comprise on anything to have the “normal” life that she was deprived of.

‘Tribhanga’: Mother knows best?

 

Or as the maker herself explains through the language of dance: Nayantara is Abhanga, a slightly mad genius; Mashsa is Samabhanga, completely balanced; and Anuradha is skewed and weird, she is Tribhanga. A brain stroke that puts Nayantara in a coma then forces the broken family to reunite and deal with their differences.

Tribhanga

  • Director: Renuka Shahane
  • Cast: Kajol, Tanvi Azmi, Mithila Palkar, Kunaal Roy Kapur
  • Duration: 95 mins
  • Storyline: When her estranged mother falls into a coma, a self-made single mother grapples with regret and resentment while reflecting on their strained relationship.

The film however incorporates multiple elements – there is sexual assault, domestic violence, and professional aspirations – to justify the sour dynamics between the central characters. The intensity of the sensitive subject matters ends up weakening the otherwise sincere storyline.

The brilliant Tanvi Azmi holds your attention and Mithali is pleasantly present in the limited screen-time she has. It is however a dull Kunaal Roy Kapur and often artless Kajol who appear out of place.

Early on in the film, Kunaal Roy Kapur as Milan (a writer who is helping Nayantara on her autobiography), describes Anuradha as, “rude and stony-hearted.” What he misses adding is that she is also a tad bit irritating. 15 minutes into the movie, I was desperately waiting for a subtle Kajol. All her emotions seemed heightened, and in most parts, she appears to be trying too hard to be believable.

However, as we inch towards the finale, the actor returns to her luminous self. Watch out for a beautifully-enacted segment between Anuradha and her mother Nayantara, where the fragile frugality of emotions is heartfelt. If only there were more such scenes to root for…

Tribhanga – Tedhi Medhi Crazy is now streaming on Netflix

 

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