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Tribhanga review: Complicated, touching, but doesn’t quite work

Writer-director Renuka Shahane’s Tribhanga tells a complicated, touching story of incredible mothers and daughters; but it doesn’t quite work



Tribhanga: Tedhi Medhi Crazy

Tribhanga: Tedhi Medhi Crazy

Director: Renuka Shahane

Cast: Kajol, Tanvi Azmi, Mithila Palkar

Streaming on: Netflix

Tribhanga is a tale of imperfect and complex mothers and daughters. Playing these characters are Kajol, Tanvi Azmi and Mithila Palkar. Kajol’s Anu is at the center of it all. She refers to herself as Tribhanga; a pose in odyssey dance form. Anu is a Bollywood diva, an Odyssey dancer. She cusses liberally, speaks her mind and shares a bitter bond with her mother Nayan (Tanvi Azmi); a renowned novelist.

All three women are drastically different from each other with their share of troubled past, one often a result of another. These characters are a result of the choices of their parents, especially mother. Writer-director Renuka Shahane tries to put together many issues that women face domestically and socially. She succeeds in parts but things don’t quite work out wholly to give us a rewarding viewing experience.

Also read: Sir review: Maid to perfection!

When Nayan suffers a brain stroke and goes into a coma, Anu is confronted about the past by her Milan (Kunal Roy Kapur) an author who is writing Nayan’s autobiography. Anu is still bitter about her mother in spite of her being in a coma. As Anu recollects her memories and later speaks to Milan, many secrets, rather unspoken things are revealed. The characters use each other as bouncing boards or mirrors to reflect upon themselves.

Kajol as the firebrand Anu gets all the meaty material. Tanvi Azmi’s Nayan is gracefully and achingly inspiring. These two are ably supported by Mithila Palkar, Kunal Roy Kapur and Vaibhav Tattvawaadi as Robindro (Anu’s brother). Shahane’s writing flirts with the danger of being preachy but sometimes that’s the only way left to put across certain things, I suppose.

Also read: Kajol opens up on her honest and opinionated character in her latest Netflix film Tribhanga

What Tribhanga struggles with is the cohesiveness that’s needed to have a dramatic and emotional impact on the viewer. It doesn’t do much for you besides just sharing journeys of these women. The one and a half hour narrative seems rushed. It leaves you wanting for more; but not in a good way. Needed some more time and depth to get sunk into the story of these incredible women. Will recommend watching Renuka Shahane’s brilliant Marathi film Rita (2009) starring Pallavi Joshi.