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Monday, March 1, 2021
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Tribhanga Movie Review: The Ripple Effect Of Choices


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Review Overview

Gender Metre
General Metre
Production Values


The Ripple Effect Of Choices

Actress Renuka Shahane makes her debut as writer-director with a triple layer of women.

It is when grandma and celebrated writer Nayantara Apte (Tanvi Azmi) slips into a coma that her interplay with her daughter, film star and Odissi dancer Anuradha begins to revolve around her bed in a special hospital suite.

Gently prodding the equation to change shape is Nayan’s biographer Milan (Kunal Roy Kapur) who gets a heap of abuses from the abrasive actress. It’s a neat ploy to use, to have Milan’s recordings of Nayan’s inner feelings speak for her in the heated debates with Anu.

As a renowned writer who needed her independence and space, Nayan has made choices in her personal life, little realising the effect they would have on her two children, Anu and her brother Robindro. Especially Anu who is scarred by one of her brother’s boyfriends and by the taunts of an insensitive teacher in the classroom. She has grown up unable to forgive her mother for making her life a living hell. And Milan gets much of that ire as he continues to visit Nayan, Anu and Robindro.

With them is also Anu’s pregnant daughter Masha (Mitali Parkar), milder and less feisty, an antithesis to her mother and grandmother. It is when Anu is horrified by Masha’s choice of marrying and staying in a traditional joint family that she’s confronted by the ripple effects of the options she has picked for herself all her life. Just as Nayan’s lifestyle had trickled down to wound Anu. 

It’s a thought to ponder on and Renuka changes the dynamics of each equation deftly, reflected also in Anu softening towards Milan. 

There are swift swipes at the paparazzi that follows Anu around including a headline about her dramatic costume when visiting her estranged mother in hospital. Interrupted during an Odissi dance performance by her mother’s sudden brain stroke, Anu had rushed to the hospital without pausing to change. The ‘dramatic costume’ goes viral all day. 

But those are asides. The focus is on the three generations of Nayan, Anu and Masha, their unapologetic choices and the fallouts of the lifestyle each has chosen. None of it is perfect, they have their repercussions. 

What is perfect is Renuka’s own choice of three strong actresses, Tanvi Azmi, Kajol and Mitali Parkar, all three playing their parts with professional comfort. Especially Kajol at the centre who goes from abuse spewing badtameez celebrity to becoming an emotionally driven daughter and mother. She holds it together as any substantial centre should. 

Although you know that wounds will be bandaged and healed by the end of the film, it is an emphatic statement that Renuka makes with her three women. Tribhanga will be a welcome addition in the gender sensitive atmosphere that prevails in cinema today. 

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