Mothers are also daughters, and wives, and women and after all those labels, individuals. Tribhanga looks at characters who challenge this societal order of responsibilities. It brings the story of few non-conformist women who chose to be their own selves first.
Tribhanga explores the dynamics of a dysfunctional family through the lens of women of different three generations. Nayantara (Tanvi Azmi) is an acclaimed writer and mother of Anuradha (Kajol). Anuradha is an actor/dancer, a fierce independent single mother. Masha (Mithila Palkar) is unlike her mother or grandmother and is willing to make compromises to have a ‘normal’ family life.
When Nayantara falls into a sudden coma, the broken pieces of this family are forced to come together and face their long standing differences. The film takes us through flashbacks of the lives of these women to explain their existing bitterness. The script tries to deal with multiple subjects like sexual assault, domestic violence, pregnancy out of wedlock and more. Too many sensitive issues crammed into one story makes it a bit heavy to consume also severely damaged relationship and personal issues are resolved too quickly because there is another problem in line to be dealt with. But the cast and their heartfelt performances try their best to keep us glued through this emotional saga.
Renuka Shahane through her directorial debut in Hindi asks some pertinent questions like – What can be considered as right parenting? Why must living life on your own terms come at a cost? Why should ambitious women make for bad mothers? There is no right answer though, there are just these characters who attempt to normalise the less explored dimensions of women.
With all the heavy lifting, Tribhanga falls into its own trap at places. The two supposedly free-spirited women must smoke, drink and cuss a lot and the conventional daughter must wear salwar kameez and talk softly. This hypocrisy kind of contradicts the whole purpose of the film IMO. I wish it did not have to succumb to these standards of Bollywood (and society) while defining the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ women.
Tanvi Azmi is a pillar who controls the pace and calm of the narrative despite being in coma for most of the screen time. Kajol is loud and border line unbearable and calms down only by second half, which is when you truly start empathising with her character. Mithila Palkar hardly gets much to do, but she does balance the spikes of energy in Kajol.
There is a lot that the film tries to tackle in 2 hrs. Tribhanga has its heart at the right place and is delightful in pieces, but it’s over ambitiousness renders it ineffective.
Going with 2.5/5 for this one.