Tribhanga: Tedhi Medhi Crazy
Cast: Kajol, Tanvi Azmi, Mithila Palkar
Director: Renuka Shahane
Estranged relationships, humanising women and retrospection are some heavy terms that went around when Netflix announced its latest release -- Tribhanga: Tedhi Medhi Crazy. Given the cast of Kajol, Tanvi Azmi and Mithila Palkar, film’s director Renuka Shahane was anticipated to pull off the tricky task of making an impactful and layered film, however, it didn’t turn out as planned.
At 1 hour 30 minutes, Tribhanga oscillates between past and present as Milan (Kunaal Roy Kapur) interviews award-winning author Nayantara Apte (Tanvi Azmi). Kajol plays Nayan’s daughter Anuradha, who is a foul-mouthed, controversial celebrity. She is also a protective single mother to Masha (Mithila Palkar). Nayan suffers a brain stroke and Anu, who doesn’t have a very cordial relationship with her, rushes to be by her mother’s side and so does Masha. It is in the hospital that they get to think about the debatable decisions of their lives.
Nayan is an ambitious author who prioritised her career over her husband. Seeing her predicaments with a failed marriage, Anu reasons being a single mother can be a solution to all the complications. But for Masha, neither works. Her controversial mother has been the reason of her miserable childhood and hence she wants to be a dedicated family woman.
The three generations are antithetical who question and challenge the rigid traditional interpretations of women in our patriarchal society but they appear very much alike. They have seen their preceding generations struggling to adjust themselves between being rebels and ideal mothers and don’t want to be like them. But they end up being the same.
The film shows the complex past of these women and how they are rethinking about it but what do they do about it? The film never answers that. You desperately wait for the closure but you don’t find it. It simply refuses to move ahead. Because the duration of the film is rather short, you don’t realise when an hour and a half passed away, but Tribhanga fails to hold attention.
Tribhanga scores 100 on 100 on the relatability factor. One can certainly make a connection and relay to the thought process of these characters. But it is very short-lived because their actions seem impractical. You want to empathise longer, step into their shoes and reason with them but they lack agency and often appear superficial and confused.
The problem is not with the actors. Azmi as the composed Nayan is phenomenal and it is nostalgic to see Kajol with her Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham energy albeit feminist avatar, it is the execution that limits the film in general. It starts a conversation around humanising relationships and tries to build a narrative asking viewers to stop putting them on a pedestal but it doesn’t lead them there.
The thought behind Tribhanga deserves attention, but the film? Not so much.