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Tribhanga Traverses The Difficult Terrains Of Motherhood: Review

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Tribhanga, starring Kajol, Tanvi Azmi and Mithila Palkar, is now streaming on Netflix and it’s the kind of ode to motherhood that we all have been dying to watch. The film tells the story of three generations of women and society’s proclivity to label and judge them no matter what choices they make in their lives. Tribhanga is written and directed by Renuka Shahane, while the production was handled by Ajay Devgn FFilms, Banijay Group Asia and Alchemy Films. And in showing us the different facets of motherhood, an experience which is as strenuous and beautiful as the classical dance pose that the film draws its name from, Tribhanga sets out to prove how there is no perfect way to be a mother.

The Plot

We have Nayantara Apte (Tanvi Azmi), an award-winning author who suffers a brainstroke and has to be rushed to the hospital. There we meet Anuradha (Kajol), Nayan’s daughter who doesn’t seem to share a cordial relationship with her. Anu, as we learn, is a foul-mouthed celebrity with quite some controversies following her. We also meet Anu’s daughter Masha (Mithila Palkar), who is pregnant with her first child. As the plot begins to unfold, we get to see how each woman’s identity in the film is solely built upon the wish of not becoming like her mother. Only to become exactly the same.

Also Read: Here’s Why Detachment Is An Integral Part Of Motherhood

We learn how Nayan had always prioritised her career above everything else and dragged her children along with her as she moved on from one failed marriage to the next. Anu, who had to endure the consequences of her mother’s choices, decided to never marry and instead settle on having a child born out of wedlock. But having being bullied her entire childhood for her mother’s string of boyfriends, Masha chooses to become a family woman, even if the traditional setup borders on being toxic.

An Ode To Motherhood

The film sets out to traverse the difficult terrains of motherhood and ends up asking all the right questions: Who can be considered a good mother? Is she somebody who sacrifices all her needs at the altar of her child’s happiness? Can a mother not have any separate life of her own apart from her child? How can a woman strike the right balance between being a mother and being an individual in her own right? What even is the right balance? That we, as women, derive our identities from our mothers, grandmothers and foremothers is a concept that even modern psychology has ignored, all thanks to its misogynistic underpinnings. Tribhanga is the result of women deciding to tell stories about women, and perhaps that is what makes the film so relatable.

Also Read: Marriage And Motherhood Are Choices, Not Obligations 

That is, of course, not to say that Tribhanga is a perfect film. There’s no doubt that the performances given by the actors are stupendous – it’s a delight to see Kajol filling up the screen once again with her bubbly pre-makeover Anjali energy and Tanvi Azmi brings a depth, a thehrav to her character which only adds to the quality of the plot. But the problem lies in the film’s execution. For a film that is supposed to be about a trinity of women, we hardly see Mithila Palkar in scenes more than a handful. While the script blends in English, Hindi and Marathi, the dialogues fail to provide the necessary impact.

I also felt that 95-minutes was too short to do justice to the thought behind the film and as a consequence, everything felt so rushed that it ended up leaving me in dark about most of the personalities, including the protagonists. But despite the shortcomings, I applaud the makers for bringing to us such an unconventional story. This one’s not to be missed.

Picture Credit: Netflix

Views expressed are the author’s own.

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