'Tribhanga' review: Kajol-starrer film is beautifully layered
Tribhanga is full of surprises. Given its modest setting, you don't expect much from it. But it astonishes you. Renuka Shahane has directed this rare drama that comes across as authentic, enjoyable and profound, all in equal measure. Even as the film has its shortcomings, it is totally worthwhile. Here is our review.
Nayantara Apte (Tanvi Azmi), a renowned author who has had a turbulent personal life, is in the middle of cracking cynical jokes about life and death in an interview, when she suffers a stroke and slips into a comma. The incident brings out a plethora of mixed emotions and dark memories for her estranged daughter, Anuradha 'Anu' Apte (Kajol) and granddaughter Masha (Mithila Palkar).
Its setting is not the astonishing bit about Tribhanga. In fact, most of the film takes place around medical equipment, inside a hospital. Its strength lies in its characters, who despite being popular writers and film stars, are human and believable to the core. And, it is our ability to connect and empathize with them that makes us want to stick around.
Within a few minutes into the movie, Tribhanga captures your attention and rarely lets go of it. In spite of its simplistic plot, it surprisingly manages to make you go through a range of emotions. This family drama will make you laugh as well as weep, just like families do. Importantly, the movie touches upon various issues without rushing through any of them.
Tribhanga is a balanced tale that appreciates the viewpoints of all its characters without judging them. It is admirable the movie shows its people in a manner that they are understandable, but refuses to glamorize them at the same time. Further, it tells their story with a clear-eyed approach without tilting toward melodrama. However, the film could potentially feel lengthy to some.
Tribhanga is essentially a performance-oriented film. Fortunately, it is blessed with a brilliant cast. Kajol, as a troubled daughter longing for her mother's love, steals the show all the way. She delivers a supremely nuanced yet enjoyable performance, lending the much-needed spark and chutzpah to the movie in that process. There is never a dull moment as long as she is in the frame.
Just like the characters in it, Tribhanga has its flaws. But they are not so sinful that they cannot be forgiven. With its simplistic storyline, layered narrative and amazing performances, the movie is a delight to watch. It is a celebration of womanhood, and families, however imperfect they might be. This one should not be missed. Final rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.