While watching Tribhanga, I repeatedly asked myself, “What is this film trying to convey?”. Sometimes, Renuka Shahane, as a director and scriptwriter, seems to want to rebuke all kinds of conservative views without mercy, but other times, she tends to be tolerant. It was only after a while that I misread the narrative. Top Movie Site
The title refers to the standing position in a traditional Indian dance taken from Sanskrit. “Tri” means “three”, “bhanga” means “position” or “attitude”. Tribhanga tells the story of three generations of women, who take different positions and attitudes in their lives. Whatever attitude and position women take (which is always faced with the stigma of a conservative society), it doesn’t matter as long as it’s their own choice. That’s why this film is impartial. The only thing that goes wrong is when choices are made forcefully.
Anuradha “Anu” Apte (Kajol) is a big Bollywood star who often provokes controversy. Her words are harsh, known to like to change partners, and is also a single mother. His daughter, Masha (Mithila Palkar), married a man from an ancient family, and is now pregnant. Then came the shocking news. Anu’s mother, Nayantara (Tanvi Azmi), falls into a coma due to a stroke.
Anu’s relationship with his mother, who is known as a famous writer, is not good. Because of this difference of opinion, Anu did not call his mother “mother”, but “Nayan”. Before his coma, Nayan was writing his autobiography, with the help of Milan (Kunaal Roy Kapur). Along with the writing process, we are invited to visit the past through flashbacks, which specifically explain the reasons for Anu’s dislike of Nayan. Best Movie
More generally, the flashback highlights generational trauma while interpreting empowerment. Shahane, who seems to mix autobiography (she’s also an actress with a writer’s mother) and fiction, doesn’t offer an easy answer. There were times when I stood beside Nayan, admiring her determination to pursue independence. But Anu’s heartache was clearly understandable. The child will not care how great the mother is through her work and activism. Whether the child feels loved, that’s the main thing.
Making the audience understand, that Anu’s refusal to understand Nayan, and vice versa, Nayan’s failure to understand Anu, was Tribhanga’s goal, and it was successful. Understanding is different from justifying. Understanding means not turning a blind eye to the possible reasons behind a mistake.
Then what about Masha the youngest generation? She symbolizes hope for a new era, where generational trauma ends. When the child’s psyche is free from the “sins” of the parents, while the parents, who finally free themselves from their past trauma, can give total affection, so that the child gets independence from an early age.
The acting of the three actresses also reflects this dynamic. Mithila Palkar is brighter, kinder, open to all possibilities. Kajol was at the center of the conflict, with unresolved anger, so sarcasm and swearing flowed from her mouth. Meanwhile, Tanvi Azmi is calmer, wiser, because she has made peace with herself, admits every mistake she has made.
Personal closeness to the material makes Renuka Shahane understand the emotional points that must be displayed. One big fight between Anu and Nayan appears very heartbreaking, representing the moment when all feelings can no longer be contained. Similarly, the closing scene, which depicts a whole, when the three female protagonists do what they love the most, in one space with their loved ones. That’s where they are whole, either as individuals or part of the family. Movie Review