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Tribhanga Movie Review - Third Generation

Tribhanga has strong leads but an ineffective treatment.  


If Tribhanga - Tedhi Medhi Crazy were a person, she (not he because this is a women-centric film) would have a sanctimonious personality. Come wearing glasses near her, and she would label you as a nerd. You may be suffering from weak eyesight, but she wouldn't care for an explanation. Take Anuradha/Anu (Kajol), who loathes writer Milan (Kunaal Roy Kapur), and the justification given for it is merely that he - wait for it - speaks in Hindi! Time for a trivia: Kunaal Roy Kapur starred in a film titled Hotel Milan. Anu is irritated by the fact that he employs Shuddh Hindi instead of using common words. For example, replacing "gaali" with "apashabd." Later, Anu accuses "grandfather-grandfarter types" of being cruel-hearted personalities who "keep imposing their appalling, regressive mentality on you." She is talking about her daughter's in-laws. The daughter is Masha, played by Mithila Palkar, and she is asked by her in-laws to get a gender determination test. When Anu comes to know about it, she begins the mentioned accusations. 

Sure, it's not fair to solicit for the test, but ranting on the entire family's character is insolent, considering the scene where the mother-daughter goes for proposing the marriage. The in-laws appear to be modern enough to welcome a girl with no father and cool enough to take Anu's words in the most light-hearted way possible. They don't even ask for dowry. What's orthodox is their appearance (women cover their heads). Why can't Anu believe Masha when she says that they are a very kind and loving people? In this scenario, you see Shahane deriving from real life. She may have witnessed these "grandfather-grandfarter types" as villains around her. However, in a film, you must have vindications before arriving at an interpretation. You cannot dust away from your real-life examinations with the help of a monologue. Passing judgments based on a single flaw is folly. Frankly, these things are very complicated, and the main problem with Tribhanga is that it's not ready to take up the weight of these issues.     

Since Milan is decent and soft-spoken, the screenplay translates him into someone who has not experienced love or sex. If there were a scene at a club, he would be sitting in the corner. Anu questions why couldn't Milan be "normal." You know, why speak in such pure Hindi? Well, did she consider maybe this is his "normal?" Of course not. She goes on to inform him about the pleasures of fuck. Not in that way, you dirty minds. I am referring to the word. She tells him to close his eyes, imagine the Taj Mahal, and say the F-word. You can see the discomfort on his face, but the film makes him believe he is tasting rapture. The other men, too, in Tribhanga, are not so appealing. Some lack a spine (do not clash with their family), some lack humanity (heard of molesters?), and the remaining are stodgy (look at Manav Gohil's character). The most irksome of the lot is Anu's brother, Robindro (Vaibhav Tatwawaadi). His preaching on spirituality is as shallow as an inspiring Insta post. He says things that your uncle or father pass on to you after attending a priest for the first time. His profession remains a mystery. From the outside, he gives an impression of being a pandit but then during a conversation, Anu says, "tum na, baba ya guru ban jaao." So, what does he do now? Or is it a sarcastic remark? If this is a joke, then what about that scene where Robindro vents one of his "saintly talks" when asked for an interview? Was he mocking Milan?

According to Tribhanga, an artist is mad and cannot thrive in a domestic setting. Nayan (Tanvi Azmi), Anu's mother, is a writer. Flashback to a young (and married) Nayan shows a busy - extremely busy - woman who is so involved in her writing that she continues inking the paper despite the nagging and commotion around her. Looking at her dedication, it seems she will continue even if an earthquake strikes. Nayan embodies a conventional perception of a writer, someone who continuously keeps on writing like a maniac. Without taking a break. Nayan resembles that GIF of Jim Carrey banging the keyboard. The reason behind this representation is to arrive at the fight that becomes the reason for the separation. She packs her luggage and kids and leaves the house. We don't see Nayan again writing with devotion. That's clear because the zeal was reserved for the break-up. The other artists come with their own peculiarities. A photographer is turned into a monster, a benign painter disbelieves in the concept of settling down with a partner. You cannot be a "normal" artist in Tribhanga. You need to possess some quirks. Why, Tribhanga also has some of the worst school teachers committed to the screen. All of them are quite insensitive. 

The trio - Kajol, Azmi, and Palkar - are fine actresses. Kajol's character is a well-known actress and a professional Odissi performer. She both shouts and goes silent as per the film's requirement. Azmi beautifully brings out the pain of an anguished mother. Watch her - after an argument - when she tries being "careful" while handling Anu's baby. But let's talk about the sweet Mithila Palkar. Since her lead role in Karwaan, Palkar has been continually proving herself to be a magnetic presence. If the film fails (Chopsticks), she makes it watchable through her endearing expressions. A great actor inside her is waiting for a chance (and the right director) to dazzle the audience. It's not easy to steal the spotlight from seasoned actors, but Palkar manages to do it. Notice her in the scene where Masha and Milan go to Anu's dad. As others speak their lines, your focus keeps falling back on her even when she does nothing but sits quietly. Or see her going neck and neck with Kajol as she defends her in-laws. 

All this makes it more depressing to see them in a film with a misguided morality. Tribhanga holds the flag of feminism and shouts slogans in praise of women but at the cost of sacrificing the opposite gender. First, we need to brush up on our definition of feminism. It's not about placing the females in a higher position. It's about equality. If it is a patriotic film, the enemy is totally soaked in villainy. Not a single character from beyond is given human qualities. In the same way, these "women empowerment" films paint all the men as sinners. Somewhere, a voice is "reminding" me that Tribhanga is about the three generations of women and their journey to reach an understanding between each other. To be honest, this aspect is diminished in front of a facet that focuses on women's emancipation.

Occasionally, you will find good males in such movies, but they are uninteresting and their parts almost non-existent. Is this a kind of revenge from the female filmmakers, revolting against years of negligence given to the role of a heroine in our films? We have often come across this line while reading reviews of a mainstream film, "[insert name of an actress] can be replaced with a stone." Whatever be the reason, flipping roles will do no good to our cinema. Why not invent a script that pays equal respect to both genders while still carrying the message of empowerment? Alas, we are a long way from getting a mainstream film made in this fashion. For now, my pitch would be met with flummoxed faces and a big "fuck!"     

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from Movie Reviews https://moviesinmydna.blogspot.com/2021/01/tribhanga-movie-review-third-generation.html
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