Tribhanga - Tedhi Medhi Crazy: Movie Review
Tribhanga - Tedhi Medhi Crazy is famed actress Renuka Shahne’s directorial venture. It stars Kajol as Anu Apte, a trained classical dancer, former actress and all round livewire who spends much of the film in a waiting room tending to her estranged mother “Nayan”tara Apte (Tanvi Azmi) who is in a coma.
Anytime Kajol comes on screen, her effortless acting makes her a breeze to watch and she delivers in this film as well. After years spent watching Kajol as the quintessential Bollywood actor, running around trees, singing songs and playing a romantic lead, to see her now as a crass, foul-mouthed, incredibly natural character was odd to my 90s kid sensibilities, but ultimately rewarding.
The story is told through the lens of writer Milan (Kunaal Roy Kapoor) who is chronicling Nayan’s life as a celebrated author. He at first irritates, and then ingratiates himself to Anu. While waiting in the hospital room, she slowly opens up to him about her difficult childhood - lack of father figure, stability and any kind of emotional support from her mother.
However, in this tale of trauma inherited through generations, the story fails to strike the right chord. When Anu gripes on about her mother’s shortcomings, she comes across as naive and entitled. The incidents of trauma do not justify her hate and the blame lands (oftentimes) misplaced on the mother’s shoulder.
Anu has a moment of clarity when she discovers that her own daughter, Masha (Mithila Palkar) has faced similar challenges. Anu is as oblivious to those as her own mother was and fails to protect her daughter as well. But this revelation is wrapped in toxic patriarchy and therefore is unable to establish a moment of tenderness. It appears to me that every female character in this story blames a woman for the actions of a man. If they’d placed the blame on the feet of the perpetrator, there would have been no issues between them and this movie would have no premise at all. The film misses an opportunity to establish any meaningful commentary about parenthood and rushes along to an expected climax.
The entire cast delivers good performances. Tanvi Azmi is a veteran who portrays the role of a disillusioned writer with silent strength. However, the direction, editing and cinematography are not up to par.
What excites me about a film like Tribhanga is that it allows brilliant actors to expand their range and with OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime willing to take risks, a distribution mechanism is now easily available for films that are not necessarily mainstream. But with great power, comes great responsibility - and the makers of Tribhanga fail to fulfill their responsibilities to the viewer.