Exactly half a century back, Kapoor khandan had made the film Kal Aaj Aur Kal (1971). Featuring the three generations of the real life Kapoor khandaan (Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor), it was about the difference of opinion and then coming together of the three men separated by a couple of decades or so.
Something similar is seen in Tribhanga, except for the fact that while Kal Aaj Aur Kal was a commercial entertainer with family aspects interspersed well into it, this Tanvi Azmi, Kajol and Mithila Palkar starrer is more in a niche zone while catering to the elite. While Tanvi Azmi is the lady whom her daughter Kajol detests for certain reasons, the youngest of the lot Mithila has some grudges up her sleeves as well, something that she doesn’t show as much as her mother.
The cards are laid right at the onset when the granny collapses with a drink in her hands, even as her biographer Kunaal Roy Kapur looks at it all in a perplexed manner. Pretty much believing himself to be the ‘responsible’ member of the family after spending months with the lady, he channelises his inner Amol Palekar from Golmaal with his ‘shuddh Hindi’ and ‘shisht vyavahaar’ without really putting it all on for effect.
The lady whom he is now going to interact for rest of the film is anything but ‘shisht’ though. A foul mouthed actress past her prime, cuss words come naturally to her and that too in ‘shuddh Hindi’ with the choicest of words reserved for anyone who crossed her way. It’s just that it is heartbreaking to see Kajol indulge in this language, especially since you relate to her as a classy woman that you have known in real as well as reel life. Here, even after been established that she is a no-nonsense woman who uses the expression of ‘Fu&@‘ instead of ‘Love’ while admiring Taj Mahal, director Renuka Shahane, who is again known for her cultured representation of anything coming from her, doesn’t apply brakes.
The core story though has a soothing feel to it with a smooth effect, something that you realise all the more when the film proceeds. You start taking sides of the characters, which is a good win from the writing perspective as at times you believe in how Tanvi Azmi acts while an on the other end you empathise with the manner in which Kajol reacts. After all, a relationship is always a bit ‘teda meda’, something that the Odissi dance mudra ‘Tribhanga’ represents and that’s something you relate to all the more towards the concluding moments when Mithila’s story comes to the fore.
‘Kyunki beti bhi kabhi maa hogi’ – That’s what Renuka tells rather smartly in this rather offbeat film that does come to the point eventually after taking a route of its own, something which is not without its hiccups though but ultimately aims to narrate something noble. In that aspect, it is good to see the team of producers (Ajay Devgn, Parag Desai, Deepak Dhar, Rishi Negi, Siddharth P Malhotra, Sapna Malhotra) coming together to create this 90 minutes odd tale that has been designed as a Netflix film.
There are a few other characters added to the tale as well, but the actor who makes a larger impression other than the principle cast is Vaibhav Tatwawaadi (playing Kajol’s brother) who uses his spiritual mumbo-jumbo to good use when he has to come out of the tricky situations. Talking about the family, a good part of it that is set in the early 80s is almost entirely in Marathi, which means one has to concentrate on the subtitles as well to follow the narrative.
That said, you don’t have to get distracted by anything else whenever Kajol comes back on the scene. Effervescent as ever and remarkably turning back the clock to the 90s in the looks department when the story moves back to that era, she makes one sigh all over again that this is an actress who is still out there ready to play the leading lady roles.
Can she be more prolific please?