Five lessons I took away from Netflix Original film ‘Tribhanga’

Led very ably by Kajol, Tribhanga also stars Tanvi Azmi and Mithila Palkar as women from the same family from three different generations. It’s directed by Renuka Shahane, who is a well-known actress and what she brings to this film is truly something you can only feel when you watch the film.

Watching this yesterday, it took time for me to understand it but the way it unravels is completely fresh and you find the characters grow on you throughout the way their childhoods and past experiences are revealed. However, it’s not in the same way as another movie. It comes towards the end of the film when you realise what the film is trying to portray. I wanted to write down the things I found I took away after watching the film.

Everyone is human
Sometimes we forget that everyone is human, particularly our parents. Tribhanga teaches you that even our mothers are human – can make mistakes in their lives, can understand things later on, can also be a little slow at being forthcoming with their feelings. When Tanvi’s character talks through her autobiography on video to Milan, played by Kunal Roy Kapoor, it reveals things about her and her children bit by bit. And all those parts give you only one feeling at the end… and that is that everyone is human. No matter how much of a pedestal we create for those elder than us, this will always be the truth.

We sometimes blame our personal demons on others
Not entirely sure if this is something that the Asian communities and cultures do but it’s very rare that we deal with our personal traumas head on, according to me. It’s often years later that we deal with our real feelings and think about what effect they’ve had on our lives. It’s not the right thing to do to blame others because everyone has some sort of trauma or demon that they have. It’s similar to say that every person is fighting some sort of battle and we should therefore be kind to all. I personally feel that we should also be encouraged to talk about things and identify feelings early on so that we aren’t left with difficulties later on in life. Tribhanga is a film which shows how resentment and other such negative emotions can creep in after some time.

Our safety nets are often lifelines we hold on to
When Kajol’s character meets her brother, there’s such an obvious warmth they both share and it’s evident straight away. He is her safety net and it’s really intriguing how different she is with him in the entire equation. I think sometimes we forget about the people that are our safety nets and take them for granted. She very obviously didn’t and it made me think that we really shouldn’t in real life.

Don’t judge people for their attempt at an escape route
Mithila Palkar’s character, when she speaks to her mother, and explains that the kind of family she married into is her attempt at having a “normal” life where her child would have a father was an interesting angle to explore in Tribhanga. Although some of the things she mentioned about her mother-in-law and husband’s family wanting a grandson was quite concerning, I think what I took away from that that was her way of coping with the way her childhood was and who are we to judge? This is her way of breaking the cycle.

Good intentions can be overshadowed by personal toxicity
This was a difficult one to fathom but seeing how Kajol’s character behaved to Milan was so frustrating. Not only was she unable to string a sentence together without swearing at him but she didn’t realise that it was her inner toxic feeling towards her mother that was leading the way she was being. This wall came down eventually and things changed but it was a hard lesson to see in a film!

Tribhanga is now streaming on Netflix. Go watch it!
Much love,
AT x

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