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‘Ribbon’ Movie Review: A Film Throbbing With Realism

The tone is non-judgemental, and we can relate to ‘Ribbon’, even if we haven’t experienced any of it first-hand.

Updated
Movie Reviews
2 min read
Sumeet Vyas and Kalki Koechlin play a young urban couple coping with the news of pregnancy in <i>Ribbon</i>.
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It’s an absolute pleasure being a fly on the wall of the small apartment of this young couple that is bang in the middle of the maddening Mumbai crowd. Karan and Sahana are as much in love as they are comfortable fighting or disagreeing with each other!

It’s refreshing, the way the characters are allowed to breathe and the number of unsolicited but welcome trips the narrative takes, foraying into the path less travelled, touching on topics we rarely get to see in commercial big-budget Bollywood films.

Karan and Sahana are both working and so, an impending pregnancy threatens to change the status quo beyond recognition, which both understand but differ in their willingness to accept.

Motherhood is laid threadbare and there is talk about discomfort and mounting expenses. From changing nappies and finding the right nanny to handling work and money and EMI’s that warrant the salaries of both the partners.

Acutely intimate in these details, the unobtrusive camera work gives us an unvarnished sketch of a working couple who must fight for the moments they can actually be a family in.

There is gender discrimination at workplace, the horrors that we must fight to keep our children safe. They say it takes a village to bring up a child but in a hard-pressed city life, where individuals are lurking around like stubborn icebergs, how does one become aware of the dangers that lie underneath?

The narrative tone is non-judgemental with such honest emotional truth that we can relate to them even if we haven’t experienced it first-hand.
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For a film throbbing with such realism, the casting is spot on!

Sumeet Vyas, who was catapulted to fame and critical acclaim after his web series Permanent Roommates, is impressively measured as the young husband and father Karan, trying to forever control things and circumstances that routinely overwhelm him.

Along with him, the astonishingly talented Kalki Koechlin as Sahana trying to achieve that elusive work life balance is a delight, as usual, lifting up a whole scene without so much as uttering a word.

First-time director Rakhee Sandilya, who has also co-written the film along with Rajeev Upadhyay, must be credited for plunging headlong into a story that has so many layers.

However, as the film enters darker territory post-interval, the sudden change in the tone and cadence of the narrative seems abrupt. The plot wobbles and the focused screenplay becomes skewed and unbalanced, somewhere leaving us hungry for more. But for everything that it gets right, especially its beautiful portrayal of modern-day relationships, Ribbon must be seen and pondered over.

3.5 QUINTS out of 5.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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