“Congratulations, you’re pregnant!” these words are wonderfully magical and nothing less than a blessing to a common understanding but in the metropolitan urban world of smart phones and sleek wheels, this can be a jolt to a top performer in the corporate world like Sahana Mehra (Kalki Koechlin) she is no doubt loving, caring and a responsible human being but not quite ready for the greatest feeling on earth.
Sahana rushes to her life partner civil engineer Karan Mehra (Sumeet Vyas), the calm and composed Karan displays understanding of her sentiments and while hiding his happiness as his desire to be a father is going to be fulfilled. Karan assures Sahana that they should have a ‘civil’ discussion over the matter but later as he is presently ‘committed’ to his work. Sahana rightly objects.
Later, the couple is experiencing the joy of parenthood through a hazy monitor as the gynecologist is showing them the movements of their child. A bitter sweet exploration of love, life and relationships laced with the complication of unprepared parenthood twined with pressures of work, competition and zest for survival in the metropolitan city like Mumbai, RIBBON – Rakhee Sandilya’s debut feature is realistically knotted rare coming-of-age and parenthood saga.
Beguiling right from the beginning with instances lifted straight from the life of a young working urban couple, RIBBON ties the complexities of relationship with coming of parenting to a palatable effect underlining the arc of Rakhee
Sandilya as a ‘real’ story teller with a natural flow who knows her characters, their graph and the target audience in this neatly realized dramatic work that is further nuanced by brilliant performance by Kalki Koechlin and Sumeet Vyas who dive into the deep end of commitment to their roles for the winning effect.
A fiction based on hard facts of daily life, RIBBON demands good exposure and with the muscle of Eros International this rare relationship indie should enjoy patronage from the concern audience.
It’s a film about growing up made for grown-ups, RIBBON also throws light on the gender discrimination and how pregnancy can result in demotion for a top performer like Sahana Mehra and the uncertainties in Emi struck life’s of Sahana and Karan’s of today. Right from finding the right nanny to a reliable play school to a better job and some time with your valentine. It probes and asks questions.
What if Karan could have stayed, it must be the bad luck for both Sahana and the Nanny that day when the nanny was caught entertaining her family and leaving the nappy of Sahana’s daughter dirty, and it could have been the first time for the nanny.
The writers Rakhee Sandilya and Rajeev Upadhyay make a clever use of metaphor in certain cases, the under construction site where Karan works preaching the already jostling concrete jungle of Mumbai serves as the couple zest to make a space on their own when the audience see Sahana and Karan together. The deftly handled touchy scene when Sahana losses the job and Karan consoles her with a hug while the baby is sitting behind the back seat of the car unaware in her cute innocence. The restricted silence with a subtle worry on the face of Karan while he munches those fries and says ‘we will be fine’ and Sahana’s initial shock followed by a loving address to her daughter says it all. The writers have manipulated us earlier by showing a scene when Karan borrows money from his friend. The loss of job also makes us worry and we also wonder how Karan will manage. This is nothing less than a triumph for the writer and the director; they both have successfully made the audience react with the lead characters individually feeling their pain, joy and excitement.
As the characters are dealing with their emotional complexities, a sudden dark twist holds your breath. You feel disturbed and the question where is our child safe keeps on echoing with a chorus. Here Karan and Sahana burst out with their hidden feeling towards each other. Strangely it begins to threaten the well-earned compassion for the film but thankfully it is brought back warmly and sweetly without making any statements underlining the importance of togetherness in any situation. The open end that also hints at a new beginning RIBBON rightly abstains from being over dramatic and preachy.
Performances are of high order over here, Kalki Koechlin ups her ante as an actress who gets into the skin with effortless ease. A considerable shift from her bohemian free wiling avatars, Kalki Koechlin as Sahana Mehra turns out to be the ideal choice. From getting mushy mushy with her husband, to the firm mother who discards her nanny by finding a mistake, Kalki has given a brilliant performance arguably her best till date.
The talented Permanent Roommates fame Sumeet Vyas is the actor that has the rare talent to convey most from his eyes and subtle silence. Calm composed and just perfect Sumeet plays the part of Sahana’s husband with controlled nuance, the time when he loose his cool and displays his hidden Delhi aggression and he way he just consoles Sahana in different situations shows the amount of potential the actor has.
Technically fine with good production values. RIBBON is captured by Vikram Amladi in the required element. Rajeev Upadhyay’s editing is fine.
All said and done, showcasing good talents on screen and off screen, RIBBON is a bitter sweet and rare adage on complexities in relationship and unprepared parenting that can be a story of any doting young working parent in any metropolitan city.