Thappad: A slap on misogynism and it’s acceptance of normalisation. Taking to the path of inner realization of a woman.
Thappad Review: The perfect life of Amrita, an over-ambitious husband Vikram, a loving mother-in law. The faultless family, everything Amrita ever wanted. She took shape into the family as smooth as silk and enjoys her daily household tasks. She seems nothing more that what resembles our next door neighbour. And one day, her perfect life took a topsy turn when her husband slaps her, in their house party. NORMAL, isn’t it. Something that can be kept under the house walls, not unusual, happens with almost every woman. So what, the husband was stressed, hit his wife in a fit. No big deal, it happens and is normally forgotten.
No, the perfect homemaker, Amrita played by Taapsee Pannu raises a question here, “Thappad, Nahi maar sakta”. And, that’s what this movie drives forward its continuity of female sensitization. It does not just talk about a slap but the generalised idea and acceptance of men holding a right of suppression over women.
It’s not the exalted drama of domestic abuse but a subtle family story connecting with the masses. It stresses how common it is in our society for women to undergo violence and stay mum about it.
Amrita, the doting wife maintaining her duties around her husband, Vikram played by Pavail Gulati and mother-in law, Tanvi Azmi. Taapsee Pannu submerged herself into the act of living the character. Starting in the morning, waking up her husband, getting his breakfast ready, handing him his wallet, bottle, she is doing what a typical house wife does. She is doing it every single day without fail making his husband’s life her own. The labour she puts in is very conveniently over-looked by her husband who is occupied by his professional work. The characterisation of Vikram is of every haughty man we see around and is not overdone with his arrogance until challenged by a female. The characterisation of Amrita heavily portrays on our lives and all who we meet. Her unrelenting loyalty towards her people, curbing her own desires for her family. She is indeed a character epitome of every Indian Bahu.
Thappad- The story, as understood by the trailer is not just about a slap, but what follows after that.
Vikram, in a vex slaps Amrita and never apologises to her. Her mother-in law asks her to hold herself up as this is a family matter. The shallowness in the humane side of characters is overpowering and Amrita cannot come to terms with what shatters her dignity. What follows in her life is the transition from being the never questioning jovial doting homemaker to understanding her real self. This transition allows the characters around her to evolve too. What is sterling is the how the parts are clearly written and woven together.
Thappad, a movie redirecting our society:
Director Anubhav Sinha, has picked the right nerve in radiating every plot of the drama. Taapsee Pannu’s self-realization from being the stay at home ardent wife to someone who questions the right of physical abuse of a an over his spouse. Even, if that happened once. She resists the societal norms of why, even once. The strong yet undecorated manner in which she speaks “Thappad, Nahi maar sakta”. The muscle of a simple line, “No, he can’t hit me, not even once” is so empowering.
The journey she takes, is accompanied by various characters who do not fall flat with the main storyline. They too are forced to question their stance on violence of every sort they are battling in their personal lives.
Thappad Cast- The house maid Sunita, played by Geetika who is regularly assaulted by her husband but considers this her fate.
The lawyer Netra Jaisingh played by Maya Sarao, the one who stands up for female rights but is battling one at her own house. The portrayal of Amrita’s father Sachin played by Kumud Mishra. His feminist approach towards his daughter is questioned by the patriarchal approach towards her wife, Sandhya played by Ratna Pathak. Diya Mirza, playing the next door neighbour, playing a single mother who is successful professionally has her own charm and importance to the story.
Thappad, is an enlightenment for women who assume stay quiet of any assault is the right choice because that’s what our society says. It is a call to not be bound by the shackles.
Taapsee Pannu has not surprised us with the choice of movies to her kitty. Pink, was her stellar performance and Thappad is her subtle answer to cinema. Streaming on Amazon Prime, you can watch Thappad, bus itni si baat? with prime membership.