Verdict: Backed by a brilliant cast and director, Thappad is a silent slap that’ll wake you up.
Praises must be showered on director Anubhav Sinha right who boldly decided to make a movie on ‘just’ one Thappad. Yet, it’s the kind of movie that will awaken your conscience and start a conversation that hopefully translates to change. Thappad starts off with a montage that cuts to a lawyer putting her head out of her Mercedes car while eating orange candy, then to a woman on the bike with her fiance eating orange candy, then to a maid on a bicycle with her husband also trying to enjoy her orange candy. As these scenes play out, you can’t help but think the director so brilliant conveyed his first message so strongly – happiness can be found in something so small whether you are a rich fancy lawyer or a house-help. Sadly, even domestic violence is prevalent irrespective of your social standing.
What’s Thappad About:
Amrita (Taapsee Pannu) is a strong woman who chooses to be a homemaker in spite of being a talented Indian classical dancer. She willingly makes a choice to devote her life to building a home for her and her husband Vikram (Pavail Gulati). Vikram, on the other hand, is very ambitious and focused on achieving his career goals. All is well between the couple, who are also excited to move to London if Vikram is able to secure a promotion. When Vikram gets news about his promotion he and Amrita host a party to celebrate the good news. However, things get ugly at the party when Vikram realizes that due to bad office politics his dreams are being taken away from him. In his anger and frustration, he slaps his wife in front of their families and guests. From this point on, Amrita’s life is shattered but she’s expected to move on, because “sh*t happens“, right? But this line sums up a lot of Amrita’s emotions when she tells Vikram, “Tum apne company mein itne emotionally invested the you could not move on..maine toh apni puri life invest kari hai tumhare saath kaise move on karoon?”
Though Thappad is not based on a true story it may as well be a true story as the director makes this film so relatable. Dialogues like “thoda bardasht karna sikhna chahiye auraton ko” are all too familiar. Another dialogue that strikes hard is, “Thodi bahut maar peet toh expression of love hi hai naa sir?” it’s a line that seeks to shatter the notion that violence is permissible in love, a concept that has been promoted in another recent film. Talking about the actors, Taapsee Pannu is brilliant as Amrita and you can instantly relate to her character. Her relationship with her dad (Kumud Mishra) is absolutely beautiful and heart-warming and we can’t guarantee it won’t make you cry. The supporting cast Ratna Pathak Shah, Tanvi Azmi, and Dia Mirza is terrific and takes the film’s appeal up multiple notches. This extremely well-written drama doesn’t fall into cliched traps but successfully shatters male entitlement.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Nethra (Maya Sarao), who plays the role of Amrita’s lawyer, is slightly underwhelming in her performance. But apart from this, the only thing that can get better is the Indian film industry making more films like Thappad on topics jo hum andekha karke move on karte jate hai.
Why You Should Watch:
Overall, Thappad is a gem of a film that is a silent slap to our society and the ‘yeh sab chalta hai‘, ‘bardasht karo‘ mentality. You will be inspired if not challenged to bring about a positive change. In the post-screening interview director, Anubhav Sinha talked about the need for the narrative to be changed which is why he decided to work on this simple but powerful idea. Watch Thappad with family and friends for it tells a powerful tale that must be heard.
Here’s what the audience had to say about Thappad: