Thappad- A Slap on Patriarchy
I don't know how to write movie reviews and whenever I try, it just never feels right. But as I watched "Thappad" (I know I am a bit late) I realised I had to convey my emotions about this movie. I deeply resonate with the movie and the reason might be because the main protagonist Amrita (Tapsee Pannu) shares my name. Even if I have not gone through this whole situation, let's face it, we all have been in a similar if not the exact scenario at least once in our lifetime. If not the slap than the sexist remarks, verbal abuse knowingly or unknowingly have been thrown at us multiple times. Not just by our partners, but by our peers, fathers, brothers and at times, by people, we don't even know.
The problem is deeply rooted in our upbringing. There are varied characters with different lives and yet, somehow somewhere they all face this misogyny they never realised they did until Amrita raised her voice. Take the lawyer Netra for instance, she was a well-educated woman fighting to get justice for other women and yet, she never could tell her husband to shut up. He never did her a favour. She was never where she was because of him. But she didn't have the courage to be herself. Amrita's mother-in-law instead of supporting her bahu tells her to let it go. She never tells her son that what he did was wrong.
Vikram is a mirror of most men in society. And please note I am saying most not all. Because I understand not every man is the same. Look at Amrita's father who stood by her daughter no matter what. Who supported her and almost threw his son out when he manhandled his girlfriend. The problem with Vikram is that he was so self-centred he never realised how this impacted his wife. No, all he cared about was his reputation and his ego was hurt when she left his house. He tries to woodland her but in all the wrong ways. We don't need your love if you can't respect us. There's this particular dialogue of Vikram, "What will people think about me." Did he even stop to think, what will people think about her? Most importantly, did he stop to think what were the repercussions of this one slap on Amrita's life? And there's the other one where he talks about his "emotional investment" in the company which is the reason for all this. Did he stop for once to think how Amrita invested her whole life, willingly, to him and his mother?
Even after all the allegations, they made against her, she didn't want anything from him just to live in peace. She wanted happiness and respect. A divorce. A lot of people have expressed their annoyance of filing for a divorce on the basis of one slap. But sometimes, it's just one moment that makes you realise things you never before cared about. I loved how the characters evolve. Each one of them. Vikram's senior Rajhans expresses that he was wrong to slap his wife. And I legit applauded for that scene. Finally, someone stands for the right. If you haven't watched this film yet, please watch it. If you are someone who thinks it's OK to hit the women in your life on the basis that marriage or giving them birth gives you the right, you are wrong. You need to watch this movie. I would like to applaud the director for this stong storyline and the whole team on doing an incredible job. Tapsee Pannu is terrific as usual. She speaks so much with her eyes, her shocked look and her words tear your heart. Netra is one of my favourite characters. The way she comes out of a toxic relationship is commendable. Sunita, Amrita's maid stands up for herself in the end and how she smiles throughout her pain.
Dia Mirza plays a grieving widow and her relationship with her daughter is beautiful. She is an embodiment of grace as usual. Kumud Mishra is a supporting father, Ratna Pathak Shah a helpless woman who has been taught to adjust. Naila Grewal is every bit a supporting friend and stands by Tapsee through it all. I loved the climax scene when Tanvi Azmi tells Tapsee that it wasn't her fault. It is the fault of the parents who never taught their sons that slapping woman is not right.
Rohan Khurana played one of my favourite characters, the guy Netra would meet in her "stolen moments". He is the kind of man every woman should have in her life. That's the kind of man I see myself with. He is supportive, respectful and adores Netra for the woman she is.
But show-stealer was the orange candy. It is what binds these people and their stories together.
Thank you, Anubhav Sinha, for making me feel empowered. I wish we get to see more movies like this.