Cast: Taapsee Pannu and Pavail Gulati
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Rating: 4 Moons
Yes, just one slap! That’s what makes Anubhav Sinha’s 2 hours 21 minutes long social drama Thappad worth a watch. Not because the slap is exciting but the fact that we finally get to witness how far a woman goes after getting slapped by no one else but her husband. Starring Taapsee Pannu and Pavail Gulati, Thappad is a silent slap on society’s age-old belief that “Shaadi mein sab kuch chalta hain”. The film starts a debate on marriage and what one shouldn’t do to be in one, peacefully. More than a slap, the film talks about a relationship and what’s fair in it.
The story starts beautifully, giving a glimpse of the lives of five women and their orange candies. It then focuses on Mrs. Amrita Sabharwal (Taapsee Pannu) who could have been a professional classical dancer but chose to become the ‘world’s best housewife’. Set in Delhi, her life revolves around her ambitious husband Vikram (Pavail Gulati) who wants to achieve all his life’s goals in one go. Life is easy for them until Amrita’s world comes crumbling down after Vikram slaps her at a party that was supposed to celebrate his success in the corporate world. What happens next will make you uncomfortable at some points but that’s exactly how you are supposed to feel. How Amrita shakes up her own beliefs about life and marriage to stand up for herself will fill everyone’s heart with pride.
Haan bas ek thappad, par maar nahi sakta. This film stands by this sentence. It is a much-needed story that has finally been told. Eighty percent of India’s women go through some sort of domestic violence and this film will hopefully give them the strength to come out and talk about it. Thappad is made for a society that rarely talks about the emotional and psychological effects of domestic violence. It is here to spark debates and discussions on various grounds. One stress-fuelled slap at a party takes the form of a full-blown conversation pertaining to the unsaid rules of a marriage – where a woman is constantly reminded ki ghar zyada zaruri hain and that their actions will always be determined by log kya kehenge? and that it is acceptable for a husband to get away with what he considers one ‘casual thappad’ because he was fuming with anger.
The first half may seem a little dragged but the second half is where the story gets interesting. Without saying too much, it put several questions in our minds! Taapsee perfectly portrays emotions of love, pain, disgust, regret and rage. Her expressions are the life of every scene. Her dialogues are not many but whatever she says makes an impact. Her acting is natural and beautiful. The surprise package is Pavail Gulati who plays her husband. He leaves the audience impressed. But Thappad would not have been this strong if it wasn’t for the supporting cast. Kumud Mishra, Ratna Pathak Shah, Geetika Vidya, Tanvi Azmi, Dia Mirza and Maya Sarao become the film’s strength and deliver spectacular performances. The extra point goes to Geetika, who plays the role of Taapsee’s supportive maid Sunita, and wins hearts.
Anubhav Sinha leads the film as a conversation he’s trying to have with the audience. He had every chance to intellectualize Thappad but thankfully it’s a soothing affair. Mrunmayee Lagoo and Anubhav have together written the story beautifully, keeping in mind every aspect of the society we live in. The editing by Yasha Ramchandani, which keeps jumping from one part to another, could not have been better. It adds to the film’s essence.
There is just one song Ek Tukda Dhoop by Anurag Saikia which is perfect for the film. The lyrics help it to fit in with the narrative. Mangesh Dhakde’s background score is subtly impactful. Soumik Mukherjee’s cinematography is fantastic too. Overall, Thappad is that slap on our society’s face that truly deserves a watch!
PEEPINGMOON GIVES THAPPAD 4 MOONS!