Thappad is one of the finest films of 2020 directed by Anubhav Sinha which goes far beyond the issue of domestic violence and focusses on male chauvinism prevalent in the society. The female protagonist of the story, Amrita (Taapsee Pannu) belongs from an affectionate and supportive family is trained in Indian classical dance, Amrita’s life could have taken a different turn but she chooses to be a woman who finds her happiness in her husbands’ happiness. Vikram who works in a reputed company has his mind and heart set on his goals and he will do everything in his capacity to achieve it. But soon he realizes that his big dreams are about to get shattered due to corporate politics. As a result, things heat up between Vikram and his colleague and Amrita tries to pacify him. In this process, he slaps his wife out of frustration at the party.
And, this sparks the beginning of an ugly as the uncalled for incident makes Amrita delve upon and question her life choices and their marriage, Vikram continues to live in denial and wonders how ‘just one slap’ is turning out to be a life-changing moment.
Naturally, when the slap happens, her world turns over and even both sides of the family are divided on what is right, what is wrong and how much is too much, and the protocols of marriage in our Indian setting. Irrespective of various views thrown at her, Amrita is gutsy and resolves to channel the inner fighter in her and stands up for what she truly believes in — that even one slap is outrageous and not okay. Shrewdly the very premise of the film and Amrita’s escalating reaction to the slap is plotted in such a way that you’re frequently compelled to ask: “Isn’t she taking it too far?” or “Surely she doesn’t need to make such a big deal of it?”
A film that brings in focus the life of a woman which is subjected to by her own family and the society that she lives in. Amrita’s father who is an ardent supporter of his daughter and at most times, he is the only one who sticks up for her. A movie that explains the fault of a mother-in-law who is unable to teach her son that he couldn’t slap a woman and fault of a mother who teaches her daughter that a girl should stay silent for the success of her married life. Hence, both of them play their role of being the torchbearers of matriarchal mentality and trying to instill the same in the women of the house.
Amrita is hardly the only victim as there are other women in focus too. There is the poor domestic help who suffers beatings from her husband routinely. There is the older woman, resentful that her loving husband never encouraged her to pursue her love for singing after marriage. There is the soon-to-be-married young couple, seemingly equal in their relationship until a tense interaction reveals otherwise. There is also the accomplished professional whose husband repeatedly credits her success to his family’s powerful connections.
The music of the film,“Ek Tukda Dhoop” is beautifully melancholic in tone and blends in with the narrative. Despite such scathing scenarios, Sinha never allows the people in this film to have melodramatic meltdown.
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