Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Pavail Gulati, Kumud Mishra, Ratna Pathak Shah, Tanvi Azmi
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Taapsee Pannu and Anubhav Sinha have given Bollywood some of the best films with a hard-hitting subject in the past. The duo is back with Thappad which certainly stands by its name. The 2 hours 21 minutes film is the voice of every married woman who goes through a lot and suppresses a lot many things in the name of love, Be it from family, relatives or friends. Starring Taapsee and Pavail. The narrative is a silent slap on society's age-old belief that "Shaadi mein sab kuch chalta hain". Taapse as a dutiful wife looks extremely promising and justifies her role. The film is indeed the need of an hour. The film is a must-watch for every couple. Post the film it will be an uncomfortable ride back home. A
Set in Delhi the story starts beautifully, giving a glimpse of the lives of five women. Mrs. Amrita Sabharwal (Taapsee Pannu) a submissive housewife and a learned classical dancer becomes the best housewife. Her life revolves around her husband Vikram (Pavail Gulati) who wants to achieve all his life's goals. Life is hunky-dory for the couple until one day Vikram slaps her at a party in the front of guests. What happens next is not just one slap, its Amrita's quest to stand up for her self respect and not let anyone take the relationship for granted.
Taapsee, as the submissive wife, suddenly undergoes a sudden change emotionally. Her dialogues and emotions are relatable for every woman out there. After seeing her performance many of them will come out and talk about domestic violence. She is strong and powerful. You can't deny the fact that she is the soul of the whole story. She expresses every scene with all her heart. None other than Taapsee would have pulled this character off.
Pavail Gulati, as the husband does a fine job. His character is layered and you will certainly feel for him. Standing beside a powerhouse actor Taapsee, Pavail made his mark. The film can't be complete without the sub cast, Dia Mirza, Kumud Mishra, Tanvi Azmi, and Ratna Pathak Shah, Maya Sarao, who plays the high-profile lawyer Nethra Jaisingh. However, the scene-stealer is Geetika, who plays the role of Taapsee's supportive maid Sunita.
Anubhav Sinha's story and the subject the issue of 'Domestic Violence ' which most of the women in families go through but in Indian society, they often don't come out in open. The way the writers have weaved the screenplay is commendable. Kudos to the makers for bringing up a topic like this. Mrunmayee Lagoo and Anubhav beautifully storyline keeping in mind every aspect of the society we live in. The editing by Yasha Ramchandani, is smooth and gives a justified flow in the film. The characters along with sub-casts have done a fine job without getting too loud. The music of the film (by Anurag Saikia) is beautifully crafted and blends with the narrative. Dialogues are hard-hitting and powerful, every woman will relate to this emotion. "Just a slap par nahi maar sakta" the film stands by this sentence. Women are often told "Thoda badarsht karna sikhna chahiye auraton ko" which showcases the patriarchal society that whatever happens in a relationship is fine and one should accept this. The crux of the whole film is surrounded by this one dialogue which is debatable. "Thodi bahut maar peet toh expression of love hi hai naa sir?" Kudos to the dialogue writer for penning down emotions a women's unsaid voice which was suppressed for years.'
The first half is slow and the characters are building and things seem fine and suddenly the narrative gets serious and emotional., the second half is where the actual plot lies.
Thappad raises an important issue without being preachy. This is by far the best film by Anubhav Sinha and no one better than Taapse would have pulled off this role. This puts in light the societal norms laid by no one only for women. Often women reminded of , 'ghar zyada zaruri hain' and that their actions will always be determined by log kya kehenge. Divorce on the grounds of just one slap is still hard to digest. But this film may or may not put an impact but surely will strike a conversation and hopefully now on women will not take a slap as an expression of love anymore.
Anubhav Sinha's film Thappad is a tight slap to unsaid martial social norms.