Analysis of Movie THAPPAD

Author: Arshdeep Bedi

Punjabi University, Patiala


Introduction:

· Film: Thappad

· Director: Anubhav Sinha

· Date of Release : 28 Feb, 2020

· Genre : Drama

This movie is informative, practical as, Thappad , a story where wife is questioning if its okay for husband to slap her, even if its one-time. Anubhav Sinha lends certain subtlety to film. Thappad hits like that very slap that snapped Taapsee, Amrita back into consciousness . The film talking about domestic violence; also brings light to condition of women being subjected to by family and society . The viewers get so involved as the reel being related to real life.


Summary:

Anubhav Sinha’s Thappad had received praises from all quarters. Javed Akhtar, ( famous lyricist) congratulated and said film is ‘one of most sensitive, sensible and socially relevant film of recent times.’ Akhtar added it is ‘milestone of India cinema’.[1]

Thappad opens as story of Amrita (Taapsee Pannu) and Vikram (Pavail Gulati), married couple ,living with Vikram’s mother. Amrita an efficient homemaker,is happy , loves her husband. Everything is picture perfect until when, in fit of rage, Vikram loses his temper over promotion he didn’t get, slaps amrita. It is this slap which awakens Amrita from life she had settled into. Aftermath of incident, Vikram makes attempts, rooted in sense of self-victimisation, to justify his behaviour to Amrita. He does not sincerely apologise to her. Amrita files petition for slapping her and had to face what every woman who stood for herself has faced. She is asked to move on, as “choti-moti baatein” happen between husband-wife. She was emotionally blackmailed ,But Amrita remains steadfast in her belief — he had no right to hit her.

The film focuses on Amrita, but also interlinks her story with women around. The domestic help, Sunita, beaten everyday by her drunk husband; Amrita’s lawyer, trapped in unhappy marriage with pompous man; Amrita’s mother and motherinlaw — women who never had avenue to question anything done to them. She is told it’s internal matter should sort out. Moreover is told that she will be branded divorcee, selfish enough to think about herself when her husband was miserable. She is asked to deal with it quietly, not in front of people because what will people say? But nothing was able to stop her as she said “Usne mujhe maara, pehli baar. Nahi mar sakta. Bas itni si baat hai,”. And in climax she files suit and gets divorce. Amrita not only took her out of complex system of patriarchy, misogyny , violence but also acted as source of inspiration for others.


Analysis:

· The film does genius job of explaining silent suffering of women.

· It takes this seemingly simple incident and shows complex picture of patriarchy and violence.

· The dialogues, again are simple and not being dramatic, which make film a powerful mirror.

· By showing women of different levels and with different mindsets, writers smartly depict how, just the fact of being woman and suffering of discrimination pops out and make all women equal.

· A great job done by portraying a man who is blinded by privilege, patriarchal system he lives in. It makes audiences to question privilege they take for granted.

· It speaks about every woman, degree of violence she had faced in life. But most importantly, it changes the way to react to violence.


Impact :

The movie had a very bright impact on mind-sets of people as Tweeted by Rajasthan Police with poster of movie wrote,” Domestic violence is slap!” Mental harassment is slap! Dial 1090, 112 or complain to your nearest police station.[2]


Conclusion:

It is worthwatching as, it attempts to show abuse. The essence of Thappad is not ‘just’ slap, but rather entitlement enjoyed by men in relationships. Amrita & Vikram, only had room for his dreams. The patriarchal division of labour is reproduced where work of man is ‘labour’, whereas work by women in house is ‘duty’. Vikram's slap awakens Amrita from life. The protagonist’s decision to leave marital home & fighting legal battle brings ugly questions.

· The film is clear in its idea: relationship is never abusive. If it becomes abusive, its no longer a relationship.

As ‘love’ without respect is no love.

[1] https://mobile.twitter.com/javedakhtarjadu/status/1233444768144936962?lang=en [2] https://www.aajtak.in/entertainment/story/taapsee-pannu-film-thappad-poster-is-shared-by-rajasthan-police-on-twitter-tmov-1034966-2020-03-05

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