The uncompromising script and the flawless execution makes it a must watch !!
Patriarchy and domestic violence are age-old debate topic. Most of the time feminists gets cornered in these topics in our society where male dominance and marriage abuse is just passed as normal. Anubhav Sinha does a master stroke by zooming the lens into a seemingly very happy family to portray the ever-present issue in our society.
Amrita and Vikram are a happily married couple. Amrita is a house-wife looking after his working husband and family. They throw a party to their friends and relatives when Vikram gets a promotion with transfer as head of a project in London. The mood of the event turns when Vikram learns that he is going to be under someone else’s leadership in London. He gets in an argument with his superior and Amrita tries to break the argument by pulling him. Vikram slaps her angrily which leaves Amrita devastated.
After the incident, Amrita was all alone and nobody bothered to ask how she is. But there were people who were worried about Vikram and how badly he was treated by his company. Even Vikram never says sorry to her even after knowing she’s hurt, we can see him normalize it by saying he was upset that night and “this happens”. Instead of worrying about how bad she felt, he is worried about “What people would have thought about him?”. Amrita loses her love towards him completely and chooses to spend time with her family for a while. Vikram does try to persuade her to go back a few times, but she stayed back with her family. Vikram then sends a legal notice to Amrita in a desperate effort to bring her back, but she responds by filing a divorce notice. How Vikram, his family, Amrita’s family, relatives and society react to Amrita’s decision are depicted in the most hard hitting fashion on screen. There were number of characters in the movie who, just like Vikram, thinks these kind of things happen between couples, which includes Vikram’s mother, Amrita’s mother and brother. “It was just a slap” for them, but for Amrita this was an incident which came as a reminder on how unfair the whole marriage was to her. She repeats every often “Nahi Maar Saktha”, echoing in the viewers ears even after finishing the movie, just like “No means no” in PINK.
Amrita’s father and the fiance of her brother, who helps Amrita get access to her renowned lawyer-boss to file the divorce petition, are the two characters who really understand her and support her. They remind us of the handful of sensible people around. Father’s love and support is the back-born for Amrita in her fight for justice. His role probably serves as a reminder to parents who often choose to solve marriage abuses internally by saying “Shaadi mein yeh sab hota hein”. Another strong character in the movie was Amrita’s neighbor, widowed Shivani played by Dia Mirza. It was a treat watching the upbringing of her child even after the early death of her husband. Vikram’s superior reminding him what he did to amrita was wrong and that he was angry him and thappar sir but never would have hit them, was one of the most pleasing interactions in the movie. There is a small parallel story of Amrita’s lawyer Advocate Netra as well here, showing how patriarchal setup hurts even well established ladies. Amrita’s courage to fight her battle, even with no job or financial backup, comes as huge eye opener to Netra, helping her to liberate herself from the shackles of her screwed up marriage. Amrita’s servant was another person who gets inspiration from Amrita, who later was shown as successful in tackling her abusive husband.
Tapsee Pannu was at her superlative best and other actors did complete justice to their respective roles. But, it was one such movie where the script and the treatment are the real heros. Anubhav Sinha’s script, quite rightly takes the side of the victim from the word go and succeeds in putting forward the message in the very right way. Right from the selection of the premises to the end, where everyone in the family realizing what Amrita stood for, the script and the execution were simply outstanding.
Thappad is a hard hitting reality of the highly male dominant society we live in. Anubhav Sinha handles the matter in his hand with so much sincerity and brilliance, making Thappad a must watch !!