It was in my review of Kabir Singh when I had pointed out, to not idolise the character simply because he was a loser who typified violence in a relationship. When the director Sandeep Reddy Vanga in an interview justified it saying, what is love without two people hitting each other, I literally fumed with anger. Violence is simply not justified in any relationship. This week releases, Thappad which tackles a similar subject. Does it strike a chord with the audience or is it just a slap across the face….lets find out.
Thappad is the story of a young couple who is happily married till the husband in an unforeseen fit of rage slaps his wife. Though it is ‘just a slap’, all hell breaks loose(there are subplots too, more on that later). The story is extremely relevant and a topic that will attract a lot of discussion. Is the slap justified? Should anyone tolerate it and give the other person another chance? No! The screenplay is so intricate, delicate and subtle that if you look at it from the surface almost nothing happens. But if you dig deeper, alot of layer beneath, many things are happening which is more than what meets the eye! Make no mistake, it is a slow burn yet it keeps you invested! The dialogues are simple yet powerful. The music blends well in the narrative. Director Anubhav Sinha, who last directed my favourite film of last year, Article 15, is once again in red hot form. His direction shines throughout!
Over to the performances- Kumud Mishra is outstanding. Ratna Pathak Shah and Tanvi Azmi are bang on point and such an honour to watch thrm on screen. Dia Mirza is understated. Geetika Vidya(you may have seen her in Soni on Netflix, Highly Recommmended) will leave you shocked and awestruck! Manav Kaul and Ram Kapoor are good. Maya Sarao as Nethra is amazing! Ankur Rathi and Naina Grewal have their moments. Pavail Gulati( it read introducing but have earlier seen him in Ittefaq starring Siddharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha, also acted in alot of digital content including Ghost Stories) plays his character such perfection that you cannot label him as the villain yet you cannot sympathise with him too. Such a fine line and he holds the middle ground beautifully. And Taapsee Pannu once again proves why she is regarded as a game changer in Bollywood. Such amazing acting and in case you are wondering why I have named all these actors, it is because each one of them have excelled and how!
All in all, Thappad is an eye opener much like the character of Taapsee Pannu who is in a slumber till she is unruely woken up by that slap. There are so many characters and many subplots which actually signify how deep rooted the issue of patriarchy is in our society. I must admit I saw myself in it too(indirectly and unknowingly at times contributing to it) and I am just not proud of it(I will learn). It is mandatory that all fathers, brothers and sons watch this film for each one of us require a wake up call from time to time. Also, a word to the women – do not tolerate violence, even if it is ‘just a slap’. Thappad is a difficult watch, unflinching and hits you exactly where it hurts the most! Highly recommended!
PS : Interestingly, the producers of Kabir Singh and Thappad are the same – T-Series!