- In Theaters
- Feb 28, 2020
- 2hrs, 22mins
Kahi baar sahi karne ka result happy nahi hota!
Thappad! Bas Itni si baat?
India is the only country in the world where women are worshipped and respected the most. We call our country – Motherland, worship Cow as Gomatha, Snake as Naga Devatha, Water as Ganga Maiyya, Land as Bhoo Devi, we compare Woman with Nature, worship and respect Her.
ఎక్కడా కానరాదు ఇంతటి స్త్రీ గౌరవ సంస్కృతి, పుల్లకు సుమితా ద్రుమదళ శోభిని కదా భారతి!
Unfortunately India is also the country where women are harassed, disrespected and abused the most. In fact, India is one of the top 10 countries (ranked number 1 also in different surveys) where “Domestic Violence” in its various forms is still prevalent and hundreds of cases are getting recorded every year. We are taking giant strides in Technology and Engineering, we’re one of the world’s largest skilled forces of Engineers and Doctors and yet there are women abusers amongst us. You will be surprised to know that not just uneducated/non-working women are subjected to this abuse but a majority are educated working women. Why the gender bias? Are only Men responsible? Are Men the only culprits? This again is surprising to know that a majority of Women (Mother in law, Sister in law, etc.) are resorting to domestic violence with women in their home. So clearly, IT IS NOT A GENDER THING! Is it about the so called “belief system” that has deep rooted in the supposedly progressive Indians? What is it?
I’ve listened to a young man, a film director in an interview saying “If you don’t have the – liberty to slap each other (physical demonstration), the liberty to touch and kiss whenever, the liberty to used cuss words, then I don’t see love there”. This disturbing statement has gained a lot of criticism all over the country since “it normalises abuse”. It is funny that men and women who are deeply in love, care for each other and respect each other a lot, who have never resorted to any form of physical/mental abuse started wondering if everything was alright with their relationship. Love that has Respect, Consent and Freedom does exist and it is the purest form of love. Abuse in any form to any gender is NOT NORMAL, should NOT BE NORMALISED and very clearly ABUSE IS NOT AN EXPRESSION OF LOVE. Period! This is exactly what Thappad wants to convey strongly with class and grace.
Thappad is primarily the story of a young couple Amrita (Taapsee Pannu) and Vikram (Pavail Gulati) living in their seemingly happy marriage. Vikram would be working very hard for his company to move to London and be the boss there while Amrita is a home-maker (by choice) and is happy looking after her husband and mother-in-law. She is traditional dancer and would be teaching Shivani’s (Did Mirza) daughter out of passion. Shivani is Amrita’s neighbour, windowed and a single working mother. Vikram gets the position he is aiming for and throws a party to his colleagues, friends and relatives at home. Things seem going well until Vikram gets a call to know that the position is offered to someone else and he just loses it as he picks up an argument with his work superior. Amrita gets to know the situation and tries to convince Vikram to get out of the argument and then,……..THAPPAD! A thappad lands on her cheek and Amrita gets shocked – shocked for life. To her surprise, she finds the next morning as if nothing has happened. Her mother-in-law and husband behave normally as if nothing happened at all and both of them seem to be in complete denial of the Thappad she was gifted the previous night. Amrita’s heart starts aching as she waits for them to come and at least talk to her. This is where it gets heart warming and is beautifully picturised by Anubhav Sinha. In fact, I strongly feel that he would have taken inputs from the women in his life as to how a woman feels when someone she loves the most breaks her heart with a sign of disrespect because it is otherwise not that easy to understand that situation. How would a woman feel when she can’t hate the person she loved most and at the same time she is not able to love him like before? It is probably the worst ever situation any human being can ever be in.
Where Amrita’s morale and self respect takes a hit is when both her husband and mother-in-law take It for granted and expect her to move on since – it is okay and it is normal. Now, this is the biggest problem. Why is ill-treatment, physical/mental abuse normalised in our lives? On the other hand, Amrita comes from a home where her dad treats her mother with utmost respect hence that thappad is a shocker to her. After a couple of days, she moves out of there husband’s house to her parents place to take time, rethink and revaluate her marriage.
Thappad as I mentioned though is primarily about Amrita, it also simultaneously shows a couple of relationships in different angles. – Amrita’s parents who love and respect each other dearly and yet her father gets to know one day that Amrita’s mom also has gone through her dose of sacrifice silently, A famous lawyer/woman activist who gets abused by her husband, Amrita’s brother and his lawyer girl friend who is a strong woman, Amrita’s maid who gets beaten every now and then by her husband. Will Amrita’s stand for her self-respect bring a change in these couples and their relationships? Why will Amrita appeal for divorce? How does Vikram and his parents react? Will Amrita get enough support from her parents and brother? What will Amrita do when she gets to know that she is pregnant? – Watch “Thappad” to know as it is a very emotional psychological state of woman who’s identity is not treated right. It is the stand that a woman takes up for herself and her self-respect. It is the emotional turmoil of a woman whose world is shattered to pieces by just one “thappad” that too, at no fault of hers.
Though Dia Mirza’s role is not a prominent one, there is one scene where she kills it when Vikram comes to her seeking favour to help him lie that nothing happened at the party, she gracefully denies saying “I was married to a great man and I’d like to believe that there are still great men in the world”. There is one more scene where Dia Mirza’s daughter asks her if she was ever hit by her husband (after the girl witnesses Taapsee’s thappad) and smiles with all her heart when Dia says that her husband has never even thought of doing that. The scene is a small one but conveys a deep message that “kids do grow and learn from parents”. If there is abuse at home, what are we even setting them up for? And, if abuse is normalised with your wife, remember you are normalising it for your son/daughter also. You are setting up the next generation also for a toxic relationship.
I remember Aamir khan saying in an interview – “I’m an emotional person, I cry, I lean on my wife’s shoulder ,I hold her hand while walking but, I’m still a MAN.
Don’t bring up your boy telling him that “Men don’t cry” because he may grow up, normalise abuse and wouldn’t even realise that it hurts.
How true! Anubhav Sinha has also touched on how a man reacts to divorce? (Especially when it’s just a slap in a moment of anger – according to him) and Why do men take rejection on their Ego? And, why men want to REACT most of the times and not RESPOND in such sensitive matters?
Taapsee has really outperformed in this movie compared to all her previous ones. From where she started to where she is today, definitely deserves an appreciation. The intent to choose good content and perform is one thing any actor should have and Taapsee seems to have been following the same. All other actors have done complete justification to their roles. Greater credit goes to the director for showing the sensitivities and sensibilities in a relationship with utmost care. Thappad clearly conveys that every relationship in life is an emotional investment and should always be cherished with love, care and respect. For all the above reasons I will not call Thappad a message oriented movie but a thought provoking one.
Being in a toxic relationship is NOT okay. Physical/Mental abuse/Humiliation is never an expression of Love. Love has care, concern, selflessness and respect. So if you are not getting treated right in any relation (not just a marriage), it is okay to come out of it. Because, all it takes – to shatter centuries of patriarchy, to show up the chauvinists hidden deep supposedly progressive society that normalises abuse -is ONE TINY MOMENT OF COURAGE. Let that tribe grow in all of us, let them find the strength to stand up and walk tall and may they never ever cease to amaze. As Amrita’s father rightly says in the movie –
Sometimes, the result of doing things right, is not HAPPY.
I’ve not written this analysis because I’m a woman or basis Feminism, I did write this because I believe in Humanism. Let that Humanism prevail in all of us, in all relations and irrespective of all genders.
Finally – if you ask me if I support/justify the Divorce in the movie since that has been trending on Social media, well I will only able to say that “It was Amrita’s CHOICE and we need to respect it. We need to respect her choice because she is the one who has faced the situation, her heart broke and her trust was shattered. So let Amrita have that freedom to decide for herself and her Life. Have you ever observed one thing? When someone is in pain, even our closest ones – all we can say to console them would be “I can understand”, “I can imagine” but we will neither be able to say or should say that “I can feel your pain” because honestly no one in the world can ever feel someone else’s pain. So you don’t know how it would be and remember, –
SUFFERING IS VERY PERSONAL
As an end note, if your spouse is treating you with love, care and respect, not being creepy/intrusive and has trust in you with absolutely no “abuse – so called physical demonstration of Love”, don’t think much. You’re in the right relationship.
GREAT SPOUSES DO EXIST 🙂