The film stars Taapsee Pannu as a woman who files for divorce after her husband slaps her.
The statement above is the premise in a nutshell
So, Does this Slap work?
Let’s find out!
Firstly, What Doesn’t Work?
- The length of the movie is a drag at certain points
- Post interval, the narrative flounders about aimlessly
- It takes a certain point for it to gather steam again
Now, What Works?
- The script is fluid
- All references, ironies and metaphors are evidently placed
- We just need to spot them
- The hypocritical mindset of our society is portrayed point blank
- This portrayal doesn’t spare any one
- Be it family members, friends, parents; every one carries this mindset
- There is no judgment placed on any one despite the mindset being intentional/unintentional
- It is left to us, the audience to understand what constitutes right and wrong
- The narrative kind of makes us uncomfortable
- The reason for this is the thoughts running in our mind
- These notions are being spouted as dialogues by the characters on screen
- So what I am thinking is being said out loud on screen
You want examples?
- Ek Thappad hi hai na?
- Pyaar mein thodi bahut maar chalti hai na?
- Ladkiyon ko adjust karna padhta hai
- I think we got the gist, right?
How are these thoughts effective?
- This causes a certain discomfort for us, the audience
- The underlying reason for this could be the fact that all of us have been there at some point in time
- The assertion made by the protagonist is enough to put things in perspective
- The perspective that affirms that even ONE SLAP ain’t enough
- It kind of shows us our true face as a society
- The face that we put on for validation; for blending in with others
- The narrative compels us to understand that even in our day to day lives it is not fine
- We cannot treat a spouse/parent/partner/sibling(irrespective of gender) with disdain and dismiss it under the garb of normalcy
What else works here?
- The technical aspects of this movie are competent enough to lend gravitas to the central theme
- The Music is solemn and tranquil lending a poignant touch to well executed sequences
- At no point, does the movie turn into a weapon for feminism
- It is balanced delicately and talks about Equality
- An Equal right for every one irrespective of gender and status
- There are scenes that drive these points home with subtlety
- Sinha’s direction is beautiful; it does not lend to shout out loud moments
- It infact goes for the opposite and yet strikes hard
Sinha does something really effective with the opening credits:
- He establishes the central theme of the story through the POV of 3 other couples
- While this is happening, the credits almost displays every person on the crew giving precedence to their Maternal Name
- He also chooses to end the story through the POV of the same couples
- Each and every actor on this cast contributes to the proceedings
- We can run out of adjectives to define many of these performances
- Exquisite, Splendid, Effective, Fantabulous are just a few of them
However, I will make special mention for a few of them:
- Kumud Mishra as the father supporting his daughter at every turn
- Ratna Pathak Shah as the one tied between custom and morality
- Tanvi Azmi, the mother in law having suffered her own demons
- Maya Sarao as the lawyer fighting for just a slap; What a revelation!
- Geetika Vidya as the maid enduring hell with a pinch of salt
I would like to single out one more performance: Pavail Gulati
- This actor playing the husband at the core of the story
- It is pretty easy to get type cast in the role of the one accused
- However, to his and Sinha’s credit the character remains humane yet flawed like any of us TYPICAL MEN
- Ignorant, Nonchalant, smug and self centered
- He walks the tight rope between being a caricature and a stereotype pretty neatly
- Thus, he’s able to hold his own against Taapsee
Hats off this actor!
Now, let me speak about the character at the core!
- Taapsee Pannu: She essays a lot with her silences more so than her dialogues
- There are sequences where she nails it on screen
- You see what’s gone wrong with the character
- She makes you believe how one slap is sufficient to jolt you out of your slumber
- It also leads to realisation that letting go is not the solution and never will be
The Verdict on Thappad?
- Thappad deserves to be seen by every Woman to realise Itni Si Baat nahi hai!
- It also should be seen by Every Man to know how to stop taking each and every woman in our lives for Granted
- The Message, The Direction and Performances truly make this Thought Provoking Cinema
P.S: It is hard not to walk out of the theater with your head filled with thoughts
- Every thought hits you like a sledgehammer
- Every thing that we did or have done will start playing on our minds
- It did for me, to be honest!
- I think this movie came in a week too early, it should have been a release on the week of Women’s Day
- To all the women that I know and have known, I think this Movie is an Epitome of how you keep your self-respect and esteem intact