Thappad Review: Taapsee Pannu's film would become a voice and strength for many women

Rating: 3/5 | Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Pavail Gulati, Tanvi Azmi, Kumud Mishra, Ratna Pathak Shah, Ankur Rathee and others

Thappad Review: Taapsee Pannu's film would become a voice and strength for many women

Rating: 3/5 | Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Pavail Gulati, Tanvi Azmi, Kumud Mishra, Ratna Pathak Shah, Ankur Rathee and others

Domestic violence in Indian homes and families is often silenced, mostly where the victim is not allowed to speak and a decision to continue living with the partner or family, is taken with a hope for better tomorrow. While the country is getting aware about the legal routes one can choose to fight such cases, many women and girls across the country still live under the pressure of familial and societal obligations. While we know physically abusing and hurting anyone is a criminal offence, there has not been a visible change in the society despite the so-called progressive thoughts, where we have seen people not taking a stand for the right. Addressing this issue with a fictional story is Anubhav Sinha's film, Thappad, which stars Taapsee Pannu in lead roles.

Amrita (Taapsee) and Vikram (Pavail Gulati) are happily married. Vikram is being considered for a better designation by his company where he may stand a chance to move to London. However, things don't go as planned and amidst and argument during a party, Vikram slaps Amrita. This incident shakes her and brings a difference in her married life. While everyone is behaving normal, as if nothing big had happened, Amrita's scarred soul has changed the dynamics of the relationship. She decides to return to her parents' house. What unfolds then focuses on what is usually considered a 'small episode.'

Thappad is a slap on all our faces, for we have quietly (at least once) observed domestic violence and not raised our voice. Anubhav Sinha's recent release starring Taapsee Pannu would become a voice for many women, giving them the long-due strength to fight, for themselves or others. The film achieves what it intends to - that is to pass the message that 'he can not slap' and does not have the 'right' over her. And 'she' has the 'right' to make a choice about how to live, fulfilling her dreams and wishes.

The good aspect of the film is the writing - where the makers have focused well on the words and silent moments. Taapsee delivers the best possible, both through her emotions and silence. The latter speaks louder. Anubhav ensures that the film is layered and the premise sets quickly for you to sail on the boat to realise the plight of patriarchal thoughts. The film is good but does not leave a big impact. I felt for Taapsee and could relate to many in real life, but did not enjoy watching it after a while especially post the first half. The discomfort was not in the story, but the pace and length.

The characters have been sketched well, but despite having many female characters dealing with similar plight, the story is mostly revolving around one character (Amrita), leaving you with the urge to know more about others - which remains unfulfilled. The objective is clear and the message comes across well, but it would seem that the film is stuck at one point, for a long time (until the climax) leaving you with many questions and solutions for Taapsee.

Taapsee as Amrita is very convincing. She is both fragile and strong. She delivers her character very well, so much so that you will become a part of her everyday life and feel immensely bad for her when she is slapped. You will become the virtual strength for her throughout the film. Pavail Gulati as a debutant is wonderful. He knows his skill and does exactly what many men do in real life. Taapsee and Kumud Mishra's bond of a parent and child is very relatable. Kumud and Ratna Pathak Shah will make a place in your heart, especially with their chemistry. There is a certain kind of warmth you will feel with their characters. Special mention to the Maya Sarao and Geetika Vidya Ohlyan who have delivered performances as strong as Taapsee Pannu. Their stories will also be relatable, but I wish the makers had taken us a bit more into their lives.

What Anubhav and his team have achieved in 141 minutes could have been possible even with 90 mins. Having said this, Thappad is a film to be watched, for the right reason, that is change, which we desperately need in today's time, for a better tomorrow.

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