Thappad is the story of a woman who decides to divorce his husband after he had slapped her once in public. Amrita (Tapsee’s character) is an Indian woman whose whole world revolves around his husband, Vikram. Vikram is an overly ambitious and career dedicated person who thinks nothing else other than his career and himself. The thappad incident happened when they were at a party celebrating his husband’s success. The impatient and short-tempered character Vikram lands a power pact slap on her wife’s face publicly. This was obviously unacceptable to Amrita and her whole world shook after this incident. This is what made her divorce the man of her life as she is a woman who could not compromise her self-respect at any cost. Now, the interesting part is to see what all the problems and difficulties she faces to get a divorce.
Amrita comes from a loving, caring and protective family who has always kept the daughter happy and cheerful. She is a person who has a huge passion for dance and also she is a trained Indian classical dancer. Her life could have been sailing some other ship but she chose to be a committed, dedicated and the best housewife ever. Vikram, Amrita’s husband is a goal-oriented, highly ambitious and go-getter person who could go at any level to achieve what he wants. Their life after marriage was going all fine and they were actually living it to the fullest until when the unthinkable happens; a stress-fuelled slap lands. Vikram gets frustrated when he comes to know that his dreams can be shattered due to office politics and all this emotional outburst goes over her innocent committed wife. As the slap echoes in the hall in front of everyone, Amrita’s whole world and belief over marriage and everything shatters in a moment. The incident happened, the day rolled but they were not similar persons as before. This has gone more than domestic violence. And the overtly pompous Vikram still continues to live in acceptance of denial and keeps thinking how a simple could slap can change everything. But the foolish man lacks to consider the perspective of her beloved wife.
Directed by Anubhav Sinha, the film is surely going to set some debates and discussions in the society that seldom talks about the psychological and emotional effects of domestic violence. Society needs to understand that even the unintentional single slap is unacceptable on any grounds. The film clearly shows the husbands can’t just get away considering it just a “casual slap” or “stress-fuelled slap”. The things that are unacceptable are unacceptable without any justifications.
The movie in the start part shows the lovely side of their married life, both living happily and planning for their future house in London. It takes its own sweet time to accomplish and make the transition feel real. The whole social drama starts after the thappad happens and that is when the families of both sides divide having their own perspectives and outlook on this incident; considering what is wrong and what is right and how much is acceptable and how much is too much. Amrita, on the other hand, has her own fight going on inside her with her believes, her emotions and her trauma. Ultimately, she decides to do what her heart truly believes in- she could not adjust and accept domestic violence; even a single slap is outrageous.
Not only the fore-mentioned couple, the film also brings other cases to the focus- one of the woman who feels marriage is only final destination for women, one who is from weaker and poorer section of society and believes that domestic violence is not a problem it is man’s right and the one who is widow and now struggling for a fine replacement. Anubhav, the prowess director, has neatly managed to play all these around presenting juxtaposition among them; everything goes clearly relatable.
Taapsee, as always delivered a stupendous performance. Without speaking much she could clearly present every emotion of the submissive wife going through oceanic changes within her. Her grief, pain, sorrow, disgust, rage every emotion is perfectly placed on the screen and the audience could feel the same within them. Pavail Gulati (Vikram) plays his part beautifully. His character of corporate-slave being intensely submerged into career goals was also not a piece of cake.
The songs and music in the film are a beautiful melancholic. It is not that overpowering music like every other Bollywood song but all the music just flows with the story and gives out a perfect blend. Anubhav must get a pat on the back and special respect for such a subtle, fine and nuance direction and writing.
Overall, ‘Thappad’ is not just a slap; it is a bomb blast in the Indian cinema and society as well. It is a must-watch movie!