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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Taapsee Pannu’s Thappad on domestic violence is a slap misogyny needs

2020 has witnessed some of the finest films where we see women leading the way. It started with Chhapaak and soon, we saw Taapsee Pannu’s Thappad and Kangana Ranaut’s Panga. Thappad is now out on Prime Video and it comes at a rather crucial time. With the ongoing lockdown, there has been an increase in the number of domestic violence cases in India, and this movie is likely to help people look at domestic violence from a different perspective.

Thappad is the story of a married woman, who goes on to give her marriage a second thought when her husband slaps her. Taapsee’s character of Amrita Singh takes the lead in this one, and soon after, other women follow her tried because they were all looking for that one push. When they saw her take a stand, it eventually fell into place for all other women.

When things fall apart, Amirta helps not just herself, but her lawyer Nethra, her house help Sunita. In fact, she also helps her own brother, who does not realize what is he doing after all. The movie has successfully shown domestic violence as it is, without layering it, or, for that matter, making it something over the top.

The movie changes the lives of not just one woman, but many of them, through a woman. It narrates the story of how misogyny is not the justification that we can give for a Thappad. It highlights how it is never ‘just a slap.’

When Amrita talks about going back to being a girl from college who is looking for ‘respect and happiness,’ she hit home.

Taapsee Pannu's character in Thappad
Image credits: Prime Video

For those who haven’t seen Taapsee Pannu’s Thappad just yet, they know what is the movie about. However, its impact can be understood only after watching it. The movie also crushes patriarchy at the end with Vikram (Pavail Gulati) realizes what he has done is not just terrible, and morally wrong, but it has no justification.

The film makes use of some hard-hitting dialogues that talk.

One dialogue talks about how if something needs mending, it means it is broken, indicating how that Thappad has broken something. Thappad has integrated the lives of women from various walks of life, suffering in their marriages. Amid all of them, Dia Mirza’s character of a single mother, stands out, thereby providing a fresh perspective.

Dia Mirza's Character in Thappad
Image Credits: Prime Video

Very effortlessly, the movie also shows how misogyny is not something that exists only in men, or in their minds. It shows how men stand up to it in the form of Mr. Thaapar who called out Vikram. He went on to tell him how he is the one at fault, and rightly so.

Taapsee Pannu’s short monologue, in the end, the one where she lets it all out before her mother-in-law on-screen is what is likely to break everyone’s heart a little. It will move you, especially because we know that is the reality of women, in India, or even elsewhere.

Thaapad is a film that is not just about a slap from a husband to her wife, but it is a sum total of all those slaps that women across the world have to bear with and keep quiet after. It narrates what happens when women stand up to one slap, one hit, one something. The movie questions the approach towards women. The approach that society has normalized, even though it is wrong, even if it is just one THAPPAD.


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