Thappad, which released last Friday received rave reviews from the audience and the critics. Directed by Anubhav Sinha, the film stars Taapsee Pannu in the lead role along with Ratna Pathak Shah, Kumud Mishra, Pavail Gulati and Dia Mirza. The film is being praised for its story, how sensitively the makers have handled the topic of domestic violence and also great performances. Along with the actors and director, film’s co-writer Mrunmayee Lagoo is also heaped with lots of praises by the moviegoers.
Every person who watched the film wants to know how Mrunmayee managed to write such a great story for Thappad. People are amazed by how she has depicted every minor to major differences a woman faces as a wife without not making the film look male-bashing.
Koimoi spoke to the talented writer in detail about Thappad. I asked her about the film’s success as well as a criticism this Taapsee Pannu starrer received from a certain section of people. Read the interview below:
How does it feel that along with the director and actors, even a writer of the film is getting equal appreciation and exposure this time?
It feels really good. There’s no other way to put it. But I think, writers do get appreciated for a film when the writing can be seen and there’s a subject. So this is not a movie where one can hide behind the VFX, location or music, so writing becomes starker.
There are also people, including the youth who said that this is too much drama and if it were a woman slapping a man, a film like this won’t be made. What do you have to say about this?
All kinds of reactions were playing in our heads. I was quite sure that they will talk about the other case also. What I think is even if women are in the position of assaulting men, I think the majority is what we are talking about in the film. Those reactions might come out from a defensive point of view. But what you are talking about the youth, I have a feeling that youth today is more reactionary than it used to be. But I think in a quiet place when they are not trying to project a certain image, I think their thinking is quite rational; it becomes a part of group mentality where they project a popular opinion.
The puja scene in the climax is emotional yet very impactful. The acting, the setting and the dialogues gave the audience the message strongly that you wanted to give throughout the film. How did you write that scene?
Taapsee’s character wasn’t justifying her stand anyway, throughout the film. She was just going with what she was feeling. She was someone who was taking in everyone opinions – whether it was her husband, mother, father, brother. But afterwards, when she had formed her opinion, I think the person closest to her was her mother-in-law whom she had to sort of not even explain. But while saying good-bye, it was something that poured out of her that why she can’t live with them, despite the love that she had. So, it’s not that it gives that character a chance to explain, it’s more of expressing in an emotional point of view and what she went through this whole thing. That’s how this whole scene came out. While shooting, Taapsee got it in the first take only.
In an interview, Anubhav Sinha said that Dia Mirza’s character didn’t have any man in the end because you told him that there might be a woman in this world who doesn’t need a man. I agree with it too. What made you write it in the film?
Whenever we write about a woman, their major conflict is always related to a man. Now, maybe a job. In between kuch hota nahi hai like there’s nothing a woman is thinking about or wanting or aspiring, nothing. Only ‘aadmi hai ki nahi hai’. So I thought, maybe she is in that place in her life where she is okay. There are other things that she is enjoying. She almost feels like she’s arrived into that nirvana.