February 28, 2020, a day when we collectively woke up. Or at least a few of us who could understand what Anubhav Sinha with his Taapsee Pannu starrer Thappad tried to say. Released exactly a year ago (okay I am a day late), the movie divided the audience into two. But was it just about a slap? Or was it about the monotony that broke with it?
Headlined by characters that we are or have around us, the movie was an alarm that set off for an important conversation. Today on Koimoi Recommends, I tell you to watch Thappad, a film that needs to be shown to every individual. And most importantly, you if you are one of those who hated it in the first watch.
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Available On: Amazon Prime Video
I have come across at least 4 individuals in my vicinity, which also includes a woman, who found Thappad to be over-exaggeration or useless. Yes, you read that right. What did Anubhav Sinha do to hurt them and their likes so strong? The boldest reply I could think of is it showed them the mirror.
Thappad highly (read wrongly) described as a movie about a man slapping his wife and her going out to teach him a lesson, was not just about that. But, it was about the zillion other things that led to that one slap. And it is also not the case that Sinha rode high on being metaphoric; he was always open. Thappad was the filmmaker zooming out the lens from your life, setting it on a wide-angle and making you see your privilege.
The very first thing it managed to break was monotony. It wasn’t like Amrita (Taapsee Pannu) was forced to be a homemaker, but she was dissolved so much in the job, that she forgot herself. Amrita was a representative for every woman who stands by the door with a tiffin box and wallet as the husband/son tie their shoelaces. Nothing wrong with that, but do you ever reverse the role? The wrong begins there.
The second in line is Patriarchy. Thappad had no villains; these are humans who know no different. When the mothers played by terrific actors, Ratna Pathak Shah & Tanvi Azmi, convince their kids as they say little adjustments are needed, you realise it is not just deep-rooted in the minds of ones oppressing, but also in the minds of those who care. For men, this might be discomforting, but for women, it is how they have lived. Maybe calling them robots of patriarchy would be apt. Collectively these two demons are what Taapsee Pannu and the team managed to become a threat to, and we know what happens whenever this dynamic rises.
Last but the most shinning part that Thappad manages to highlight, the effect the privileged make with their moves on the underprivileged. Another terrific actor, Geetika Vidya becomes the representative of the latter and is added to my favourites. I would love to do a complete biopsy for her character, but if you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t ruin it for you. It is her transition that makes Thappad an honest conversation. And if her dancing, in the end, doesn’t make you skip a beat, make sure you are empathising with the right things in your life.
Anubhav Sinha was out there making commentary about various things, including politics, gender privilege, class privilege, the effects of the haves on have nots and more. But all many could focus on was the slap. Watch Thappad, because it’s important to wake up, it is important that you educate people around you. Not because it is about a relevant social issue, but because it also is a gateway into yourself. I am a man, and I would love to celebrate this film every year, until each one of us know our privilege & uses it for the right thing!