Thappad - A questionable act
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
Very rarely i get this boring, exhausting and at the same time interesting feel while watching a movie, this mostly felt like a stage play. Like Anubhav Sinha previous film, this also revolves around a single life changing incident "a slap". This one take its own sweet time to settle with a varying pace. The movie starts off with a typical routine loop of a house wife. She says its a choice that she has accepted. What she really care is respect and happiness. We see people around her, seemingly good hearted family setup and some perfectly staged characters. Then a celebration party turn into argument between husband and his boss, wife intervenes and there goes the moment of outburst. In fact the trailer gave away too much information.
From mother to mother-in-law and from all well wishers the mantra followed was the same "forgive and move on, choti baat ko kyon bada rahe ho". And i can't fault their advice, as we all know in the past, girls upbringing always focused more on agreeing things, acknowledge that men can err and have a positive tolerance level. And surprising that behavior yielded rewards historically and they passed on the tried and tested formula to their daughters. The notion of nothing above self-respect is never taught to them. They have to go through the pain and experience it to find out the true meaning of being a woman. So what happens when you can't let go of that incident. That part of pain and frustration is one key highlight of the film which is slow yet rewarding. The film does question about privilege and male-dominance but i felt the message was not strong enough because all the characters were good on paper.
What holds the film together to some extent is the simmering performance from the husband and wife. Their conversations and expressions of emotion are far more honest. The character development often felt raw. There was precision in how the story unfolds in most parts. The side stories involving domestic violence on the house maid, the neighbor and a half baked love story of the lawyer doesn't fit at all with the main theme. May be the director wanted to show feminine emancipation across the board. I did not clearly see the role of some of the characters. Some sweet and conveniently placed characters takes the sheen away from a well intended movie. The monologue pooja sequence is a well crafted one.
As lot of matured and married people will resonate well with the story, i would say give it a try. But satisfaction not guaranteed and again depends on the audience taste. Definitely Kabir Sing movie characters wont agree with the outcome of the movie :)
Verdict - 3/5(An identity loss)