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5 Reasons Why Thappad Was A Tight Slap On The Face Of Meaningless Notions Of Society

Posted: May 15, 2020

When I watched Thappad recently, I realised it was a slap on the face of several notions of society. Here are the five that remained with me throughout.

In mainstream movies, a Thappad (Slap) is a tried and tested ‘therapy’ to correct the ‘wrongdoings’ of a person. Generally, it is the female lead who is given the beating by the males. In the end, the movie justifies his ‘heroic’ action and win applause from the audience. However, Thappad was a breath of fresh air with the dose of right questions and answers.

It is an intelligently written film. Taapsee’s character Amrita, initially the ‘perfect’ housewife, takes on a bumpy road when she realises what she went through in her marriage. A slap was her realisation to what she was compromising on- respect, career, and freedom, among many.

We are sensitive about women’s issues. More often than not, our social system tells the women to ‘adjust’ before tying the knot. When she is not okay with something, we try to protect her rather than addressing the problem. The end result is that the problem remains there, and she faces an inner battle often left to herself.

Here are some notions Thappad slapped

Thappad gives a tight slap to some unthinkable and meaningless notions prevalent in society. Which are the ones we are talking about?

  • Slapping your dear ones is an expression of love: The most ridiculous argument in recent times. You have no right to slap anyone. People may shrug off saying ‘after all it’s only a slap’ but the relative pain a woman undergoes in this whole act should not go unnoticed.
  • It’s okay to sacrifice your interests for a new family: This is a piece of common parental advice before any wedding. Why should it always be a woman’s duty to give up their dreams and choices in a marriage? Why it never goes the other way around? Why should a person give up their individuality and live according to her husband’s wishes?
  • It’s pitiful to remain unmarried: What more pitiful is to stay with a person who lacks empathy and understanding. It is okay to live life on our own terms that surrendering yourself completely.
  • Men can take care of everything: Seriously? The husband advises his partner to start learning to make parathas when she expresses her desire to learn driving. Why it always happens with women? Another character in the film has no shame in crediting the success of his hardworking lawyer wife to his family background and his privilege.
  • Men will not understand women: Notwithstanding the support Amrita’s husband receives from other counterparts, one of the striking parts from the film is Amrita’s father. A respectable man, he understands women and definitely not the ‘advice-giving type’ we see in films. The conversation where Taapasee asks her father whether she is right is an underplayed yet powerful scene. When life gives you a chance, be like Amrita’s dad, not her husband.

When Thappad hit the theatres in February, the Hindi film industry already witnessed two major releases with two leading woman actors. Kangana Ranaut’s Panga and Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak were already making waves. It was a heartening change to see from India’s biggest film industry.

Thappad is one film which ticks all the right boxes and is a fine example to reinstate a proven fact – A film need not be preachy to deliver effective messages.

Streaming on: Amazon Prime

A version of this was earlier published here.

Picture credits: Still from movie Thappad

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