I watched Thappad last night, it came highly recommended by a friend ( Thank you Aruna).
I had watched the trailer, and I thought this movie would be about domestic violence. I have seen a few of my friends, who belong to an educated-well-off class suffer from domestic violence. Domestic Violence is a topic close to my heart, but this movie is really not about domestic violence.
Tapsee Pannu( Amrita) plays the role of a devoted wife and a good daughter-in-law. Her marriage looks like a very happy one, husband converses with her, longs for her, and loves her. What more she could want?
This movie answers the question- What more she could want?
In fact, she doesn’t want anything, she is not asking for his money or house.
When her husband slaps her in the movie, he has not slapped her because of her. He was angry with his office colleagues, and she is trying to pull him away from the situation. In a bluster he tries to tell her to go away and ends up slapping her. He is not angry with her. It just happened.
And, the slap is the climax and the start of her internal struggle. It is the beginning of an inquest on her identity. How did she become this character artist in her husband’s film; how is it that she has become a wheel in her husband’s life and happiness; how did she forget that she didn’t want to be a housewife.
The movie is brilliant, some scenes showing a dual point of view. Amrita sees her husband off every morning with his coffee flask. And in the same frame is shown Diya Mirza, her neighbor in a similar Mercedes Benz as her husband, going to work as an independent woman. It also points to the stark reality: women are taken advantage of in all stratas of society. The mode of communication and outwardly sophistication may differ in the different sections of society. Her lawyer and her maid are on two extreme ends of a society; but both are in an unjust relationship; both are accepting of their footing. It takes a character like Amrita, who otherwise is not ambitious for herself to make them realize of their quandary.
Amrita’s father, an adorable dad otherwise is lacking as a husband.He did not push his wife to pursue her talents, but silently accepted her new role of mother and wife because it served his purpose. And, in this lies the beauty of the movie- women need to acknowlege themselves. We have to be a champion for our desires, our self-respect and mirth. We should start taking respect, and love for our desires as a given, and we should speak up when these things are absent from any relationship. We have to be the lead characters in our life story.
If you haven’t watched the movie, it’s on Amazon Prime.