The movie ‘Thappad’, winning the best movie award in Filmfare Awards 2021 has fascinated people with its plot and opened rooms of debates and criticisms. The movie highlights how most Indian women have to give up their dreams, careers, likes, dislikes, and happiness in order to be the best homemakers. As she enters her new home, she learns to prioritize her husband, his family, and children, forgetting that she is also an individual who deserves respect, care, and support to be the best version of herself. Despite all that she does, she hardly receives the respect and gratitude to which she is completely entitled.
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The movie stars the phenomenal Tapsee Pannu (Amrita) and Pavail Gulati (Vikram) in the lead roles. Vikam belongs to a rich family and is a young, ambitious man. Amrita is a housewife who endeavors to take proper care of her husband and family. The film starts on a favorable note where both of them are happily married apparently. Vikram is determined to get the promotion in his office in order to shift to London, to which Amrita offers her full support. To the fortune turn, he got selected for the same and for which they arrange a party. The rising action occurs when Vikram is informed in the party that his advancement contract has been violated in favour of an inexperienced junior who is a relative of his superior. Infuriated, he argues with his superior, Rajhans, whom he accuses of double-dealing. When Amrita attempts to stop the argument, Vikram slaps her in public. This one incident bitterly shattered her and that’s when the series of unfortunate events took shape.
Devastated, Amrita decides to file a petition and be separated from her husband. This raised a question for her from everyone: “Are you doing this just for a slap?” Well, for her, it wasn’t just a slap but a realization of multiple slaps from various unfair things she suffered throughout her married life.
The movie crucially represented the typical reaction of society, which rebukes a woman when she tries to escape unfairness. Amrita is told by her husband and others to move on and forget that, with all the regular heartbreaking lines like, “Thodha bardasht karna seekhna chahiye aurton ko.” The most striking line that I found from the movie is one of Amrita’s dialogues, “Jodh kar rakhni padhi koi cheez toh matlab tuti hui hain na.” The sentence in itself brings out a very true practice of our society, where the majority of women are forgiving to save their already injured and broken relationships just for the sake of society’s acknowledgment and outward respect.
The slap is not just the physical hitting that we can see with our naked eyes; every sentence and act that demeans, dominates, and tortures you as a person is also a slap. Women are largely non-physically abused in this modern age. A woman is told to adjust according to the other person’s needs, comfort, and desires. She is manipulated to be lower and incapable of taking feasible decisions, hence, she fails to understand who she is and what she wants. In her constant submission to others, she is unable to recognise the harsh reality that most things are decided for her and she is not doing them of her own free will. And this is what makes a woman a victim of psychological abuse, where she is brainwashed and cannot think for herself as a person.
Thappad is a very practical illustration of the inequalities and injustices faced by women, in so-called educated and high-class societies too. It gradually manifests the pain a wife had been enduring in a relationship that appeared amazing initially. Being a women who knows how to compromise in every step, be the first to apologize, invest herself completely for the family, and sees others’ dreams as her own while without caring for her own, and ignoring all the little and big abuses and unfairness, is what our society expects of a woman and label such qualities as that of decency and modesty. A woman ought to be treated fairly with respect, encouragement, and care, where she can celebrate her existence, feel all of her own joys, and pursue her dreams.
To sum up, it’s an amazing portrayal of a highly prevalent social issue of which we all need to be aware. The movie is directed and arranged really well by the director, Anubhav Sinha. The songs and dialogues are in tune with the theme of the movie. With a blend of all that, Thappad has emerged as a slap to male chauvinism and unhealthy practices against women that demand attention.