"The film also comments on how patriarchy passes down from generation to generation. There are instances that also comment on marital rape. What even makes the film more connectable is no men in this film are portrayed as straight villains or bad men, they are just regular Indian men and Sinha shows how almost every man is a product of patriarchy. "
Thappad starts with a tour of routine night lives of four women that are in the life of Amrita (Taapsee) in some way or the other. We then see Amrita's daily routine She waters the plants, takes the picture of her balcony view, harvests aromatic leaves, grates ginger and makes tea. She tests her mother-in-law’s blood sugar levels. She then wakes her husband, brings him tea in bed. He gets ready, she makes breakfast. He’s always in a hurry to leave for work, so she runs after him to hand out the essentials while he is going out. Vikram is working hard for getting a position but he doesn't get what he wants and this anger is vented out on Amrita at the party. Vikram slaps Amrita although Amrita stays in the central position of the frame, her background becomes tilted indicating the imbalance that is going to come in her life after that one slap.
Vikram’s mother (Tanvi Azmi) and Amrita’s own mother (Ratna Pathak) and brother (Ankur Rathee) are shocked, but advise her to shrug it off. From that night we see a different life of Amrita, completely different from the one which made place from the start in our mind. She doesn't dress like she used to do and she neither takes the photo of her balcony view now. She is unhappy and no one even tries to talk to her, everybody is busy making her forget the incident.
Vikram treats the incident as a normal thing and wants Amrita to understand his pressure and tension which made him do such an action. Even her own brother tries to convince Amrita a lot to drop the matter. But Amrita's father (Kumud Mishra) is angry inside but soft outside and the way he bottles up the anger and remains gentle is very greatly achieved by Kumud Mishra. The film also comments on how patriarchy passes down from generation to generation. There are instances that also comment on marital rape. What even makes the film more connectable is no men in this film are portrayed as straight villains or bad men, they are just regular Indian men and Sinha shows how almost every man is a product of patriarchy.
There are scenes which shine larger than the film, like the particular "after-puja" scene where Amrita explains to her mother-in-law how she never even dreamed of becoming a housewife was really heart-touching and powerful. Anubhav Sinha constantly raises the quantity of problems in the lives of couples as if the case is just isn't enough which makes the second half look like an extended melodrama at few places. Yet, the Marriage Story-style chemistry between lawyer and client is shown and even the courtroom drama isn't staged. The song Ek Tukda Dhoop very well suites all the situations portrayed in the movie.
Acting by Taapsee is again commendable, Taapsee always shines when someone challenges her perspective and in return she makes people question themselves. From Pink to Thhappad you can see the similar strips of traits portrayed in all of it. The remaining cast dialogues get stronger in the second half and even the snippets of poetry from Hindi literature are used in the end really effectively.
Overall, Thappad serves her message in one of the best ways possible and certainly is an important film.
FINAL VERDICT - 3.5 / 5