You may like it or not. You may agree with what it is trying to say or not. You may feel saddened by it or not. But one thing is certain: Anubhav Sinha’s THAPPAD is a very bold movie; it is a movie which you cannot just ignore; it is a movie which will provoke every adult, male or female, to take a peek inside the underbelly of seemingly happy or overtly unhappy Indian homes. If you choose to miss seeing this movie after knowing what this is about, I can only conclude that you would like to consciously ignore what is happening in Indian homes! Isn’t this a provocative remark? Yes, it is, because THAPPAD isn’t just a thought-provoking movie; it is also a provocative one.
Way back in 2006, Aishwarya Rai starred in a movie PROVOKED, which had a theme of emotional and physical abuse by the husband. Based on a real story, the movie tracked events which lead to the heroine taking the ultimate step of killing her husband. But where it failed to create a meaningful impact was the way, it was brought onto the screen. Could be the direction, could be the screenplay, could be the acting. Anubhav Sinha’s third movie in the last three years, after MULK and ARTICLE 15 is worthy of being included in the hat-trick of off-beat, hard-hitting and thought-provoking movies. Brilliant in nearly every angle (I will come back later on as to why I have used the word nearly), THAPPAD is far more forceful than what it’s English translation (THE SLAP) can ever suggest.
THAPPAD speaks to the audience in several layers in several ways. In fact, the scenes which have the maximum impact are those that just catch the expressions on the faces of the characters. That’s acting at its very best. While giving full marks to Tapsee Pannu for her brilliant portrayal, the performances of debutant Pavail Gulati (a very difficult role as Tapsee’s husband), Kumud Mishra and Ratna Pathak Shah (playing her parents) and other supporting actors add to creating the impact. And so is the background music by Mangesh Dhakde.
A dialogue by Kumud Mishra to Tapsee Pannu is really the most thought-provoking part of the movie. Loosely translated, the reminder message by the father to the daughter conveys that doing what seems to be right does not mean that the consequences will be happy. And there is this discussion about if the consequences are to be happy, then should one be concerned about what’s right? But happy to whom? And right by what standard? Disturbing questions, indeed. Anubhav Sinha has clearly written his script without worrying about whether the audience will back the action taken by the lead character or not.
But as a movie-maker, who has decided to bring a topic to the fore, Anubhav Sinha could have detailed the reasons for the lead character’s actions. And that’s what has been done in one of the trailers which is appended to this review: THAPPAD is not, as Tapsee Pannu states, merely a physical act. It is a series of emotional THAPPADS heaped on her. The physical THAPPAD, therefore becomes the proverbial last straw.
At a full 150 minutes, THAPPAD is not an easy watch. It is long, it is tedious, but it is till worth a watch.
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
March 2nd, 2020

About The eternally happy Vijay

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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