Will it be too dramatic if we said Thappad is a slap on face of the rubbish Kabir Singh tried to pass off as ‘love’? Well then, it is the sort of drama we deserve to indulge in. For everyone who tried to reason that nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies hitting a woman you are in love with, Thappad is like an oasis of sanity in the frustrating chaos that Bollywood can be. For everyone who whined that love, after all, is kabhi khushi, kabhi thappad, Taapsee Pannu’s film is an essential lesson on how to tell a woman from a coffee mug.
Thappad’s premise is simple and is evident in the trailer itself when Pannu’s character, Amrita, says, ‘Nahin mar sakta’. Yes, Kabir Singh and co, we are looking at you. A slap is a slap is a slap, no matter how many Arijit Singh songs you stuff us with.
Amrita (played by Pannu) and Vikram (played Pavail Gulati), had an arranged marriage, but there’s nothing obviously oppressive about their life in the first few scenes. Till you start noticing how Amrita arranges her life almost with desperate neatness around Vikram’s. She wakes up early, but pulls the curtains tightly together so that Vikram isn’t woken up by the sun, she checks his mother’s blood sugar, she makes tea, and then carries breakfast to her husband in bed.
As Vikram hurries to his Mercedes in a posh neighbourhood lined with lavish bungalows, Amrita follows him, smiling, carrying his purse, folders and a thermos filled with coffee. Vikram, in the same cycle, wakes up, grumbles about his work, talks about his work, asks Amrita to get him his folders, switch on the geyser, and then rushes out.
Vikram has a life, Amrita happens to be in it. Amrita’s life is Vikram, in an almost logistical sort of way.
Then one day, while a party is on at their house, Vikram comes to know that he has been shortchanged over a promotion at work. He gets into a fight with a colleague and when Amrita tries to restrain him, he turns around and slaps her.
The rest of the film...