Skip to main content

The Female Companionship you Forgot to Notice in Thappad


The orange ice candy that the main women in Thappad sip and enjoy in the opening shot is probably symbolic of their happy and sweet moment before they return to their presumably happy and suppressed lives. From sharing an ice candy in common to sharing the repressed notion of self-respect and being blindfolded by the patriarchal notions, the companionship of these female characters rejuvenates.

There has always been this misconception that women never really get along or share the kind of brotherhood that the men have. 

 Amidst the deconstruction of the deep-rooted patriarchy that we have normalized for centuries, Anubhav Sinha's Thappad (2020) also resonates with female companionship and sisterhood. However, we became so engrossed in watching Amrita’s(played by Tapsee Pannu) journey of self-exploration that we forgot to take a peek at this underlying theme too. 

The very next day of all the havoc where Amrita is expected to behave normally in spite of not getting the apology she deserved, Sunita (played by Geetika), her housemaid comforts her with a relaxing oil massage and shares her story which is similar but divided by class constructs. 

A warm hug by her neighbor Shivani (played by Dia Mirza) was something that Amrita needed the most at that moment. Shivani, unlike other women never suffered an abusive marriage and never had to comprise herself to fit in the relationship. But that never stopped her from understanding what Amrita was going through. 

Maybe that is why she backed to support her even when Vikram asks her to pretend as if nothing happened so that he can save his marriage.

Even when her own brother justified Vikram’s thunderous slap in front of a pretty large crowd, it was her to-be sister law  Swathi who had Amrita’s back and encouraged her to do what her heart said.  

Swati (played by Naina Grewal) introduces Amrita to a very notable and reputed lawyer Netra (played by Maya Sarao), who herself is choking in a meaningless and abusive marriage, a relationship built on privilege and lack of love. Netra had turned a blind eye to all the abuse and violence like many women in this country. 

When Vikram’s lawyer (Ram Kapoor) jokes “when did she become an activist from a lawyer”, Amrita backs her up by saying, “She actually became a woman from a lawyer and not an activist!” It is only on seeing the sheer determination of Amrita to walk out of a relationship where there is no love and respect, that Netra sees through her broken marriage and decides to step out for herself. She leaves behind the entitlement of being “Justice Jaisingh ki bahu” to make her own mark and identity. 

Amrita’s mother Sandhya(played by Ratna Pathak Shah) and mother-in-law Sulekha(played by Tanvi Azmi) were initially apprehensive of her decision to end the marriage but later were able to see through the turmoil of self-respect and existence that tormented Amrita. 

They were able to see how they too, in a significant percentage, were responsible for what happened had been carrying on the baton of this normalized patriarchal notions. Sulekha eventually lets go of Amrita to let her live a life of her choices and decisions.

That one slap is not something that should be considered as 'shaadi main toh yeh sab hota rehta hai'(such things are common in marriage) or “something that is a way to show love and affection”. That one slap brought in a wave of change in Amrita and like her, we too began seeing through the deep-rooted patriarchy that normalized domestic violence and taught women that 'hota rehta hai, comprise karna padta hai'(such things happen and you have to compromise).

Thappad speaks of notions bigger than domestic violence. The film also resonates with how women have sacrificed their sense of self and existence for their family for centuries.

Anubhav Sinha’s Thappad signals for a new thoughtful world where women are unapologetic and no longer tolerate disrespect and abuse. How many of you are in for this gender-neutral world?

You can now watch Thappad in Amazon Prime 


Popular posts from this blog

Manic Pixie Dream Girl - A Pop-Culture Cliche We Need to Get Rid of

She is beautiful and eccentric. Maybe she dyed her hair and has a different hair cut. 
She is coy, vivacious, and an enigma.
She is sexually adventurous and full of energy. She makes your dull life worth living and makes you see the world from a different perspective.
Sounds relatable? Yes, she is the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
Let me put it in a much simpler way.

What is Manic Pixie Dream Girl?
The origin of the pop-culture cliché Manic Pixie Dream Girl happened way back in 2007 when film critic Nathan Rabin coined the term after watching the Hollywood film “Elizabeth Town”. He defined the term as – “female character who exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.”

Manic Pixie Dream Girls don’t have a story of their own. Their only purpose is to make the gloomy, directionless life of leading men in movies brighter and happier. If you ask me a list of movies with Ma…

Genuine and Brilliant Time Travel Attempt-JL 50 Sony LIV Review

Rating - 3.5/5A remote village  in West Bengal witnessed a plane crash on a very normal day. Further investigation on the plane crash reveals that it’s JL50, a plane that took off from Calcutta in 1984 and went missing. And now after 35 years, the plane has reappeared from nowhere. There are just 2 survivors of the crash, the pilot Bhiu Ghosh and Professor BC Mishra. Surprisingly they haven’t aged a bit. It is from this point that the mystery takes off, changing the entire mood of the series.Abhay Deol plays Shantanu, a CBI officer in charge of the investigation of the mystery plane crash. Must agree he has made an amazing comeback with this 4 episode web series. In his journey to find the truth behind JL50, many secrets unfold. We are hinted about time travel in the first episode itself. But to experiment with such a bold and in-depth topic, proper foundation to the idea is needed with a pinch of audacity. And the makers have both. JL50 is convincing as a time-traveling movie and use…

Why there won't be a Fleabag Season 3 - Series Review

Rating- 4/5
Watch on - Amazon Prime

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who plays Fleabag confirmed that there won't be a season 3 for this critically acclaimed series. It makes sense on so many levels. The season series is complete in itself and there is no reason to drag it for another season.
Here's everything about season 1 and 2 of Fleabag on Amazon Prime Videos
To be brief, Fleabag is humorously heart-breaking. Fleabag is a series revolving around the life of a 30 something-year-old immature and careless woman whose name is never mentioned throughout the series. 
It's a really strange name; Fleabag! Nowhere are we mentioned her name nor do we know the meaning of Fleabag. We just assume that her name is Fleabag.

We see her struggling with her Café business and dealing with family aggression. Something from the keeps tormenting her throughout Season 1 at the end of which the reason for grief is disclosed. Her hypersexual instinct forces her into having meaningless sex, which is what got h…

Meddling between art and faith, but with ambiguity - Halal Love Story

Connecting the boundaries of faith and artistic freedom, that’s what Zakkariya Edayur’s second feature film Halal Love Story humorously attempts. And doing so without looking down at either the people’s faith or artistic freedom is where Halal Love Story strikes a score. The film starts with a speech recording about the 9/11 attack on the d Trade Centre, to remind us of the timeframe the film is set in. A progressive Muslim religious association feels an under-representation of their community and its ideals and to spread the real idea of Islam to a wider audience, they decide to work on a larger medium-Cinema. Thoufeeq (Sharaf U Deen), a gentle, decent school teacher along with Rahim Sahib (Nazar Karutheny) come up with a script and find a suitable director, Siraj (Joju George). In the first 20-30 minute, we are left doubtful whether the religious tone has been overdone with too many references and citations. But as we move across the film, what awaits us is a barrel of laughter with…

10 Best Amazon Prime Web Series to Binge in 2020

With the pandemic being nowhere near to end,OTT platforms like Amazon Prime Videoare our only savior from boredom. Amazon Prime Video has become India's personal theatre that they can carry around anywhere and anytime. Here's a list of some of the best amazon prime original series that need to be on your binge list.
1. FleabagThis is a show that needs to be on your binge list. Based on Phoebe Waller-Bridge's one-woman play adaptation of the same name, Fleabag is a 2 season 12 episode series that revolves around the life of a 30-year-old woman. She is a complete mess. There is hardly anything that she has done right in her life. She uses sex as her escape from her complicated emotions. The entire series is about she transforms into a more mature person, accepting her mistakes and also falling in love. 
2. The Family ManThe Family Man is one of the most exciting, thrilling, and entertaining series I have seen in recent times. It's a complete package. While his family is co…

New Girl in the City - Aisha Banerjee from Wake Up Sid

‘The New Girl in the City’ is how Aisha Banerjee (played by Konkana SenSharma) from Wake Up Sid(directed by Ayan Mukherjee) summarizes her experience of being in a totally new city for the first time, all by herself. The new city does not have to be Mumbai all the time like in Aisha’s case. It can be moving into a hostel for college, or relocating to another state or country for better job opportunities or anything similar but, the excitement the experience offers is as liberating as it is scary.
We find ourselves confused and lonely because we have left behind the only world we ever knew. And now in the hustle of the city, we find ourselves surrounded by people who speak, eat, and dress differently. Aisha who has come all the way from Kolkata to make it big in Mumbai as a writer goes through the same emotions. But in the chaos, she finds freedom and a sense of self, a will to explore more, and above all she finds independence, the one thing that she came for.
It can be totally uncomf…

Debunking the Myth of Female Sexual Pleasure - Lust Stories and Others

Devi (played by Richa Chadda) from Masaan is a lowly small-town girl from Banaras. But one fine day her world turns around and she is branded as a prostitute. What did she do? She involved in a consensual sexual relationship with her boyfriend. It was not those usual ‘got carried away at the moment’ clichés we usually see in movies. It was intentional and planned because she wanted to explore her sexuality. But the judgemental eyes of our society, ignorant of female sexual desire ruined her plan and framed her as a prostitute.
A woman wanting more in a relationship is always compared to a prostitute. The idea of sexual intimacy has categorized women as just givers and not takers. In an Indian marriage sexual compatibility is never a criterion because, in the end, women are just receptacles for men. Any complaints regarding the same are redirected to nowhere. The general idea of sex in India is all about continuing the hierarchy. In simple words, sex is seen more like a procedure to jus…