Thappad (transl. Slap) is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed and co-produced (with Bhushan Kumar) by Anubhav Sinha. The film stars Taapsee Pannu as a woman who files for divorce after her husband slaps her. It was theatrically released on 28 February 2020.
Amrita (Taapsee Pannu) is a strong woman who chooses to be a homemaker in spite of being a talented Indian classical dancer. She willingly makes a choice to devote her life to building a home for her and her husband Vikram (Pavail Gulati). Vikram, on the other hand, is very ambitious and focused on achieving his career goals. All is well between the couple, who are also excited to move to London if Vikram is able to secure a promotion. When Vikram gets news about his promotion he and Amrita host a party to celebrate the good news. However, things get ugly at the party when Vikram realizes that due to bad office politics his dreams are being taken away from him. In his anger and frustration, he slaps his wife in front of their families and guests. From this point on, Amrita’s life is shattered but she’s expected to move on, because “sh*t happens“, right? But this line sums up a lot of Amrita’s emotions when she tells Vikram, “Tum apne company mein itne emotionally invested the you could not move on..maine toh apni puri life invest kari hai tumhare saath kaise move on karoon?”
Promotion and release Thappad
The film was initially planned for release on 6 March 2020, but later it was preponed by a week to 28 February 2020.
On 31 January, an official trailer of the film was released by T-Series. On 11 February, a second trailer was released which shows Pannu breaking the fourth wall and asking viewers to report the video so that it gets blocked on YouTube.
Cast of Thappad
Taapsee Pannu as Amrita
Pavail Gulati as Vikram
Dia Mirza as Shivani
Maya Sarao as Nethra
Kumud Mishra as Sachin
Ratna Pathak Shah as Sandhya
Tanvi Azmi as Sulakshana
Geetika Vidya as Sunita
Ram Kapoor as Advocate Pramad Gujral
Manav Kaul as Manav Jaisingh
Naina Grewal as Swati
Ankur Rathee as Karan
Siddharth Karnik as Raghav
Shantanu Ghatak as Subodh
Purnendu Bhattacharya as Thapar
Sushil Dahiya as Romesh
Nidhi Uttam as Kavita
Gracy Goswami as Sania
Box office Thappad
Thappad earned ₹3.07 crore net at the domestic box office on the first day. On the second day, the film collected ₹5.05 crore. On the third day, the film collected ₹6.54 crore taking total opening weekend collection to ₹14.66 crore.
As of 2 March 2020, with a gross of ₹20.14 crore in India and ₹4.48 crore overseas, the film has a worldwide gross collection of ₹24.53 crore.
Thappad is made all the more poignant because of performances. Pannu, one of the best actors in Hindi cinema at the moment, is near-perfect to play a role like this. Through silence and contemplative gaze, Amu speaks a language of constant betrayal. Pannu, true to her forte, has the astonishing ability to switch gears – Amu shares a pleasant moment with her parents one moment, slips into a quasi-confrontational mode with Vikram the another. Gulati is an able foil. Vikram is not a likeable character, but Gulati almost always just undercuts his viciousness, makes him perfectly credible – a guy you could have known your entire life and found nothing wrong with him. Mishra turns in a memorable performance, too. His character, an empathetic man, is not the kind of father we often see in Hindi films. Besides, he adds gentle humour to the movie – one of the multiple ways in which Thappad upends our expectations.
It’s significant to remember that Thappad has released only eight months after Kabir Singh, a celebration of misogyny that was the second-highest grossing Bollywood film of last year. In the dark by-lanes of status quo-reverential Bollywood, Sinha has lit a match. Now it’s up to the audience whether it wants to see the light.
It’s at the fag end, in its needless effort to rehabilitate the offenders and turn them abruptly and handily penitent, that the film wobbles but thankfully doesn’t get entirely derailed. On the one hand it holds the more widely palatable but disconcerting possibility of reconciliation, on the other is a simultaneous overriding assurance that it’s not the same Amrita we are leaving the theatre with than the one introduced to us at the start. She has come a long way. Like the woman in the Punjabi poem Mera Pata (My Address) by her namesake icon, Amrita Pritam, referenced in the film: “Te jitthe vee sutantar rooh di jhalak paave, samajhna uh mera ghar hain (Wherever you catch a glimpse of a free soul, regard that as my home).”