It was exactly a year ago today, on February 28, that Anubhav Sinha's Taapsee Pannu-starrer 'Thappad' released. While its box office run was curtailed due to the coronavirus outbreak that led to a countrywide theatre shutdown just a couple of weeks later, the film went on to enjoy a good digital run during the lockdown too. At a time when society dismisses domestic violence as petty squabbles, 'Thappad' dared to start a discussion through its story of eight women from different walks of life.
Taapsee played the character of Amrita, a woman who gives up on her dreams and ambitions to get married and support her husband only to be slapped by him in front of everyone at a party. Despite all the pleading, cajoling, and even threatening, she stands her ground, refusing to budge without an apology. The actress spoke exclusively to ETimes on the film completing a year of release. Here's what she had to say:
Do parts of Amrita come back to you even now?
Always. You leave a part of yourself in the characters you play and I feel I have left several parts of me with my various characters. I can feel things missing too. But they come back whenever triggered.
What was the best reaction you got for the film and who did it come from?
I have lost count. I don't know if I can term it as good or bad, but many women wrote to me saying 'Thappad' was their story. I was in a very awkward position because I didn't know how to react to that but it made me realise that the film had hit home.
If you could imagine Amrita a year from the day she signed those divorce papers, where do you see her now?
I am glad that I am not the writer of Part 2. It is very difficult to imagine if Vikram (Pavail Gulati) is back in her life or if she has moved on.
Do you see the film spinning off a franchise of similar empowering films told in a non-preachy way?
I think this franchise system is on an overdrive anyway; not all films are meant to be spun into franchises. When it comes to empowering characters, a lot of women in the industry are doing it in individual films. So, we should just celebrate that in totality.
When are you collaborating with Anubhav Sinha again?
It is obvious that we will work together but only he can say when and on what.