Mumbai: Calling domestic violence “an elephant in the room”, Bollywood star Taapsee Pannu hopes her film “Thappad” starts a conversation around the issue.
In the Anubhav Sinha-directed movie, Taapsee plays an educated, upper middle-class woman who is forced to take stock of her relationship after being slapped by her husband.
“The film is not just about domestic violence. It is just one trigger. There is a dialogue in the film which says ‘I can suddenly see all the unfair things that I did not notice earlier’. So ‘Thappad’ (slap) is a trigger and suddenly you see these things that were taken for granted in a relationship,” Taapsee told PTI in an interview.
“We are trying to bring out the elephant in the room. Let’s see how many discussions or how many awkward silences are there after people see the film,” she added.
The 32-year-old actor said women are often told to “tolerate” and are given a different ‘to-do’ list than men for a relationship, which creates an imbalance and the film addresses these disparities.
“It is like there is a (separate) to-do list for both women and men that is expected from them in a relationship. Who decided this? Did you just blindly follow what was told to you? It is not a mistake of any one person but of everyone as a society that we are trying to normalise it,” Taapsee said, adding that her character Amrita questions everyone, including herself, in the process.
According to Taapsee, it was a conscious decision to set the background of the story in an upper middle class, educated and well-to-do family.
“It is not that such things happen in those houses where people are uneducated, this happens in educated families as well. It is happening with three women out of five,” she said.
Asked whether she had questioned herself as well, the actor said she unlearned certain things that were ingrained in her as a woman.
“When you are growing up you are told to follow certain things…. But with age as I became independent, I realised I am working as hard as a man of my age and I am earning well, maybe not more, but I can run my house like any other man. So why are rules different for me? I should not do certain things because I am a woman, why? When you start becoming independent, you become confident and start questioning things.”
Thappad” also features Pavail Gulati, Dia Mirza, Ratna Pathak Shah, Tanvi Azmi, Kumud Mishra and Manav Kaul. It is set to hit the theatres on February 28.