Amrita’s husband has just slapped her at a party. It’s like a reflex action. He’s angry, he’s drunk and he’s about to get into fisticuffs with his senior colleagues. When in comes the demure, pretty, housewife of his, to yank him off, the ensuing fight that would have happened. But instead he slaps her. He’s angry with all the men around but then who does he slap? His wife. In public.
Not that it matters, though a slap is a slap, by any other name too, in public or private. And then, post this episode, we see their marriage crumbling.
A lot of people have argued that how can a marriage be on the verge of a breakup, just because of the slap. The man can always say he was provoked and the reflex action happened not with anybody, but his wife.
So, hell, let it go. Forget the slap. Move on and get going.
But Amrita doesn’t. In a very well thought out movie, with just the right lines and the right pauses and the right direction, she is pitch perfect in everything she does.
As women we support her, because we know the self respect she stood up for. And the men who support her, will also understand this. As for the ones who keep claiming that it was just a slap, well, they have a lot to learn, about relationships, about self respect, about being taken for granted, about marriages and well, about love.
But then, like the character who plays the lawyer in the film says, not all marriages have love. Neither does love need marriage to exist. These are two independent things and if they can co- exist, it is a happy union. Else, the married need to look outside for love and those who are in love, need not necessarily have marriage as a goal.
The film eschews this delicate balance like a maestro and tells us why it was so important for her to protest at something apparently innocuous as this, despite the fact that she is pregnant and she should focus on saving her marriage for the sake of her child.
The male character in the film is like, typically most men. A self absorbed prick who thinks only of his dreams, his wishes, his feelings snd his career. A sincere heartfelt public apology after the incident occurred may have helped to assuage his wife’s sense of self respect but it took him the whole of the movie to realise that.
Towards the end, we see glimpses of redemption and evolvement in him, and that tips the balance a bit. Else this is just the story of most urban households where the man is not overtly a male chauvinist pig, but a sleeping MCP.
If a woman sacrifices her career to make his home and hearth, she deserves better and such few men realise it. Almost all the women characters in this film face varying degrees of chauvinism whether it be the maid or the high profile lawyer.
This is not about feminism at all. Its about respecting a woman because she deserves it, just like men. Its not about placing a woman on a higher pedestal but about stark, raw,equality that’s usually missing.
Ever hear a woman voice her opinions and a man asking her to shut up? Well, that’s reality. This movie is idealistic. In real life, the man would have never realised his mistake. If he did, every marriage would be a happy, perfect one.
Tapsee Pannu is one of the finest actresses we have around, but again highly under rated. She clearly deserves an award for this one. Watch!