Both Sara and Amrita fight against the unfair, but normalised norm which demands women to be tolerant and adjusting according to the family they are in
Tapsee Pannu and Anna Ben in Thappad and Sara'S respectively
When Jude Anthany Joseph’s Sara decides against being a mother, it reminds of another woman that shook the Indian audience a year back – Amrita in Thappad who gets divorced for a slap. Anubhav Sinha’s Thappad which released in February 2020 was a matter of discussion then, as Sara’s is now. Both the movies stepped out of the line and amplified the opinions of women that require to be heard by today’s society.
These two women question the stereotypes that women have learnt to accept since ages. When Sara boldly stated before her in-laws that she is not interested in having a child, Amu ended her marriage because her husband slapped her amidst a house party. Even though they didn’t receive complete support from others around them, we see these women strongly backing their choices and making it happen. Along with the character development, the opinions also develop into statements which strike against the year-old patriarchy that had made choices for women and forced her to handle them for generations.
The two female leads happen to have many similarities in the execution of their opinion. In a combination scene of both protagonists with their mothers-in-law, they try to clearly convey how women making their choices didn’t intend to disregard the honour or pride of family, but they are just like any other individual choices. Also, both the leads are backed by strong supportive fathers who are proud of their daughters, which shows there are men among us too, who understand the need for equality. Both of them fight against the unfair, but normalised norm which demands women to be tolerant and adjusting according to the family they are in. In a society where pregnancy and motherhood are over glorified, Sara raises her voice to say it is just a choice that women make, whether or not to reproduce. Meanwhile Amu says it is not okay to physically hurt someone just because they are your spouse or their gender is believed and treated to be inferior.
The two movies have also tried to bring issues of women from different backgrounds to the limelight. While Sara’s showcased Lissy (Srinda), a woman from poor living condition, rising against her husband who tries to impregnate against her will even after five children, Thappad listed a number of characters including Amu’s lawyer and her house maid who faces domestic violence and sexual harassment. Along with the lead character, others also are shown to be unlearning their suppression and walking against it.
The cinema space is always a good medium to propagate progressive thoughts and opinions. In terms of making a political argument, both the movies have succeeded in a great amount, which made their audience rethink and empower themselves. Also, it is a brave attempt of the crew, to go against the convention and make the society think how women’s wings are clapped and even ‘just a slap’ is not okay.