Updated: Jun 30, 2020
When I saw the movie’s poster on Amazon Prime, I knew I would watch it again. Just the memory of watching it the first time made me watch it again the next day. It raised so many points in each scene that I was sure I would have missed some in the first viewing. So, this post is not about feminism, independence, respect or love. It is about the bond between Amrita (Taapsee Pannu) and her Dad (Kumud Mishra) – a bond every girl should share with her Dad.
I first noticed the Dad’s expression when he sees her dancing at the party. You can see happiness mixed with enthusiasm, as if he is seeing Amrita dance for the first time. It is the smile of knowing how good she is, how much she enjoys it, the opportunities she has missed and the happiness she has chosen to sacrifice in her life. After the monumental slap happens, and she walks past him, you can feel she is ashamed of his gaze, for no fault of hers. I relate to this emotion, you never want your parents to see you fail at anything, not even your marriage. You feel responsible for troubling them with your life mistakes.
It is a well-known fact in their house that he falls sick every time she goes through a rough patch and that is just absolutely endearing. He asks his wife to call Amrita the next day, but then understands on his own, that it may not be the right time. This is how Dads are wired – they are passive but taking care of you in their thoughts all the time. When Amrita calls, he answers the call with a child-like urgency still wanting to protect Amrita. While talking to her, he reaffirms that “We are strong people” as if both need to hear that.
When Amrita decides to move back to his house, you can see the elation. Dads will never accept, but they want their daughters next to them because they only know how to show love by being around. He prevents Amrita from her own family when they try to tell her that a slap means nothing, again and again and again.
Hum to hamesha sahi soch ke karte h, galat ka toh baad me pata chalta h. Par kai baar sahi karne ka result happy nahi hota.
(We only do what we think is right. You only know later if it was wrong. Doing the right thing doesn’t always end in happiness)
He is the happiest man when he comes to know that Amrita is pregnant and puts his energy into keeping her happy despite all that the family is going through. I wonder if something fundamentally changes in men when they become fathers. They become protectors for life, and they can’t help being that. They are there for you, but they also understand that you have your own life in another house – I don’t know how they do that. I missed my dad immensely while watching this movie and I am sure I will watch it again.
Needless to say, Kumud Mishra has done this so exceptionally well. We are lifelong fans sir!