The film is populated with flesh and blood characters, each played utterly convincingly by the actors who inhabit their space. Of the ensemble, Pavail Gulati as the husband is the surprise package as he turns his Vikram into a very believable everyman of sorts. He conveys his frustration of not being able to comprehend the reason for Taapsee reacting to the incident the way she does with such sincerity that I found myself sympathizing even with him on a few occasions. Needless to say, other established actors like Taapsee Pannu, Ratna Pathak Shah, Kumud Mishra (an Anubhav Sinha favorite), Tanvi Azmi hit all the right notes and make a meal of their parts. Even actors in smaller roles like Dia Mirza and Geetika Vidya Ohlyan (of Soni fame) leave a lasting impression.
Not everything comes together seamlessly though. It's interesting how the makers use the incident as a backdrop to draw attention to deeper rooted problems of gender inequality in other households, but some of these subplots receive more screen time than required which ultimately dampen the pace of the film occasionally. Also, towards the end, it appears as though Sinha and his writers ran out of important stuff to say as a result of which the film feels bloated by at least half an hour.
I'm still going with 4/5 stars. It may not be a perfect film, but it is brimming with originality and made with unmistakable conviction. At a time when a major chunk of filmmakers are pre-occupied with the westernization of Bollywood, Anubhav Sinha holds a mirror to the Indian society urging us to take a moment and introspect. In that sense, Thappad is a slap on the face of all those perpetrators who commit these crimes, knowingly or unknowingly.