The teaser for Saand Ki Aankh is out and it tells the story of two middle-aged women from a tiny village of Johri, and their exploits in sharp-shooting. Fondly known as the ‘Revolver Dadis’ in their village, theirs is a story of defiance and courage. Starring Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar as Prakashi Tomar and Chandro Tomar respectively, the film shines a light on these two brave women who looked patriarchy in the eye, and set the foundation of a ‘rifle club’ that produced an estimated 352 medals.
It’s a fabulous subject for a film, but like it usually happens with many mainstream Hindi films, the product looks a little rushed. The makeup on both actors (to make them look like their middle-aged characters) seems to have a lot of leftover maida (flour) as a primary component.
There’s an argument to be made here, that if a majority of the film is going to follow the characters in their middle-age, then why couldn’t two age-appropriate actors be cast for the role? Considering how both the women began their shooting careers after they had passed the age of 50, it’s likely that the focus on their youth will be relatively limited. Why were two roles meant for middle-aged female actors presented to significantly younger actors? Especially in an era, that affords us the likes of a Shefali Shah, Sheeba Chadha, Neena Gupta?
Bollywood’s troubled past with ‘true stories’
Just like Super 30, that saw brown-faced Hrithik Roshan do a preposterous Bihari accent in the name of ‘method acting’, the teaser for Saand Ki Aankh doesn’t seem like it’s going to investigate the characters beyond the gimmick of a ‘plot’. Two elderly women starting their shooting careers at the age of 50, might work as a gimmick to get a film into production. But will the film dig deep into the consciousness of these two women and their decision to take on sharp-shooting as a profession? That’s something we’ll have to wait and watch. One can only hope that Bollywood hasn’t made a hack-job of it, like it usually does.
Saand Ki Aankh also stars Vineet Kumar Singh and Prakash Jha in important roles. It’s going to be an important film if it succeeds at the box office and moves its audience. Nothing will be more disheartening than if the film turns out to be yet another rushed attempt by Bollywood to cash in on a hatke concept. Here’s hoping debutante director Tushar Hiranandani is aiming for the right things in the story.
Here’s the teaser for Taapsee Pannu & Bhumi Pednekar’s Saand Ki Aankh: