Directed by Tushar Hiranandani and produced by Anurag Kashyap, ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ is an Indian biographical film based on the lives of Sharpshooters Chandro and Prakashi Tomar.
Directed by- Tushar Hiranandani
Produced by- Anurag Kashyap, Reliance Entertainment, Nidhi Parmar
Starring- Tapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, Prakash Jha
Sister-in-laws cum friends, Chandro played by Bhumi Pednekar and Prakashi Tomar played by Taapsee Pannu are the women from Johri, a village in north India. In this village, women are expected to do everything conventional and of bog-standard – procreating, cleaning, cooking and be in the service of men. Whereas, men, on the other hand, are expected to be served, relax in their signature charpai and smoke hookah. However, the intervention in the conventions happens when these sexagenarian Tomar women decides to pursue sharpshooting at the age of 60.
What is a deep-rooted patriarchy? It is when women are assigned a particular colour to keep their face covered so that the husband knows who to go to bed with. This is exactly what ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ has aimed to break through Chandro and Prakashi Tomar‘s story. We live in a society which has indeed come a long way. However, there is a large part which is yet to be disengaged.
Talking about the performances, both Tapsee and Bhumi abide in the character by mastering the dialect and the accent which sounds quite authentic. The solidarity between the two actors is so effortless that they seem like real life sisters-in-law. Their ‘being-there-for-each-other’ moments makes you believe in female bond and companionship.
They have ample amount of hilarious dialogues such as when asked about their diet because of their steady hands during shooting; the Tomar sisters responds “gaaliyan” (abuse). In parallel, the film chooses its verbalisation to be a little loud. Now to rationalise it a bit, this film is based on a sport which is itself very loud and eventful. But, considering the past ventures of Housefull and Masti, that is not the ground of the loudness. It’s just the ingenuity of the crass comedy which has a thread in this film as well.
Before even the release, the film was surrounded with a lot of controversy about its cast. Neena Gupta, the actor was first to call out the makers of the film in a micro blogging site saying “humare umr ki filmain toh hume de do bhai”. However, the statement was soon countered by Tapsee Pannu by calling it an “Artistic Freedom”. But the question is creative freedom denies a window to a marginalised group? And that’s not it. Films like ‘Bala’ and ‘Super 30’ where actors were painted with bronze and dark make-up to make it look poor who belongs to lower strata of society raises questions like colourism as well. And the list goes on and on which makes us question if Bollywood will ever learn?
Getting back to the film, ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ is an amalgamation of good performance, progressive narration, and debatable ageism. But it is a must-watch.