Movie: Saand Ki Aankh
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, Prakash Jha
Direction: Tushar Hiranandani
India as a country is known for patriarchy and sexism deeply rooted in its system. While over the years, we have seen several instances of women of extremely high potential go down along with their talent and potential unfulfilled, there have been some women who have been able to fight against all odds and obstacles to achieve and conquer their roots to do what they want to do. Two such women are the amazing ‘Grandmother duo’ of Chandro Dadi and Prakasho Dadi hailing from the small village of Johri Village in Uttar Pradesh. Saand Ki Aankh is that one amazing ode to the duo of Chandro Dadi & Prakasho Dadi for their humongous achievements over the years.
Set in the small village of Johri in Uttar Pradesh, the film opens up to the patriarchal hardships that Chandro Dadi and Prakasho Dadi face throughout their womanhood. From living their lives a certain way to having the all-important ‘ghungat’ on them throughout, Saand Ki Aaankh successfully manages to capture the sexism that is prevalent in certain areas of UP and Bihar. The story unfolds into how the two of them at the age of 60 realize their shooting potential owing to circumstances and feel the urge to challenge themselves to prove their mettle. Post that, with the assistance of a shooting instructor named Dr. Yashpal, the dadi duo participate in various shooting competitions and continue to go forward bringing glory for themselves. They not only go forward to become inspirational tales for their village but they go forward to inspiring their grand-daughters to do the same. However, things aren’t naturally so hunky-dory in a sexist environment like this as the men around do their best bit to stop their accolades. That’s why after successfully hiding their shooting spree for long, a twist in the narrative climax takes place that makes them face the men and fight for their own self.
IWMBuzz Verdict: Right from the very beginning, director Tushar Hiranandani successfully manages to portray the reality of the real sexist environment and what the women of the country face when it comes to dealing with the sexism, prejudice and discrimination between the genders. The direction is superb and Tushar Hiranandani managed to get the best out of Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar who simply nail it as the Dadi duo. From the body language to the shooting posture and position, a lot of similarities have been undertaken successfully by the two and they have managed to ensure it doesn’t end up being a caricature of the two. The narrative folds well and to perfection and after a little slow first-half, the film is magnificent when it comes to picking up pace in the second half. The screenplay is ably in coordination with the director and certain shots involving Taapsee and Bhumi and their struggle will literally make your heart go weak and make your eyes moist as its naturally based on a true story. Taapsee and Bhumi are without any doubt the best part of the movie and its indeed a perfect blend of two extremely secured actresses who come together to create magic on screen. The only letdown is the very average prosthethics that makes it visually a little less ‘cool’. The story, cinematography and background score successfully manages to get a grip of the Indian village and its prejudiced environment and its an overall compilation of all the key factors of film-making that makes Saand Ki Aaankh a MUST watch. In a line, its a must watch to revisit a successful and inspiring tale that literally proves that age is no bar.