Saand Ki Aankh Movie Review: An interesting film about two shooter daadis.
Last Modified On: 25 October 2019 | Reviewed By: Saurabh S Nair
In spite of a tacky makeup, Taapsee and Bhumi have done a tremendous job even when the screenplay goes sloppy at times.
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Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, Prakahs Jha, Viineet Kumar Singh, Sara Arjun
Directed By: Tushar Hiranandani
Based on the life of India’s oldest sharpshooters, sisters-in-law Chandro (Bhumi) and Prakashi (Taapsee) hailing from Johri village in Uttar Pradesh, Saand Ki Aankh makes us live their journey as newlyweds, giving birth to one baby after the other, doing household chores and spending nearly six decades of their life without a purpose. They might hate it all they want but they have learned to accept the patriarchal ways of society.
It is in their sixties that they hold a gun for the first time and discover their innate skill to hit the bull’s eye, courtesy Dr. Yashpal (Vineet Singh) -- an aspiring doctor who gives up his ambition to open a shooting academy in the village.
Daadis participate in countless competitions and keep collecting medals while men in the house are unaware of what’s happening under their nose. Not just this, they encourage their granddaughters Shefali (Sara Arjun) and Seema (Pritha Bakshi) to follow their hearts, hone their talent and secure their future. But things aren’t as hunky-dory as it may seem from the outside, and what follows next are multiple face-offs and head-on confrontations with the men.
Tushar shows us the ugly reality of deep-rooted patriarchy, still prevalent in most parts of India. In the very beginning, we’re told that women of the household have to keep their faces covered with each wearing a dupatta of a different color, so their husbands know who to go to bed with. While men of the house are shown smoking hookah while lounging on cots kept in the verandah, women are sweating it out in fields, or busy with bricks and cow-dung.
Not everything that Saand Ki Aankh serves up hits bull's-eye, but taken as a whole the film comes close enough to the mark to be regarded as a success. We may carp about Bhumi Pednekar and Taapsee Pannu being cast as 60-something women, but it is undeniable that the two actresses give their respective roles their best shot and come up with performances that cannot be faulted for lack of effort.
There is a supportive man here too, but Yashpal (Vineet Kumar Singh, the lead actor of that unparalleled, out-of-the-box boxing film, Mukkabaaz), who has the bright idea of setting up a makeshift rifle academy in Johri village, Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh, isn't the driving force. He is only a catalyst. Chandro and Prakashi, who take up shooting in their 60s after having spent several decades working in the fields, bearing babies for their unthinking husbands, and performing never-ending household chores, forge their own destinies.
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Another problem with the film is the time taken to build up the story. The first half definitely needs editing and should have been much crisper. The second half tries to cover a lot of ground quickly and offers several goosebump-worthy moments. However, things become repetitive and the same point is said over and over again. Also, Jagdeep Sidhu’s dialogues are funny and some one-liners make you chuckle, but there’s nothing that makes you stand up and applaud. Only, the clever reference to the iconic film Mother India at a couple of places comes across as smart writing.
Overall, Saand Ki Aankh is an absolute family entertainer that needs to be watched with your grandmother. Celebrate womanhood as you take home a message that is inspiring but will take decades to seep into our society. And go and watch especially for both the actors Taapsee and Bhumi.