Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, Prakash Jha
Director: Tushar Hiranandani
What’s it about:
Saand Ki Aankh is the true story of the sharpshooting Tomar Grannies from India’s Uttar Pradesh. The daredevil dadis shot their way to fame against all odds, making the country proud.
Set in the small town on Johri, Uttar Pradesh in India, Saand Ki Aankh begins with a bang as we’re introduced to the two grannies plotting their way to go for a sharpshooting tournament by cooking up a story to hoodwink the deeply patriarchal men of her family.
Director Tushar Hiranandani doesn’t waste much time in establishing the characters of Prakashi and Chandro Tomar played by Taapsee and Bhumi Pednekar. Instead, he chooses to take the story back and forth in time to narrate just how effortlessly the two grannies start hitting the bull’s eye, every time they aim. But the film is not so much about their sharpshooting skills as it is about the existential crises of the women in smaller towns of India and the abject oppression they face in their daily lives from the men.
The film delivers its message with oodles of emotion and repeated conflicts. The two leading ladies carry their 60-year-old avatars with aplomb but sadly their make-up is just plain lazy. While everyone gets the Haryanvi accent right, it’s Prakash Jha who really fits the bill as the khadoos sarpanch and the head of the family. He represents all the evils of a conservative patriarch. The film’s narrative is engaging despite having a more documentary-like subject at hand. The music and background score flow organically. Also, the production, set design, and costumes do their part in transporting you into the real world of the Tomar grannies.
While the film is unnecessarily long in parts, the balance between hard-hitting and lighter moments ensures there is constant audience engagement.
Overall, Saand Ki Aankh lacks the depth and finesse of Dangal, but it does fire in the right direction and manages to hit the bull’s eye quite a few times.