Saand Ki Aankh
02 Hours 26 Minutes
Star Cast: Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar
Directors: Tushar Hiranandani
Producer: Anurag Kashyap
In Theaters: 25 October
"Feminism Under The Ghoonghat"- Tushar’s narration is straightforward and there are little touches that help build it up.
When two grandmothers who’ve lived all their lives under a ghoonghat find they have a natural aptitude for holding a rifle steady and shooting unerringly, they also discover a latent rebel in themselves. And they’re ready to take patriarchy head on to liberate at least their granddaughters from the lopsided traditions that have ruled their household.
First time director Tushar Hiranandani who has written umpteen comedies and dramatic screenplays including the Masti and Housefull series, goes into small town UP and sets up a completely male dominated family. Tauji, the eldest is all about ijjat and honour, and the women obediently go about their chores from dawn to late at night. Tushar’s narration is straightforward and there are little touches that help build it up. Like Chandro telling new bride Prakashi that each of them wears a fixed colour ghoonghat so that the men know which woman under it is his wife. The women seem to be ungrudging about their lives as they produce a row of babies, slog at home, in the fields and at the brick kiln, and wait on their men hand and foot.
But the expertise with which Prakashi and Chandro throw bricks and pile them on the head has, over the decades, has steadied their hands and sense of balance. Which comes to the fore when Doctor Yashpal sets up a shooting range in their little town and the two women who’re now grandmothers, find they have everything to be natural shooters.
Thus begins their journey of discovering their own worth and standing firm to ensure that their granddaughters break free from oppression in the name of family honour.
All the women of the house gang up on their little secret, using the subterfuge of a visit to the temple for their outings, and giggle over potful of medals and honours that the grandmothers bring home with the men getting not even a whiff of it.
Chronicling the real life achievements of shooter dadis Chandro and Prakashi Tomar, the story advocates a Dangal brand of feminism to give the girl child the equality she deserves.
However, Tusshar’s narration is without subtlety. The patriarchy is so heavy you could crumble under it with Taoji endlessly declaring, “Yun toh hona hi tha”. The bonding between the females of all the generations is unbelievably solid, like a newly constructed brick wall. The jeers of people when they see the sexagenarians walk into the shooting tournament is sledgehammer loud and blatant. The repetitive background sounds are at an ear-splitting decibel and the dialect is so pronounced that it could be a problem deciphering all the dialogues. The title, a literal translation of bull’s-eye, is also not too catchy. And the pace drops especially in the first half, making the film about 20 minutes too long.
Although Bhumi Pednekar and Taapsee Pannu put in sincere performances, their makeup is obvious and somewhat inconsistent. Prakash Jha as the unbending epitome of patriarchy is pretty much at ease as the Taoji who’s also the village sarpanch.
Verdict: For a film that brings women out of the goonghat and into self-respecting freedom, Saand Ki Aankh gets a 3* rating.
Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.
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