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Why age young actors with make up when you can hire senior artistes for authenticity?

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Earlier this month, the teaser of filmmaker Tushar Hiranandani’s biopic drama ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ was unveiled. Based on the life of India’s octogenarian sharpshooters Chandro Tomar and her sister-in-law Prakashi Tomar, the film chronicles the journey of these two supremely talented women who are a living example of the term – ‘Age is just a number’.

Chandro and Prakashi discovered their exceptional shooting skills when they picked up a gun for the first time in their life at the age of 50! And post that, there was no looking back. They are now the world’s oldest women sharpshooters having more than 30 national championships to their credit.

So knowing that a film is being made on the extraordinary lives of these two octogenarians was a proud moment as it’s not every day that we come across stories as inspiring as theirs.

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In ‘Saand Ki Aankh’, powerhouse performers Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar will be playing the role of Prakashi and Chandro respectively. Now, there is no doubt that both Taapsee and Bhumi are incredible actors. However, after watching their first look from the film, we were highly disappointed. And it made us wonder about what was the need to make these actresses look double their age. Instead, the makers could have simply hired senior actors for these roles.

Have a look at the first poster of ‘Saand Ki Aankh’:

Now tell me, is this how 60-year-old women look? (Whoever decided to give a green signal to this look of Taapsee and Bhumi needs to rethink their career choices. I wonder how did the makers even release this poster?) Their look is anything but realistic. At least, the makers should have gone for more authentic prosthetics if they were so gung ho about having young actors on board.

After watching the teaser of this film, I can totally picture veteran actresses Neena Gupta and Seema Pahwa playing the role of Chandro and Prakashi. I replayed every single frame of the teaser in my mind imagining both Neena and Seema totally nailing their role.

Both Taapsee and Bhumi (or perhaps some other young actresses who resemble Neena and Seema) could have easily played the younger version of Chandro and Prakashi. Later, Neena and Seema could have taken the story forward. How brilliant would the narrative have been then?

The first and foremost aim of telling a story is to make it as realistic as possible. Because it’s only then that viewers are able to relate to it or at least buy into the world that they are being introduced to through the film. You cannot trade the authenticity of your characters for anything.

There is no dearth of talent in our film industry that makers have to resort to the practice of ageing young actors on screen. The kind of originality a senior artist would have brought on table for this film is beyond any doubt.

And while reacting on the flak her look in the poster received, Taapsee revealed that the producers did approach a few senior actors for this film. However, they turned it down citing, “it’s too offbeat a film“. Well, I am not at all buying what she said. Because every veteran actress worth their salt would never turn down a subject like this. Especially actresses like the National Award winner Neena Gupta who had openly acknowledged the fact that it’s difficult to find worthy roles at her age.

Also, Taapsee said that she couldn’t understand the criticism as people didn’t have any problem when she played a college girl despite being a 30-year-old. Well Taapsee, you looked convincing playing a college girl. But when we are talking about you playing a 60-year-old, it is anything but authentic. It’s as simple as that.

So if the makers of films like ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ would have thought a little more deeply about their film’s casting, then perhaps actresses like Neena and Nafisa Ali wouldn’t need to seek a job (good parts to play) through their social media handles.

‘Saand Ki Aankh’ will be releasing this Diwali. Now, it has to be seen how much justice the makers of this film bring to the awe-inspiring story of the world’s oldest sharpshooters.

Also Read: Why Bollywood’s ‘colour-coding’ formula is not only offensive but ridiculous

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