‘Saand Ki Aankh’ Movie Review: Taapsee Pannu & Bhumi Pednekar’s compelling women empowerment film misses the bulls eye by a whisker

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Directed By
Tushar Hiranandani

Produced By
Anurag Kashyap, Reliance Entertainment, Nidhi Parmar

Bhumi Pednekar, Taapsee Pannu, Prakash Jha, Vineet Kumar Singh, Shaad Randhawa, Kuldeep Sareen, Pawan Chopra, Himanshu Sharma, Navneet Srivastava, Nikhat Khan

Bollywood Bubble Rating

What’s It About:
The film revolves around the lives of Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar, two of the finest sharpshooters India has ever produced. How the two overcame difficulties and hardships in life and came out victorious at the end forms a part of the story. The other part revolves around these two ‘Shooter Dadis’ giving their heart and soul to make sure the ladies in their family get the respect they deserve from the men in the house. While we all know who’s going to come up on top at the end, but it’s the journey that they go through which comprises the film’s interesting storyline.

What’s Hot:
The two leading ladies, Bhumi Pednekar and Taapsee Pannu carry this film well on their shoulders. They are there in pretty much every frame, and very ably give in their best to the film. But is that enough? Well, read on to know!

Vineet Kumar Singh is, as usual, great. However, he could have received more screen space.

The surprise package of the film is Prakash Jha. The ace director puts on his acting hat and, by Jove, what a fab performance he has come up with. As the main impediment in the lives of the two ‘Shooter Dadis’, Prakash Jha is truly a great villain for this story.

The music of the film by Vishal Mishra is also great. Songs like Udta Teetar and Womaniya are worth remembering once you’re out of the theatres. Sunidhi Chauhan‘s dumdaar vocals in Udta Teetar is simply superb.

The background score by Advait Nemlekar plays a vital role in bringing in the right emotions at the perfect junctures.

What’s Not:
First and foremost, the nail in the coffin of this film is the terrible makeup of the two leading ladies. I am not averse to actors playing characters much older or much younger to their actual age, but they need to have proper makeup or prosthetics in order to look the part perfectly. This film falls flat in that department. When Aamir Khan played the old father in ‘Dangal’ he looked that part perfectly. Even when he portrayed the young national champion wrestler in the same film, he looked that part perfectly. Sadly, Taapsee and Bhumi, don’t look like their real-life counterparts despite their best efforts.

As the two dadis are never called out by name until they enter into the shooting competition, you as an audience are left guessing as to who is Chandro Tomar and who is Prakashi Tomar.

Then there is the curious case of the million women in the family. The story shows and talks about the two ‘Shooter Dadis’ and two other girls from the film. While one is the daughter of Prakashi, the other is the granddaughter of Chandro. However, the two protagonists are referred to as dadi throughout. The rest of the women in the house are these just as background prop and have not even a single dialogue in the entire duration of the movie. I would have at least wanted to see Chandro’s daughter whose daughter Chandro is taking every day for the shooting training.

Moving on, the film’s first half seems to be rushed a lot. While in many other films I love to see the movie go right into the main plot within the first five minutes of the start, but when it comes to a biopic, I as an audience, love to know a bit of the background story of the lead characters. In this film, the background story is so rushed that you’ll be left wanting for a bit more.

Talking of the accents of the two ladies, I am left a bit confused. The Tomar dadis are basically from Uttar Pradesh, however, Taapsee and Bhumi are speaking in Haryanvi in the movie. While I understand that Tomars are basically Jaats, but these two dadis were born and brought up throughout in Uttar Pradesh. Wouldn’t that have altered their accent from Haryanvi to that of a UPite? Well, I could be wrong in this!

On the topic of accents, Taapsee being originally from the northern part of India pulls off the accent with ease. However, when a Juhu-born Bhumi speaks the dialect, it looks a bit too forced.

As the makeup of the two dadis doesn’t transport you to that world entirely, you are left looking at two extremely fit dadis in their 60s. They are so fit as a fiddle that they can easily climb and jump over a 10-foot wall, ride bicycles or even dance incessantly without stopping for a breath. Even Hrithik Roshan‘s work out video, which he poster after ‘War’s success was more believable than these two dadis putting in their hard work into the sport of shooting.

Moving over from acting, Tushar Hiranandani as a first time director has put in his best foot forward. However, it’s amateurish. There are many scenes in the first half which will give you a feeling that a seasoned director would have shown it in a totally different way.

Lastly, the predictability of the story. In any biopics, you always know what’ going to happen in the end, but its the journey that you’re expecting to be eventful. Sadly, this story’s predictability remained intact in every scene, and you knew pretty much every time what would happen by the end of that scene. It’s sort of a let down as a viewer as your interest isn’t getting piqued that much.

I could go on, and on, and on! But you pretty much get the point!

Overall, it seems like a brilliant story of the two ‘Shooter Dadis’ has been squandered off with minimal effort put into the pre-production work. The film could have been a million times better had they put in a lot more effort of the looks and the screenplay.

CAN SKIP! Unless you’re a big fan of Taapsee and Bhumi (which I am), you wouldn’t want to spend that much time over this film. I personally wanted a lot more from the two talented ladies. I was hoping to be thrilled out of my wits by this amazing unheard-of story. But sadly, it turned out to be a dead turkey. I am going with one and a half stars for the movie.

Considering ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ is a Diwali release, it should be able to pull in the crowds over the long weekend. However, films like ‘Made In China’ and ‘Housefull 4′ are also ready to eat into the business in a big way. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how much this movie piles on after the Diwali holidays are over. I am not putting my money on this film if there’s a race between the three Diwali releases.

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