Who can say that Bollywood is not making meaningful cinema right now? Apart from a few stalwarts who are all about flashy signs and cash, there are directors who are stepping out of the conventional boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love storyline. One bright example is Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar’s upcoming project, Saand Ki Aankh. Directed by veteran Anurag Kashyap, the first glimpse promises to be an empowering story of two strong independent women–the kind of feminism the country desperately needs at the moment.
The story captures the life of two of the world’s oldest octogenarian sharpshooters from Uttar Pradesh–Chandro and Prakashi Tomar. The poster features two very important slogans: a) “Tann buddha Hota Hai, Mann Budha nai hota”; and b) “They broke out of their cage… At 60, they rose above their age…with 700 medals they became a rage…”.
Both of these slogans speak volumes about the spectacular and empowering lives these women led to becoming a shining example for all of womankind. “It’s a true story of courage because you have these women who have changed the ecosystem for women and society around them,” Bhumi said in an interview. We couldn’t agree more B, we couldn’t agree more! She added: “These two women by a sheer stroke of luck become sharpshooters. They travel the world, they are given incredible recognition, they make our country proud but no one really knows how they fought their house, the society to make a difference in the lives of their grand-daughters and bring positive change for women in their male-dominated community. It is an extremely powerful story (sic),”.
Looking at the Tomar sisters’ career trajectory, it won’t be wrong to say that this is a feat not many can say they pulled off. Chandro, 87, and Prakashi, 82, from Johri village, reportedly took up sharpshooting in their 50s. Chandro, who is fondly called shooter ‘dadi’ is among the world’s oldest female sharpshooters. Breaking stereotypes at such an age need silver-screen immortalization. Plus Anurag Kashyap is someone we trust in terms of meaningful direction and building a good story. The ensemble cast includes Prakash Jha and Vicky Kadian in crucial roles. The only iffy-factor here is debutante writer, Tushar Hiranandani who is set to assist Kashyap.
The poster, however, is a brilliant example of how much B-town has changed when it comes to styling and intelligent posterization. It gives away enough yet not too much! Both women have been transformed into 80-somethings with such ease, we had to re-read the names just so we could be sure what we were seeing. The roughed-up blue petticoats and long unwashed kurtas with unmatched dupattas are pretty accurate when it comes to the context the movie is trying to set. Also, the makeup and prosthetics make the characters look more believable. While we have to wait till Diwali to enjoy this one, we cannot wait to see what Kashyap has in store!