Thursday, October 31, 2019

Review: Saand Ki Aankh

Release date: October 25, 2019
Running time: 146 minutes
Starring: Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, Prakash Jha

Saand Ki Aankh tells the unlikely story of two 60 plus year old grandmothers who decide to take up target shooting as a way to help their daughters to a better life.  The Tomar grandmas find that they have a natural talent for the sport and go on to compete in local Indian competitions.  However, they live in a very conservative village that forbids women to even step foot outside of the village walls, so must get creative for both practice and competitions.  

The film's premise is so ridiculous that you would think that the writers were just having fun, until you realize that the movie is actually based on two 60 plus year old grandmothers.  It's an incredible story and one that is all the more pertinent now.  The women must battle not only their own inhibitions, but must defy their husbands and village elder’s closed minded views in order to continue competing in what they love.  The two main leads are very enjoyable as the Tomar grandmothers, and do a good job of portraying talented but extremely sheltered women as they experience more and more.  They are helped along by a stellar performance from their teacher and coach, Dr. Yashpal (Vineet Kumar Singh) who encourages them along the way.  

The film is accompanied by an inspiring score that helps to set the mood throughout.  During the intense scenes the music picks up, and during the serious scenes it plays a much more somber soundtrack.  And the score is not the only inspiring thing about this film.  The hardships that these grandmothers and the other women in the village must endure is painful to watch at times, and seeing these two experience life, even at 60 plus, is a joy to see. 

If there is a complaint, it is that the two grandmas are played by women who are nowhere near 60.  They do a good job for the most part, but you can often tell that their age is the result of Bollywood makeup.  They look too tan at times, and the gray in their hair and eyebrows is inconsitent and noticably painted on.  Additionally, as with many Bollywood movies, the film wraps up too convenienty in the end.  However, don't let these minor issues stop you from seeing a truly enjoyable film.

Saand Ki Ankh is an inspirational movie about women finding their passion regardless of their age.  It has a great cast and an amazing story, and teaches lessons that are on target! Make sure to give this one a shot!

Watch it

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