The reviews of Taapse Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar's latest movie Saand Ki Aankh are already in. The movie is a biopic drama, based on the lives of sharpshooters Chandro Tomar and her sister-in-law Prakashi Tomar. And while there's no taking away from the actors, the burning question is why the ageism?
In fact, when a Twitter user pointed out the same, Neena Gupta weighed in and shared some rather insightful words.
Yes i was just thinking about this hamari umar ke role toe kamsekam humse kara lo bhai https://t.co/6Fmrxn0HbE— Neena Gupta (@Neenagupta001) September 24, 2019
Two things no one can deny about the movie are how important is the subject selected, and how talented are the stars essaying the titular roles. However, one can't help but wonder - why were senior actors not selected to essay the role of the world's oldest sharpshooters?
The story revolves around two women well above the age of 80 who realized they were naturally gifted sharpshooters at the age of 60. Once they honed their skill, they won national medals and proved their mettle multiple times.
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Yeh daadiyan hai sabse pyaari, Harkatein hai inki bahut hi nyaari. Inme hai lagan, himmat aur josh, Uda diye poori duniya ke hosh. Yo hai mhari Shooter Dadi 👊🏻 #SaandKiAankh . . @taapsee #PrakashJha @itsvineetsingh @tusharhiranandani @anuragkashyap10 @reliance.entertainment @shooterdadiofficial @shooterdadi @nidhiparmarhira @shaadrandhawa
There is clearly no shortage of brilliant, older actors in Bollywood either. Actors, who have time and again proved that they are adept at portraying any character, no matter how far removed from their life.
Just to jog Bollywood's memories, here are a few actors who have the talent to do complete justice to the role:
Ratna Pathak Shah
These are women closer to the age of the real stars whose inspiring life makes the movie's subjects. Why would Bollywood then not give these actors a chance? Have they not already spent years proving their talent? And they most definitely deserve to be part of a story that has them at the helm, rather than playing smaller roles.
In fact, actors across Hollywood and Bollywood have spoken about how the industry does not offer diverse roles to women of a certain age. A movie like Badhaai Ho is, after all, a rarity, not the norm.
And if Chandro Tomar is known as the 'revolver dadi' in real life, why is it that we can't have older actors closer to her age, essay the role?
This in no way takes away from Taapsee and Bhumi's talent. In fact, the two have done the kind of projects and roles that has us wholeheartedly believing in their capabilities.
But was there no other way to incorporate such talented stars in the movie than to have them play lead roles? Perhaps as the younger selves' of the movie's subjects? Or their daughters and nieces, who also took up sharpshooting?
When scripts with older female leads are few and far between, why is a movie that seems tailor-made for the elder stars not offered to them?