How Relevant is the Ageism Debate Kicked Off By ‘Saand Ki Aankh’?
The trailer of director Tushar Hiranandani’s Saand Ki Aankh, starring Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar, dropped recently, and it sparked off a debate on ageism in Bollywood. Many on social media felt that casting two 30-something female stars (Taapsee is 32 and Bhumi is 30) in roles that were tailor-made for older female actors wasn’t right. The characters in the film are over 60 years old.
Actors like Neena Gupta, Ratna Pathak Shah, Shabana Azmi and many others came up as being a lot more appropriate for the roles. Neena and Soni Razdan also lent their voices to the debate.
In this week’s episode of Reel Deal podcast, I discuss why appropriate casting of older female actors is important and the relevance of the ageism debate in Bollywood.
Saand Ki Aankh is based on the real life story of Prakashi Tomar and Chandro Tomar from Johri village in Uttar Pradesh, who took up shooting in their 60s. They fought patriarchy and biases to become top shooters of the country. The duo has won over 700 medals and contributed towards a change in the social scenario for women in the state with their achievements.
“This makes no sense. I think it’s about authenticity. Would The Kominsky Method have worked with 30-year-olds? It’s just silly beyond a point. I don’t know the script and that’s not for me to suppose. I’m just saying that all this talk of Bollywood breaking out of the stereotype is rubbish. If this is what we are back to in the end. One film – ‘Badhaai Ho’ – doesn’t mean a stereotype has been broken.”Soni Razdan
(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)