Director- Tushar Hiranandani
Writers- Balwainder Singh Janjua, Jagdeep Sidhu
Cast- Bhumi Pednekar, Taapsee Pannu, Prakash Jha, Pawan chopra, Vineet Kumar Singh
In a nutshell:
Is an biographical film based on the life of oldest sharp shooters of the world Chandro and Prakashi Tomar who belong to a village in Baghpat district in UP.
The film tells us their inspiring story in a simple storytelling style that tugs at our heartstrings and leaves us proud .
Real Story :
In real life, those women are lovingly called Shooter Dadi and Revolver Dadi. They learned sharp shooting when they were in their sixties (way back in 1999) ,went on to win many championships and tournaments, paved way for their daughters, grand daughters to take up shooting as a sport after denting and breaking out of an extremely feudalistic male dominated rural set up.
The story opens to 60 yr olds Chandro and Prakashi (Bhumi, Taapsee) participating in their first ever tournament along with their mentor and coach Doctor sahab( Vineet).
In flashback,we see their extremely regressive and suppressed life where womenfolk, forever in long veils even at home are merely means of bearing children, working in fields, brick kilns, taking care of live stock, kitchen and attending to worthless men folk who spend time in hookas and bossing over their women.
In a set up, where women cannot even step out without their men’s permission , the two women’s positive attitude is worth admiring. While they were well adapted to that set up, somewhere their spark was always alive.
While supporting and accompanying their daughter, grand daughter to learn shooting, they ended up realising that they had a wonderful knack for it.
The film goes on to tell us their story of sheer grit, indomitable spirit and resolve.
The narrative of the story is pretty simple and straight. While the situations were not overwhelming, it’s the camaraderie between the two women, their easy going nature, their positive spirit which makes an emotional connect.
While the overall pace of the movie is slow and seems a little lengthy at 2 hr 30min, its the inspirational aspect, their mutual friendship and resolve that continually glues us to the film. Towards the end, as their struggles enhance, so do our emotions.The fag end of the movie has quite a many tear jerker moments that could keep the tears flowing.
In a narrative which cannot be called outstanding even though the base story behind it was,the two actresses managed to make a mark in spite of a big flaw of bad prosthetics/make up that stuck out like a sore thumb.
Bhumi absolutely shines. Her hard work to portray an old lady shows in her gait, mannerisms and face expressions.
Taapsee has tried equally hard but somewhere I felt she lagged behind in portraying the body language and expressions of a sixty plus woman. But even then, she manages to win our heart portraying the younger and spunkier of the two characters.
The chemistry between the two actresses was superb.
Prakash Jha did a great job in his first full length role as the regressive dominating family patriarch.
Vineet Kr Singh did full justice to his small but very important role.
Music by Vishal Mishra gelled with narrative. “ Jhunna Jhunna “ lyrics (by Raj Shekar) which was the opening song were pretty sarcastic and hard hitting.
Udta Teetar and Womaniya were impressive too.
Aasma by Asha Bhonsle was very jarring to the ears . With all due respect to legends Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle, music directors must let them retire now. We have hundreds of iconic songs by them to relish and dozens of talented singers to choose from.
The movie is a good watch. Inspite of certain flaws like pace & make up, its fairly engaging, manages to overwhelm and is a befitting ode to the admirable octogenarians and their spirit.
Score 7 on 10