Saand Ki Aankh, an upcoming movie on sharp shooters Chandro and Prakashi Tomar, has sparked the ageism debate in Bollywood. The film will star Bhumi Pednekar and Taapsee Pannu, both in their thirties, essaying the roles of sixty-somethings. Although the film's trailer has garnered positive reactions, some are of the opinion that filmmakers in Bollywood are not breaking stereotypes as they should be. Veteran actress Soni Razdan voiced her opinion on this discussion, saying that casting young actors to play older roles makes no sense.
Talking to Quint, Soni questioned the rationale behind the casting of Saand Ki Aankh. She said, "I love both these actors honestly but I mean why? I get there is something called box office draw but then why make a film on 60-year-olds if you can't cast the real ones?"
She continued further, "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."
However, Soni also believes in allowing space for filmmakers to make creative decisions. She took the example of a young Anupam Kher playing the role of a 60-year old in Saaransh, a movie which set his career rolling. So, she feels it is not fair to limit a director when making a film. However, she added that given the reality that older actors are limited in what they are offered, one can't help feeling this way.
Neena Gupta had started this debate when she had tweeted that actors her age should at least be given a chance to play roles that suit them.
Directed by Tushar Hiranandani and produced by Anurag Kashyap, Saand Ki Aankh is scheduled for release on October 25.