film biopsy: paan singh tomar

Posted: March 3, 2012 in Film Biopsy
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Paan Singh Tomar may not be a mainstream film, but it has more potential than any of the big commercial films which have released so far this year. 

     Directed and written by Tigmanshu Dhulia, and produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Paan Singh Tomar is a balanced film, with just the right amount of comedy, tragedy and revenge. Paan Singh Tomar is a story of an athlete (Irrfan Khan) who represents India in the International Military Games and wins a gold medal in the steeplechase. Later, he is forced to give up athletics in order to look after his family and farm – which has been illegally taken over by one his relatives, Bhawar Singh. After a turn of events, Paan Singh leaves his family behind and there begins his life as a dacoit. He forms his own gang of dacoits and together they plan kidnappings, extortion, and murders. 

     Irrfan Khan who plays Paan Singh Tomar brings the right attitude to the role. There is sarcasm as well as confidence in the way he delivers. The audience will get to see a different side of Irrfan Khan in this film where he brilliantly portrays a subedaar, a son, a husband, an athlete, and finally a fugitive dacoit who is feared by many. Mahie Gill who plays his wife also delivers flawlessly. The dialect and the language in the dialogues comes out quite effortlessly, and it almost seems like the actors have been speaking the dialect for years. 

     The cinematography is very well done and truly captures the essence of a place like Chambal with deep ravines, cliffs, and rivers. The music by Abhishek Ray is subtle and at no point does it overpower the performances, or the plot. The track “Kero Mama” which has been powerfully rendered by Agnee’s vocalist Mohan, is definitely something to look forward to. 

     The direction, acting, script, music and cinematography is what binds the film together, and it is a perfect example of the fact that Bollywood is truly capable of making meaningful and hard-hitting films. It does not take bare bodies, item songs and cheesy comedy to make a successful film. What it takes is a good script, and acting skills that set the bar high. 



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