Movie Review: Paan Singh Tomar (2012)

Users Rating: [ratings] ★★★☆☆
Box Office: Hit

In a defining sequence in the film, Paan Singh Tomar tells his superior that his mama [uncle] isn’t a dacoit, but a baaghi [rebel]. In another sequence, during the course of an interview to a news-reporter, he makes a scathing remark, ‘Bihad mein baaghi hote hain… Dacait milte hain Parliament mein’. That, in a nutshell, sums up the persona of the long-forgotten steeplechase runner, who felt miffed by the government’s betrayal and became a dacoit of Chambal. PAAN SINGH TOMAR, a film helmed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, has taken a really lonooooong time to hit the screens, but despite the holdup, the film remains as pertinent and relevant in today’s times as it was when Dhulia envisioned it.

Come to think of it, there is a very thin line between a baaghi [rebel] and a dacoit. Tigmanshu tries to define the thin line between a rebel and a dacoit, but the question is, is this borrowed-from-real-life saga as bona fide and stimulating as Shekhar Kapur’s BANDIT QUEEN, which was also a biopic [Phoolan Devi]?

Paan Singh [Irrfan Khan] was a small-town lad who went on to win the steeplechase at the national games. A series of life changing events, however, forced Paan Singh to give up athletics, pick up the gun and become a dacoit of the infamous Chambal valley.


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews
Positive Reviews
4.0 “Paan Singh has a natural flair for running.”
4.0 “Dhulia’s direction and Irrfan’s integrity will make Paan Singh Tomar among the best movies of recent times.”
DNA India
4.0 “Paan Singh Tomar breaks rules and cries out loud that meaningful cinema can be equally entertaining like any rib-tickling masala film. Highly recommended!”
Daily Bhaskar
4.0 “This film, Paan Singh Tomar, is Dhulia’s real triumph as a filmmaker.”
DNA India – Aniruddha Guha
4.0 “Paan Singh Tomar is unmissable..”
Mid – Day
4.0 “‘Paan Singh Tomar’ is a completely gripping, near-flawless film, with such few dodgy parts as to be negligible.”
Indian Express
3.5 “The film makes you cognizant that serious cinema can be uniformly delightful, like any other enthralling entertainer.”
Bollywood Hungama
3.5 “It is one of superbly crafted film that underlines the linkage of life, sports and society. “
Times Of India
3.5 “PST reminds us never to forget that shame of India. “
3.5 “It’s not odd then that this story of an outlaw is dedicated to the unsung heroes of sport. Makes sense when you watch the film. And that you must do. Highly recommended!”
3.5 “With Paan Singh Tomar, Irrfan Khan once again manages to add another feather to his already bedecked cap for sure…”
3.5 “Paan Singh Tomar is not just any other biopic, it’s much more. It raises the bar of Indian cinema and shouts out loud for a deserving watch.”
3.5 “This is a well-intentioned film that’s worth your time.”
IBN Live
3.0 “Paan Singh Tomar has good intentions but not enough emotional heft.”
Hindustan Times
3.0 “Paan Singh Tomar’ may have fetched a ‘must watch’ status”
3.0 “Paan Singh Tomar is a film that deserves to be seen at least once.”
Average Reviews
Negative Reviews
1.0 “Paan Singh Tomar does not make too much of a mark, thanks to the dull second half.”

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