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Paan Singh Tomar Review

Critic Score 67

Good- 20

Average- 1

Bad- 2

Total- 23

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Overall

67

Very Good

 
 

 

Critics Reviews

 
Bollywood Hungama | Taran Adarsh

The lone aspect that weighs the film downward is the fact that the narrative totters in the middle of the second hour, when the story doesn't really move frontward. Of course, one also comprehends that when you attempt a biopic, you have to stay true to the incidents that transpired in that person's life, but a cinematic adaptation can exclude a few episodes that aren't too imperative. Tigmanshu could've done that. Having said that, I'd like to add that PAAN SINGH TOMAR is yet another masterstroke from a consummate raconteur. The film seizes your attention for most parts and as you exit the screening, it's with a heavy heart, with a tinge of melancholy, which only indicates that the storyteller has succeeded in engaging your interest to something he wished to emphasize on.

70

Recommended
 
 
Dailybhaskar | Dailybhaskar

An intelligent filmmaker, Tigmanshu Dhulia yet again shows his perfection at the art. He has surely created a niche for himself as a filmmaker, who adds certain elements to the film that make it believable. For instance, since the flick is set in 50s, the director puts a scene where the radio station makes a mention of a cancer-stricken Nargis Dutt. What adds to the glee is- though dragged at certain portions, the movie never loses momentum, thanks to the extremely captivating dialogues and performances.

80

Recommended
 
 
Rediff | Aseem Chhabra

Under Dhulia's direction, the transition of Paan Singh Tomar, the gentle athlete who carries a picture and memory of a Japanese female fan, and flirts with his wife (Mahie Gill [ Images ]) in the sweetest manner, to the feared rebel, seems justifiable. As the audience, we stand by Tomar despite some heinous crimes committed by him and his gang, just as in Kapur's film we supported Phoolan Devi's mad rampage against those who had wronged her.

Dhulia has one more agenda in making PST. He reminds us -- as the statement at the end of the film makes it amply clear -- that India has a sad track record when it comes to the treatment of its former athletes and who were real national heroes. 

70

Recommended
 
 
DNA India | Blessy Chettiar

The notorious ravines that become their abode are akin to Dhulia’s filmmaker mind that has time and again brought to the silver screen stories from India’s interiors (Shagird, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster). Dhulia’s taken special care to write the dialogue in a dialect that is just natural to the story and setting. The screenplay never wavers to accommodate commercial compulsions. No doubt Dhulia chose Irrfan to play Paan Singh.

80

Recommended
 
 
The Times Of India | Avijit Ghosh

The movie works because Irffan makes Paan Singh Tomar come alive as an athlete, as a husband and as a dacoit. This is a flawless performance from a consummate actor. As his wife, Gill comes up with a rare restrained performance. There is humour as well a delicate intensity in the romantic scenes between the two. Dhulia gets great work from the remainder of the cast. The camerawork, especially of the ravines and the river, is excellent.

70

Recommended
 
 
Nowrunning | Mansha Rastogi

Paan Singh Tomar stands tall on two pillars, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Irrfan Khan. The latter breathes life into the historic figure and with his acting prowess proves yet again why he is the most sought after 'actor' in this film industry. He essays the role of an athlete with the same exuberance with which he plays the romantic husband or the fierce dacoit. It wouldn't be wrong to say that the film wouldn't have been complete had it not been for Irrfan Khan's laudable performance. Mahie Gill as the wife of Paan Singh gives a perfectly retrained performance.

70

Recommended
 
 
Super Good Movies | Super Good Movies

Amidst senseless comedies and emotional love stories doing rounds of Bollywood, Paan Singh Tomar comes as a refreshing change. The film is intriguing from the first go. Even as Tomar switches from running 5000 mtrs to Steeple Chase just because his coach wants his daughter’s brother in law to win 5000 mtrs. The manipulations in National sports and then giving spiked shoes to the Indian runner just on the day of the final Asian race just because others will think that Indians cannot give their champion good shoes, the film makes us realize the way Indian games and players are treated, of course, that’s not the cast only with cricket.

5

Not Recommended
 
 
Movietalkies | Movietalkies

Needless to say, Irrfan Khan is one of the finest actors in contemporary cinema and he proves it beyond any doubt with his portrayal as the wronged innocent who takes up arms. His deadpan humour and tongue-in-cheek wit is as impressive as the intense outrage that he displays at the apathy of the government and society. As the military fatigues clad rebel, Irrfan's Paan Singh makes the audience root for him without any reservations, even as he slaughters a family of informers, who cause the death of his right hand man.

70

Recommended
 
 
Mid-Day India | Shubha Shetty-Saha

Irrfan Khan breathes life into Paan Singh Tomar. From a simple, endearing but somewhat stubborn man to a confident athlete to an aggressive dacoit, Irrfan lives the character as his own.  He makes the transition from an earnest young soldier to an able sportsman to a helpless farmer and finally to a dacoit, with commendable smoothness and confidence. Mahie Gill as Tomar's wife and other characters have nothing much to do, but nobody's complaining as Irrfan's compelling performance makes it difficult to take eyes off him.

80

Recommended
 
 
Deccan Chronicle | Suparna Sharma

Dhulia’s direction is not gimmicky. It’s marked by a quite certitude that’s rare. He doesn’t compromise, and, frankly, he doesn’t need to.

There’s quiet genius at work here, and it shows in every scene, every frame, every character. The film is full of lovely scenes and details — like the happy birthday mujra scene, Nargis Dutt’s death being announced on the radio — but Dhulia doesn’t dwell on them. That is part of his gift, knowing when to return to storytelling. 

80

Recommended
 
 
Rajeev Masand | Rajeev Masand

Directed competently by Dhulia, who’s familiar and comfortable even with the dusty terrain, Paan Singh Tomar is made with great attention to detail, and paints an honest, realistic picture of an India few of us can claim to know. Although repetitive occasionally and a tad long, the film raises two important questions: What could possibly drive a patriotic soldier into crossing over to the dark side? And although we call them sporting heroes, do we really care about our athletes once their careers are over?

70

Recommended
 
 
Wogma | Meetu

Paan Singh's achievements as an athlete is shown in good detail and so is his transformation into a person who had to take the law in his hands. The part where he becomes feared and successful as a dacoit is sorely missing. And that according to me is the film's biggest letdown. The meek and largely submissive Paan Singh suddenly becomes a dreaded outlaw and we are asked to take that as a given.

50

Average Movie
 
 
Koimoi | Komal Nahta

Sanjay Chauhan and Tigmanshu Dhulia have penned an interesting story and screenplay in the first half when Paan Singh Tomar becomes an athlete of repute in the Indian Army. However, the interval point, at which the film takes a dramatic turn, prepares the audience for a revenge drama in the second half. And that is exactly what the post-interval portion turns out to be – a routine revenge fare, full of action.

Tigmanshu Dhulia’s direction is very good. He has created the atmosphere of the village beautifully and has extracted very good work from his cast. However, the basic problem of the second half of the drama is something even his narration is not able to surmount.

20

Not Recommended
 
 
Hindustan Times | Anupama Chopra

The moment has genuine pathos. As does Tomar's wounded declaration to a journalist that despite being a seven-time National Games winner, he remained anonymous, while murder and kidnapping brought him fame. But despite the rich raw material and quality performances, Paan Singh Tomar doesn't soar. Stretches of the screenplay are sluggish and strangely inert.  More critically, I never got a sense of what Tomar's conversion from an army man to a murderer did to his psyche.  Yes, he resorts to violence only because he is provoked but subsequently, he seems oddly at ease with his criminality. Director Tigmanshu Dhulia establishes a loving relationship between Tomar and his wife, Indra, played by Mahie Gill. But Indra and his two children largely disappear from his life when he becomes an outlaw and we never really see him ache for them.

60

Recommended
 
 
Mid-Day India | Shubha Shetty-Saha

Irrfan Khan breathes life into Paan Singh Tomar. From a simple, endearing but somewhat stubborn man to a confident athlete to an aggressive dacoit, Irrfan lives the character as his own.  He makes the transition from an earnest young soldier to an able sportsman to a helpless farmer and finally to a dacoit, with commendable smoothness and confidence. Mahie Gill as Tomar's wife and other characters have nothing much to do, but nobody's complaining as Irrfan's compelling performance makes it difficult to take eyes off him.

80

Recommended
 
 
IBNLive | Rajeev Masand

Directed competently by Dhulia, who's familiar and comfortable even with the dusty terrain, 'Paan Singh Tomar' is made with great attention to detail, and paints an honest, realistic picture of an India few of us can claim to know. Although repetitive occasionally and a tad long, the film raises two important questions: What could possibly drive a patriotic soldier into crossing over to the dark side? And although we call them sporting heroes, do we really care about our athletes once their careers are over?

70

Recommended
 
 
Zeenews | Zeenews Bureau

The easy and effortless portrayal of Irrfan Khan makes Tomar an enjoyable character. So much so that you enjoy his brashness, his rustic ways. Khan is also perhaps the only actor in Bollywood right now, who has the ability to step out of his star status and become the character. Each and every time. Be it the under-confident barber in ‘Billu’ to the geeky Bengali professor of ‘The Namesake’ to even the wife cheating womanizer in ‘Thank You’, Irfaan manages to be that character and not remain he himself. And in ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, it is no less. Like always, his portrayal of the rustic arrogant dacoit is absolutely flawless.

80

Recommended
 
 
Glamsham | Martin D'Souza

Dhulia has carved a niche for himself and has created his own brand of cinema, one which moviegoers look forward to. Two years of research on Paan Singh Tomar got Dhulia shooting in the ravines of Chambal in Dholpur and in the actual barracks the athlete lived in, in Roorkee. Dhulia treats every scene with care. The shooting of the race scenes and the camera angles leave you with goose bumps early on.

80

Recommended
 
 
ApunKaChoice | Nikhil Kumar

Director Tigmanshu Dhulia deserves plaudits on several counts. First, the sequences of Irrfan Khan running and leaping across the hurdles (particularly the one shot with horses) in the first half and later revisited under different circumstances in the second half are beautifully directed. Second, the film captures the barren, sun-scorched ravines of Chambal in a way that makes the khaki clad outlaws almost blend in with the landscape, so much so that at times one can’t tell the man from the earth beneath. Thirdly, Tigmanshu puts a message at the heart of the story. The movie isn’t just a mere retelling of a hero-gone-rogue story. It calls for an empathetic glance towards our sports heroes who are remembered only as long as they win the medals.

60

Recommended
 
 
Yahoo | Kunal Guha

The division of fact and fiction becomes another vital scripting dilemma in such films. Too much reality and you sweep out the drama and the thrill. So director Dhulia sprinkles just the right amount of winning moments and even the slower sequences have something to bite on. Some of the memorable ones include Paan’s cue for love-making: luring his kids out of the house with some lemon juice to allow him enough privacy to get intimate with his wife (Mahie Gill). Then, Paan’s irrepressible gluttony that manifests itself intermittently makes for charming scenes like the one where he completes a race and instantly walks off track to attack a bunch of bananas

60

Recommended
 
 
Sify | Sonia Chopra

Irrfan Khan alone makes it worth seeing the film several times over. Imposing, intense and vulnerable at once, you feel for this character and root for him despite his murderous ways. The film angers you at the system that won’t respect a national champion; that puts a gun in the hand that once showed off a trophy.

Dialogue is flawless and has authenticity woven in with drama. Not a single line is superfluous and not a single line appears written without conviction.

70

Recommended
 
 
DNA India | Blessy Chettiar

The notorious ravines that become their abode are akin to Dhulia’s filmmaker mind that has time and again brought to the silver screen stories from India’s interiors (Shagird, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster). Dhulia’s taken special care to write the dialogue in a dialect that is just natural to the story and setting. The screenplay never wavers to accommodate commercial compulsions. No doubt Dhulia chose Irrfan to play Paan Singh.

80

Recommended
 
 
Bollyspice | Shalu Dhyani

While the first half of the film is flawless, the second half unfortunately doesn’t manage to match up to it. The film gets a bit sluggish in the second half. While I was with Paan Singh all through the first half, I could not totally connect with him when he went about killing people without feeling any guilt whatsoever. For a man who never killed anybody even when in army, he takes to the life of crime and bloodshed with surprising ease. This emotional disconnect somewhat robs the film of the punch that could have made it a classic.

80

Recommended
 
 

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