This is a movie inspired by a real life character Paan Singh Tomar, a soldier of Indian army and an international athlete who turns a dacoit under forced circumstances. Don't watch Paan Singh Tomar if you are in search of a philosophical story. Watch it only for performance, specially by the prodigal, the brilliant Irrfan Khan. Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, Paan Singh Tomar showcases the sad plight of the unsung sportsmen in India.
The story runs back to 1950 when Paan Singh Tomar was recruited in the Indian Army and had a peaceful happy family. A good stamina and even better appetite opens a new avenue for him- Athletics, where he excels and gets international fame. However, family disputes and deep sense of helplessness forces the balanced Tomar to resort to violence. Tomar becomes the most wanted Bandit of Chambal. His claim; that the country which did not care when he represented India at an International platform, suddenly seems to recognize him when he has picked up a gun; is sadly a true scenario. Paan Singh Tomar might be a wake up call for those authorities as well who neglect our sportsmen and ultimately the sport loses its grace.
Based on strong research and facts, the movie ends with the names of those who died of poverty and hunger despite contributing much to their fields.
It is Irfan Khan's power packed delivery which keeps you engrossed through out the movie. Strong dialogues sway you away and so does the screenplay. Sets of the movie and the background score happen to be very apt and the action scenes have been quite well shot.
Every character in their small roles has justified his presence in the movie. Be it the coach played by Rajendra Gupta or Tomar's wife essayed by Mahie Gill. Irfan carries the movie on his shoulders spectacularly and this one can fetch him an award.
A must watch for those who have been waiting for something substantial. Paan Singh Tomar is your food for thought