- Vimal C. Pandey
Simply, you can take it as a film that portrays a person’s journey from sports field to valley of Chambal but internally this films runs on sundry stratums. You have to read between the lines and understand the under tone of the movie when you see his critical transformation. This is the tale of a common man who has given his life for this country and when he needs a basic favor from the system, it completely exhausts him with its nature and taradiddle.
Written by Sanjay Chauhan, this film runs as a poem on celluloid. The one and only Irfan Khan makes it so intense that you can’t take your eyes off him even for a while. Paan Singh is a fourth standard failed military man who runs like a deer in the forest and roars like a tiger out of the cave. He wants to go to the front but stopped by the senior officials because ‘We can’t risk our sportspersons as they are the treasure of the country’. When this treasure trapped in his family dispute and runs from pillar to post, this system doesn’t help him.
When you chose a story of a real incident of person, it comes as a great responsibility to maintain the charm of the film. Whether it’s Jessica Lal, Silk Smita or Paan Singh Tomar, it is very tough to carry the film in a good pace and this time Tigmanshu has done this job tremendously. This film has been written and researched over the span of two years and this hard work comes on the screen as a breeze of soothing air. We see a young and candid Paan in initial scenes where he goes to the sports to get enough food as he is a glutton and represents India in Asian games. His transformation has been portrayed on screen splendidly and the trio of Irfan, Tigmansu and Sanjay emerge as winners.
Paan Singh tries his best to not pick the gun but when he does this, his motto is clear. When he gets advices to surrender, he affirms, “This is a race and when you start once, you have to finish it and there is no come back.” He is a sportsperson and his sportsman spirit sprayed in all frames. When he kills his enemy, i. e. his first brother, the charm of the movie could have been finished but Irfan has saved it by his justification. Moreover, Tigmanshu has justified the justification of the dacoit who forces to be called him as ‘rebellion’.
The film carries a lot of satirical value and scenes remain in memory when one leaves the hall. Whether the scene of Irfan and Mahi where Paan Singh talking to his wife through a mirror, or the scene where Paan gives money to his son to go to buy some chocolate or the scene when Paan follow his first cousin. Film, in a satirical way, shows the mirror to the system that doesn’t provide even basic facilities to its sportsmen and expects for medals. Film completely belongs to Irfan Khan and he has given an unimpeachable performance throughout the film. Hats off to the entire crew and team for a rare tale.