Always Promising Tigmanshu Dhulia has finally delivered its master piece in form of a biopic Paan singh Tomar. The well done research and time proved the right ingredient for the cult classic. India has one good movie which deals with sports (exception of Chak De! India), which is highly unlikely in bollywood portrayals.
The steeplechase race was another unlikely sport, but on silver screen the first half was marvelous.
Dhulia and Irrfan right from Haasil was a good Jodi altogether. They both had their due finally. Right from being the assistant Director from Bandit Queen and the association with Shekar Kapur proved this movie worth of its salt. A word of mouth story melting with the glitterati of glamour world was significantly fantastic.
Irrfan delivered its another best, totally involving in the character. The races and practice never looked superficial and had content till the depth. While irrfan transition from an Athlete to that of a dacoit in the middle ages man was brilliant. All credit goes to the actor himself. He is such a silk, crease-less.
The screenplay by Dhulia was another remarkable feat reached to the zenith. The movie had its touch of emotions raking the nervous right till the end of credit roll. It will keep you glued to the fact of unjust poverty our athletes face. The raw and bitter facts were introduced and a subtle take on today's IPL and Cricket frenzy nation was very obvious. Did anyone know of Paan singh or the Steeplechase race sport ever? I bet !!
The rustic approach as always of central and eastern India could not be better than this. The chambal valley was shown with villages had a sense of accomplishment. While the army barracks and story was very close to the real story. The steeplechase running sequence with a flashing editing was a stealer. You can notice the hand swirl before every jump. The expression and deep eyes of Paan singh was the keystroke of Irrfan captured very well. The story of dacoit and its ply was smooth and explained the unjust system of Indian politico. Even the caste system deeply rooted and supported by police and politics was well directed. Dhulia was excellent in portraying the small details of a subedaar's personal life and his love towards his lady. There was humor in all the movie. The end could have been no better. The chambal became steeple-chased for Paan Singh Tomar.
Making the story out of interviewing Tomar's surviving family members and visiting his native village, Dhulia was really Intrigued about Tomar's largely forgotten several records is an achievement in itself. India and its apathy towards the Olympians are a food for thought. A powerful film made into a cult.