Paan Singh Tomar: Face of Realistic Bollywood
To start with, there was a movie called Agneepath where in same theater, I left it in between for washroom, pressures were moderate. Today, I realized pressure was high after only the movie had finished and then rushed to the washroom. Movie was that gripping.
The purpose of my blog was movie analysis and I’m glad I don’t have to write a Paan Singh Tomar movie review. I am not qualified enough. A movie that stars some brilliant actors, most not popular because they’re not stars, even IMDB doesn’t list all the actors despite a huge cast makes it crystal clear. The director has made some gems in his short career, but you wouldn’t have heard of the name. Paan Singh represents a class of Bollywood film which can be called parallel cinema, any other cinema in fact but not mainstream Bollywood. What I’d call is realistic Bollywood, the face of it, this being the finest of them all probably.
The movie is based on Paan Singh Tomar, all the facts provided in the film are almost true. The movie has no suspense. Everyone who went in knew the story. It had all the ingredients to be called a predictable affair. Yet, it turned out to be gripping (as gripping as I’ve already written). How does the team achieve that really? By making mere facts come to life. The few aspects of the brilliant film are given below:
1)Cinematography: It can’t get better. Let me divide it into two a)Locales and b)Camera Creativity
a)Locales: The locations, the 50s, 60s, 70s and the India. The detailing. The local stalls, roads, cars, everything about the locations, sets, props was perfect. I haven’t seen those years, being born long after Paan Singh Ji had died, I could see they were true.
b)Camera Creativity: What the cinematographer has done is called creativity only. The race sequences, the action sequences, the amazing work. There were certain sequences where some camera jerks/shakes were used. I liked that too. The play with focus was very creative. Most impressive remain the race sequences though. Watch them, they can’t be described.
2)Direction: The movie always moved ahead. The direction was superb. Co-ordinationg the brilliant cinematography with the performances of the cast, stage utilization, some of the aspects which we take for granted unless they’re bad. But when they’re brilliant, we must give credit. I guess the director-cinematographer duo did a great job together.
Director is Tigmanshu Dhulia
Cinematographer is Found no credits except jib camera operator Piyush Acharya on IMDB
3)Performances: Performances come a close third for me in the film. The ensemble cast is brilliant. The gang of Paan Singh, the military cast, the relatices, Bhanwar Singh and co, everyone was great. You couldn’t put a finger and say this performance isn’t fine. Mahie Gill looked beautifully bad. Her love for real acting made her give away the make-up and glam-sham. Short and sweet role. And now to the hero, the villain, the everything of the film: Paan Singh Tomar aka Irfan Khan. This guy amazes me. One film, he’s a gangster, another film he’s an inspector, a shy guy searching for a girl, an NRI professor, and now a sportsman and then a baaghi. Is there any role that he can’t do? Also how hard he’d have worked on his fitness to look like an athlete in his early twenties or so. He’s turned 50 this January. Amazing. Ahead of any other Khan in his generation, he’s an actor and not a superstar.
4)Dialogues: Dialogues don’t have to be philosophical or classy always, they have to fit in, with the characters and the locales and the situations. Paan Singh has them and more. They’re at times classy, at times philosophical, and always fit in. They’re not an alien element, are just part of the film.