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PAAN SINGH TOMAR: Film with a reality touch

March 1, 2012 04:25:09 PM IST
Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
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One thing has to be given to Tigmanshu Dhuliya, the director of Irrfan Khan starrer, the films that he makes, and that includes PAAN SINGH TOMAR have an element of reality- a slice of urban history, or a slice of rural history, peppered with contemporary social realities. After all, he has honed his teeth in the hotbed of Indian politics, Allahabad, which indeed is the political nursery, and the adjoining areas especially the Bundelkhand region, from where students throng to Allahabad for their studies. These students from Bundelkhand region have amazing folklore tales about PAAN SINGH TOMAR and one assumes that it could have been the trigger to bring this forgotten part of our history back into the public realm through cinematic oeuvre.

Indeed, cinema from this perspective does a yeoman's service in bridging the missing gaps in our social history. Were it not for Tigmanshu Dhuliya's PAAN SINGH TOMAR, one wonders whether the urban populace of our country would even have been aware about his existence and how a man who once was a sports star became a dacoit and a dreaded one at that.

view PAAN SINGH TOMAR movie stills
view PAAN SINGH TOMAR movie stills

Tigmanshu Dhuliya also needs to be complemented about the choice of the actor, Irrfan Khan to play the role of PAAN SINGH TOMAR as he is one of those actors who just seeps into the character and allows the character to develop and establish a bond with the audience. PAAN SINGH TOMAR is one such character in our history that needs to establish a bond with the audience.

CHECK OUT: Tigmanshu- PAAN SINGH TOMAR isn't an out and out Chambal dacoit movie

Context of PAAN SINGH TOMAR is also in sync with the political and social landscape of the country in the present times, especially in view of the elections in the Hindi heartland. Bundelkhand is the same area where Rahul Gandhi tried to set the political agenda for his career, and it would be interesting to find why the lack of development in this hinterland of our country leads to creation of dacoits.

Choice of Irrfan Khan as PAAN SINGH TOMAR would also go a long way in deconstructing the dacoits as they have been showcased on the silver screen, larger than life images, where the actors who played them did not allow the actor to be dominated by the character. For this reason it seems that in PAAN SINGH TOMAR there are no horses, but the dacoits run bare-foot, which is a stark reality of the Chambal region of Bundelkhand. It being an area dominated by sand dunes, galloping on the back of a horse may appear romantic and masochistic but is far away from reality.

PAAN SINGH TOMAR is also a stark commentary on the way the sports administration runs the affair in our country, and how in a way systems are responsible to make even likes of PAAN SINGH TOMAR who was a steeple chase champion to convert into a dacoit.

These slices of history should give the content of cinema in 2012 a new paradigm and one hopes that this year would present more such real life heroes being interpreted through cinematic oeuvre, heralding the change of generation in business of cinematic fraternity.


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