The act of watching good movies is often described as an experience, but have you ever wondered why? Is it an experience because it has made you smarter about your own life or is it an experience because you have learned something new, understood something internally? There is no right answer to this question, but the experience of films somehow enriches our lives and on the first death anniversary of Irrfan, we revisit the experience of Paan Singh Tomar, a film so commanding in its presence. That it is almost impossible to make it out, it is in the middle, no matter how many times you have seen it.
Irrfan was an outstanding performer as an artiste, which is an established fact, but what he achieved in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s 2012 film was so compelling that even nine years after the film’s release, he was hit by an accidental newspaper It was an experience to turn into a notorious ‘Baaghi’. Disarmament is just as.
When Paan Singh Tomar was released in 2012, Irrfan was an important figure in the Indian film industry as well as in the West. Although we were yet to undergo a change where the lines between so-called commercial and subject-driven cinema could blur, Irfan was one of the leading personalities of this generation who was constantly pushing the envelope in this regard. Paan Singh Tomar’s success, both critically as well as commercially, was an additional catalyst for the changing perception of Hindi cinema in this era.
But what was it about Paan Singh Tomar that worked? It is a biographical film that tells the story of a man who calls himself a ‘dacoit’, not a dacoit and is well versed in his business ideology. A gullible, who just wants to eat to his heart’s content, signs up for the game in the military and accidentally finds his talent in steeplechase. While the film is clearly divided into two segments of Pan’s life – the athlete and the gang leader, the film doesn’t emotionally manipulate you into routing for him when he changes into his shoes for a gun. It was the best route aired by writers Sanjay Chauhan and Dhulia that made the audience appreciate Irrfan’s paan which he was. He was not a staunch protagonist, but was a character well aware of the flaws of his methods.
The interview scene with Brijendra Kala, which runs concurrently with the flashback part, is enough to indicate Paan’s anger and frustration in society that never honors him for his medal, but a ‘bet. Makes his exodus proud. Their dialogues’There is a tiger in the rugged, a dacoit meets in Parliament (Baaghis are found in ravines, dacoits are found in Parliament) ‘His helpless voices in front of the system compelled him when the system failed him.
The character, who eventually starts working in criminal activity, never believed the system and it becomes clear when Tomar almost leaves a superior officer in front of his boss. Irrfan plays him as a good-looking man, who will change his game for the love of his mentor, but still has the right to call him out when he finds his behavior offensive. He is strong and decisive but does not really switch to that side of his personality unless it is necessary.
Irrfan was the actor who could draw anyone on the silver screen, and more often than not, he mesmerized the audience with his enchanted eyes that expressed his character’s feelings in a glimpse. The ending of Paan Singh Tomar, where the main character is involved in a shootout with the police, focuses on Irrfan’s face as he tries to escape. As he looks at the sky that is being shot with flares, Paan Singh knows that the game is over and as he heads towards his death, the audience is left thinking about that athlete It is known that the one who used to gallop like a horse and could calm down, the system of life was in his favor. It is a feeling of despair, not of man, but of order.
Paan Singh Tomar was one of the major films of Irrfan’s illustrious career. In his short life, Irrfan gave us many gifts which we will cherish but the gift of performance of this National Award winner will hold its magic for generations to come.