An army athlete (Irrfan Khan) takes up arms to dispense justice. Read the review of Paan Singh Tomar for more.

Paan Singh Tomar Review (Paan Singh Tomar Movie Poster)
Paan Singh Tomar Review

Business rating:  1/5 (One star)

Star cast: Irrfan Khan, Mahie Gill, Zakir Hussain, Vipin Sharma, Rajendra Gupta, Khan Jahangir Khan, Brijendra Kala.

What’s Good: The first half; the performances.

What’s Bad: The second half which is a routine revenge drama; the difficulty which the lay viewer will face while trying to understand the Bundelkhandi dialect in which the dialogues are spoken.

Verdict: Paan Singh Tomar does not make too much of a mark, thanks to the dull second half.

Loo break: A couple after interval.

Watch or Not?: Watch it for Irrfan Khan’s performance and also for the other actors.

UTV Spotboy’s Paan Singh Tomar (UA) is a biographical film on the life of Paan Singh Tomar, a super-fast athlete who is forced by circumstances to take the gun in his hands and become a dreaded dacoit in the valleys of Chambal.

Paan Singh Tomar (Irrfan Khan), a village lad, joins the army, but looking at his interest in sports, he is sent by the army officers to become an athlete for the Services. He shines in the Steeplechase race and brings glory to India. One of his cousins in the village plays dirty with him and even beats up his son mercilessly. The police officer refuses to lodge a complaint against the cousin and instead insults Paan Singh who shows him the medals he has won. This infuriates Paan Singh as he is hot-blooded. The family fight takes a terrible turn when the cousin kills Paan Singh’s mother. Left with no option, Paan Singh picks up the gun to teach his cousin the lesson of his life. Alongwith a group of friends and relatives, he soon becomes the dreaded dacoit of the Chambal valley. The police is on the trail of Paan Singh Tomar. He finds it paradoxical that nobody really cared for him when he brought glory to the country but now that he was a dreaded dacoit, the police and the government were after him.

Paan Singh is let down by one of his own gang members who cons him and the gang to stay the night in a village while informing the police about the stay. Before Paan Singh knows it, he and his team have no escape route. They give the large police contingent a tough fight but soon realise, their drink had also been poisoned. Ultimately, the entire gang, including Paan Singh Tomar, falls prey to the bullets of the police.

Paan Singh Tomar Review (Paan Singh Tomar Movie Stills)
Paan Singh Tomar Review (Paan Singh Tomar Movie Stills)

Paan Singh Tomar Review: Script Analysis

Sanjay Chauhan and Tigmanshu Dhulia have penned an interesting story and screenplay in the first half when Paan Singh Tomar becomes an athlete of repute in the Indian Army. However, the interval point, at which the film takes a dramatic turn, prepares the audience for a revenge drama in the second half. And that is exactly what the post-interval portion turns out to be – a routine revenge fare, full of action. The writers’ attempt to infuse emotions into the second half of the drama fails. In the absence of the emotional angle, the film fails to tug at the heart-strings. In fact, by the time the drama comes to an end, even the impact of the entertaining first half is greatly diluted. It must be mentioned here that Paan Singh’s transition from a national hero to a national villain is also not very convincing. His seeking revenge on his cousin and the cousin’s family is still understandable but looting unconnected people doesn’t really go down with Paan Singh Tomar’s character, even if it is done just so that he can sustain his gang. Therefore, the audience’s sympathy doesn’t go cent per cent with Paan Singh Tomar once he turns a dacoit. Dialogues are very appropriate but the use of the Bundelkhandi dialect to add that touch of authenticity greatly reduces the appeal of the film because the dialect will not be fully and easily understood by everybody.

Paan Singh Tomar Review: Star Performances

Irrfan Khan lives the role of Paan Singh Tomar. He does a swell job, first as the athlete and then as the dacoit. Mahie Gill is extremely natural as Paan Singh’s wife. Zakir Hussain is good in a role (Inspector Rathore) that gives him limited scope. Vipin Sharma is natural as Major Masand. As the sports coach, Rajendra Gupta is endearing. Khan Jahangir Khan acts ably as Bhanwar Singh. Brijendra Kala is first-rate as the journalist. Imran Hasnee (as Matadeen, brother of Paan Singh), Swapnil Kotriwal (as Hanumantha Singh, son of Paan Singh) and Nawazuddin Siddiqui (as Gopi) lend excellent support as do Sitaram Panchal (as Ramcharan), Ravi Sah (as Balram, nephew of Paan Singh Tomar), Bano (as Paan Singh’s mother) and Rajeev Gupta (as the corrupt police officer). The rest of the cast also puts up a good show.

Paan Singh Tomar Review: Direction & Technical Aspects

Tigmanshu Dhulia’s direction is very good. He has created the atmosphere of the village beautifully and has extracted very good work from his cast. However, the basic problem of the second half of the drama is something even his narration is not able to surmount. There’s not much scope for music (Abhishek Ray) but the songs in the background go well with the mood of the drama. Sandeep Chowta Projects’ background music is effective. Aseem Mishra’s cinematography is superb. Action scenes, composed by Kaushal-Moses, are appropriate. Sets (by Dhananjay Mondal) are nice. Aarti Bajaj’s editing is crisp.

Paan Singh Tomar Review: Komal Nahta’s Verdict

On the whole, Paan Singh Tomar does not have the commercial ingredients to score at the box-office. Had the second half been more weighty, it could have worked reasonably well but with the post interval portion looking like a routine dacoit drama, that won’t be possible.

Paan Singh Tomar releases in India on 2 March 2012.

Paan Singh Tomar Trailer

Komal Nahta, the Editor of, is Bollywood’s most trusted trade analyst & film reviewer. You can follow him on Twitter and check out his Video Blog.

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  1. I am really astonshied with this review, such a wonderful film and received only 1 rating.
    My God, 3rd class films receive more rating than this,
    It seems i will never like to visit this site, at least for reading review.

  2. Indian cinema’s most untrusted and biased reviewer and not Bollywood’s as we term it bcoz we always want to be below Americans as we think Oscar is our awards. 1 star I rarely remember him giving to any other film. may b didn’t get his share. sorry this is heights i’ll never visit this site total b___ ___t . did u review Slumdog millionaire. it got so many Oscars.

  3. according to me Movie Has Irfan Khan And would be enough to recover its money….
    only Irfan’s casting should be rated 3 stars,rest for other qualities ……..

  4. komalji main apki review ko respect karta hoon lekin isko one star yeh ek achi movie negetive poblicity hai plz isko change kijiye koi bi apse sehmat nahin hai

  5. Please dont give one star to such a classy will be a hit no doubt.revenge dramas are easy but the usp is how u portray them and bundelkhandi dialect(u should be praising them that they were so good).

  6. This is absolutely ridiculous…Seems like stupid movie producers pay and good reviews..

    And Honest and sincere directors who makes an attempt to make different movie gets 1 rating…

    Please watch the movie with open mind without any pre conceived notions….

  7. tu apne aap ko samajta kya he saale….kuch bhi bolta hein….ghaddooos…..iss tarah ke film bollywood mein phir nahi aati hein….this film has raised the bar in Indian film industry and superb performance bY iRfAn kHaN!!

  8. I have lost respect for this guy, come to think of it had
    none but it seems the couple of so called “Reviewers”
    want us to see no more that bodyguard and ready or other such trash

    what you see is what you become Mr. nahata you guys don’t deserve to see masterpiece like this one

  9. i think like most of d foolish indians mr. nahata also underrated d film due 2 absense of a item no.

  10. Komal Nahta…u always critically acclaim those movies which have big stars and let me tell you most of the movies by these so called “”Superstars” are shit…I think it’s because of critics like you that Indian cinema is not able to raise it’s standard…Grow up and change the way of your criticism and if you can’t then just stay only to the work you are best at i.e. giving Weekends box office report in Microsoft Excel format…

  11. You should stop reviewing movies & stop this site as well.
    Just criticizing every movie as if you have some commercial interest in this. Stop misguiding people & start appreciating good movies.

  12. I’m surprised that this guy calls himself a film critic. He won’t know a good movie if it hit him smack in the face!! Obviously, he’s used to the trash that Bolywood spews out and doesn’t know how to recognize a gem when he sees one. This is by far one of the best movies from Bolywood in a very long time so I’m suprised that this critic would give it one star!!! There’s nothing dull about the second half. The movie is an honest portrayal of one man’s life and shouldn’t be changed to suit the taste of this critic since all he’s looking for is a watered down fantasy filled box-office hit!!

  13. You call yourself a critic. Really. What part of movie making do u understand. Im sure you must have the non sense that was churned out last year stuff like ready, bodyguard oh and

  14. I watched this movie yesterday and I liked it..It was a poignant tale of a man who was forced to take up arms…The story was well told n the execution was entertaining..After a long time i enjoyed a hindi movie…and yes its trillion times better thn ready,bodyguard,wanted,ek main aur ek tu,ravan ….

  15. i saw that movie last night…its a superb movie…i don’t know how u rated like this..agar koi super star like srk ya salman hota to isko iss trah ki rating nahi detai…real concept pai bani film ab logo ko pasand nahi aati…

  16. bahut sahi hai komal ji..aisa review..this khan is better than other 4 khan’s, best movie after a long time…please change your review buddy

  17. I think Komal Nahata u shud start watching more sensible cinema like PST so that u can rate them well waise I shuold say u r not eligible to rate a movie like PST u can only rate Raone, bodyguard, ready ,i thnk u wud hve given ready nd bodyguard 3-4 stars………..go home and think of some another profession for urself………….if PST would hve been alive nd wud hv eknown u hve given his biopic only 1 star chambal ke jhnaglo main dauda dauda kar maarta aapko………

  18. Are you for real? One star out of five?

    What type of movies and performance should get 4 out of 5 then?
    What load of dross are you spouting here Mr. Nahata?

  19. pathetic seems as if the big production houses pay him for reviews and this small budget film had no scope to offer any money to Mr. Nahta. How can he be a film critic, he has not even the basic sense imbibed in him.

  20. 1 star rating is outrageous…perhaps “Mr Nahata” need a refersher training course on how to review the movies…. It’s amazing how all Khan movies gets 4 or 5 star ratings and extraordinary movies like “Paan Singh Tomar” gets 1 rating

    To all the movie lovers – Story, direction and Irfan’s performance stands out and if you are interested in good cinema this movie is a must watch

  21. Superb Movie some idiot can’t review a movie like this.
    they are only good for Movie like RA-ONE.
    Reviewer: Find something better in you life ………….which make sense

  22. Rediculous review for one of the best movies.ppl plz watch the movie…to hell with this review.Get well soon komal

  23. Dear Mr. Nahata Every reviewer was going gaga with Paan Singh Tomar. But before seeing the film when I read your review it looked different & strange. I had anyway lot of expectations from the film & the director who gave Shagird & Sahib Biwi last Year & also Irfan Khan who did a Yeh saali Zindagi. But after seeing the movie I totally agree with your analysis.No emotional attachment for Paan singh in the 2nd half after his cousin gets killed & he lets go the Police officer. Paan Singh’s mission should have been accomplished by then.& he should have surrendered for the sake of his family. Anyway I give the film 2.5 stars since it’s a OK movie.

  24. is komal your critic mad? ???

    has she got any knowledge of movie

    I watched movie and it deserve 5 stars only a fool can give 1 star to t his movie

    I would never visit your site again for reviews

    you suck and so do your critics sack komal if want visitors on your site

  25. mujhe aaj rohit shetty ki baat yad aa gayi ke paid reviews bhi hote h…bodygaurd aur readdy jaisi ghatiya filmo ki to khoob tarif karte ho…

  26. Komal Nahta gaves 2/5 to Tees Maar Khan and 1/5 for the Paan Singh all of us get that how much u have knowledge about bollywood flims

  27. komal ji movie ki rating kya kya dekh kar dena hein wo sab aap bhul chukey hein Kripaya aap apani rating dene ki study phir se start kar do.
    ——– super class movie for all viewer please watch it

  28. The worst review of awsome movie..
    this movie rocks…I don’t find a single moment when I got boared…
    5 star….only rating u can give to this kind of movie. ….mr. komal plz stop misguiding the audience..

  29. if a movie doesn’t has commercial incrediants ,does that mean it should get 1/5 star.all critics are now trade analyst.they don’t rate the movie what it deserves but what it accumulates on box ofc…that is why we are getting all melodramatic craps rather endearing performances..shame on u guys

  30. komal ji.. U r a big full.
    u r a big enimy of this type of five star movie..

    Review for komal natha..
    I’ll give -1 to u

  31. komal ji ko flim ka analise karna bilkul nehi movie blockbluster flim ra one bodyguard se accha hain.

  32. This is an excellent movie.I had read the review earlier by critics who said’second half is dull..etc” When I watched this movie ,I found it to be an excellent movie ! and what a small budget -only 4.5 Cr.Compare this with Bodyguard-60 crore,Agnipath-62 crore.-Ra one-125cr+,Don2 70crore,
    Dirty picture-17 crore.Even Kahaani was made for 8 crore.Paan Singh Tomar is still running in theatres all over India and doing good business.
    Truely an award winning performance by Irfan Khan.

  33. I dont know on what grounds you are reviewing films Komal but for sure seeing and reading your reviews you look like an uneducated cinema reviewer not knowing its aesthetics. And if you review films predicting their Boxoffice performance then you must leave reviewing because its as uncertain as anything.

  34. komal ji, ab aapko je job se retairment le lena chahiye…..apko bhi -1/2 star…….. ghar jaao budhapa aaram se kato, ye ap aap ke bus ki nahi hai…..

  35. ye movie bahut hi achchi lgi aur irfan khan k to andaj hi nirala hai.
    kya gajab ki acting ki irfan ne
    kewal 4.5 carore me bni ye movie kewal 18 din me 12 carore earn ki .

  36. PAAN SINGH TOMAR is a terrific low buget movie every body should be watch. bcoz not even irrfan khan work every body working good you feel like a real. front of your eye good direction good cinemography good locations really trust me forget Mr. komal nahta rating he is giving only shah rukh movie to good rating.

  37. Paan singh tomar super hit he. Is movie ko Amitab Bacchan & Indian govt. ne like kiya he. komal ji is baat ko acchi thra somjo esi movie kabhi-kabhi dekhne ko milti he jo ki ek true story he. This is very nice movie.

  38. Paan singh tomar super hit he. Is movie ko Amathab Bacchan & Indian govt. ne like kiya he. Komal ji is baat ko acchi thra samjo esi movie kabhi-kabhi dekhne ko milti he jo ki true story he. This is very nice movie.


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