To say that Tigmanshu Dhulia is in top form would not be wrong. With PST, Tiggu makes a sort of a hat-trick of good, gritty films. Last year he came up with Shagird and Saheb Biwi aur Gangster. While the first one was powered by the fantastic Nana Patekar, the second one had Jimmy Shergil in top form. Both had great dialogues, gritty screenplay and earthy characters. Tiggu goes one step ahead with PST and here are reasons why.
PST is not your run of the mill story. It’s a story of a man who joins the army, becomes a National record breaking athlete and ends up as a Dacoit (Baaghi as he likes to put it). And very subtly yet profoundly, Tiggu tells us the condition of our Indian Athletes. There is no bhaashan baazi. It’s just a compelling story.
Tiggu has this knack of picking awesome actors and getting the best out of them. Maybe he writes such powerful and well thought out characters, that the actors find it easy to adapt. Added to this you have an actor, who has proved to be the only INTERNATIONAL star of India. There may be many Khans in Bollywood, but there is just one Khan with universal appeal – Irrfan. Adding to his already sterling career, Irrfan plays the lead role with such flawlessness that you will be in awe of him. His eyes speak volumes, his body language is perfect and his dialogue delivery precise. He owns the role, and makes Paan Singh come alive. In the acting department, apart from some extras in Village shots, most actors are more than competent.
Tiggu’s story is strong and screenplay gritty. Though it loses pace in the second half, when Paan Singh starts his Dacoit days, the film delivers substance. The first half is extremely tight, enjoyable and makes you look forward to the second half. The second half is quiet good, but Tiggu takes the righteous path and stretches it a bit to take the film to a predictable conclusion. He even justifies it with some dialogues which imply that when a race is started, you cannot end it in between.
The cinematography by Aseem Mishra is excellent, and the background score by Sandeep Chowta elevates the scenes. Tiggu thankfully does not force in song sequences. People might find the 2nd half a little bit stretched, but it is sprinkled with little gems in terms of dialogues, acting and cinematography, which make it worthwhile. I would sit through it a hundred times but watch crap like Ek Main Aur Ek Tu.
An age old poor Sardar joke “Are you Relaxing? No I am Paan Singh” not-withstanding, go watch it for its gritty director who tells real, earthy stories with meaning. Go watch it for an actor who is the real powerhouse in the midst of box office Badshahs. Go watch it, because it leaps above the rest and gives you some real good cinema. Support the cause
Rating: 7 / 10
(Unfortunately UTV did not do a very good job at promoting a good film, so watch it and spread the word. )