Director Tigmanshu Dhulia, whose forthcoming 'Paan Singh Tomar' is based on the real life of the sportsman-turned-dacoit from Chambal, says he has portrayed Tomar as a rebel in the film.
Tomar, a national steeplechase champion for seven straight years, quit the sport and the army to become a 'Bandit King' of the Chambal Valley.
"As a director, for me Tomar was not a dacoit but a rebel. He is someone who had struggled a lot in his life," Dhulia said.
The director also said that he first learned about Tomar while working on the sets of Shekhar Kapur's Bandit Queen in Chambal.
Intrigued that Tomar was largely forgotten despite holding several records, he resolved to make a film about his life.
Dhulia researched the film's background for two years, interviewing Tomar's surviving family members and visiting his native village in Bhind.
Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan, who is essaying the role of the titular character, said it was a challenge to play the character of a dacoit.
"It was a challenge for me to play Tomar. His life was full of uncertainty and confusion. I tried to portray him as he actually was in order to do justice to the role," Irrfan said.
The film, releasing on March 2, also features Mahie Gill.
Paan Singh Tomar Was a Rebel, Not Dacoit: Director
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