Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran

Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (transl.Atom; Hindi pronunciation: [pəɾmaːɳʊ]) is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language historical action drama film directed by Abhishek Sharma and jointly written by Saiwyn Quadras, Sanyuktha Chawla Sheikh and Sharma.[3] It was produced by Zee Studios, JA Entertainment and KYTA Productions banners. The film is based on the nuclear bomb test explosions conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran in 1998.[4][5] It stars John Abraham, Diana Penty and Boman Irani in lead roles.

Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran
Parmanu film poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAbhishek Sharma
Written bySaiwyn Quadras
Abhishek Sharma
Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh
Based onPokhran-II
Produced by
CinematographyAseem Mishra
Zubin Mistry
Edited byRameshwar S. Bhagat
Music bySongs:
Jeet Gannguli
Background Score:
Sandeep Chowta
Distributed byPooja Entertainment
Release date
  • 25 May 2018 (2018-05-25)
Running time
129 minutes
Budget35 crore[1]
Box officeest. 91.38 crore[2]

Parmanu was earlier slated to release on 8 December 2017, but was postponed to avoid clashing with Padmaavat (2018).[6] It was further delayed owing to conflicts between the producers of the film, Abraham and KriArj Entertainment.[7] It was eventually released on 25 May 2018.[8]


In 1995, Ashwat Raina, an IAS officer from the Research and Analysis Wing, suggests the ministers perform a retaliatory nuclear test in response to the recent nuclear missile tests by China. However, he is ridiculed, and the PMO secretary Suresh Yadav tells him to keep the file of his plan brief. Ashwat submits the file along with a floppy containing the details, but Yadav submits a half-baked plan to the Prime Minister and ignores the floppy. The test is hastily conducted without Ashwat's involvement, who then becomes the scapegoat when an American Lacrosse Satellite photographs the test preparations, and the United States warns India not to continue with the tests. Ashwat loses his job, and three years later, in 1998, when a new Prime Minister is sworn in, he is approached by the new PMO secretary Himanshu Shukla who questions the failure of the tests. Ashwat explains the most integral part of the mission was to keep it confidential, but it couldn't happen since no one viewed the floppy. Himanshu gives Ashwat a second chance to conduct the tests, for which he starts preparing a team. Selecting five members from the BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre), DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), Indian Army, ISA (Indian Space Agency) and IB (Intelligence Bureau (India)), Ashwat leads the team to Pokhran for the test setup.

As the activities begin, two local spies of the CIA and ISI are alerted, and they bug Ashwath's guest house to get the information on the nuclear test. Ashwat and the team manage to prepare the setup for the tests while distracting the Lacrosse satellite. When the material is arranged, Himanshu tells Ashwat to stop the tests due to the political climate. Ashwat nevertheless convinces him to greenlit the tests and distract media attention from Pokhran. This gives Ashwat and the team time as they now struggle to complete the tests within a shorter deadline. One day, when a sandstorm exposes the setup, Ashwat and other officers rush to cover it before being spotted by the satellite. They manage to run to the bunker before being spotted, but the spies learn of the test when they view satellite-clicked photographs of Ashwat's vehicle parked oddly. They try to convince the CIA about the tests, but they don't believe them. The ISI Agent calls Ashwat's wife and tells him he's in Pokhran with a woman, after which she arrives at the guest house and mistakenly believes Ashwat to be having an affair with his teammate Ambalika. Ashwat tries to defend himself, but she leaves, following which Ambalika learns of this and believes it to be a setup.

On the day of the tests, the ISI agent breaks into the guest house to retrieve Ashwat's cell phone containing codes for the blindspot at the test site. He fights off Ashwat and runs away, taking the phone. A chase ensues, leaving Ashwat trapped in a police station when he mistakenly fires a bullet from the agent's gun. Ambalika arrives and frees him, and Himanshu proceeds to meet the Prime Minister and explain to him the plan. As Ashwat arrives at the test site, Ambalika and other officers capture the agents. Himanshu manages to get encrypted permission from the Prime Minister to proceed with the tests. The CIA now has the evidence sent by the spies, but the explosion takes place before they can take any action. The test is successfully conducted, Ashwat reconciles with his wife, and India is established as a nuclear state.



Parmanu was officially announced on 15 April 2017 via Taran Adarsh's Twitter handle.[9] John Abraham was approached by film producers Prerna Arora and Arjun N Kapoor with the script, which was further developed.[10] Parmanu was shot in Delhi and Mumbai, with major portions being shot in Pokhran, and areas of Pokhran Fort, Aada Bazaar, Gandhi Chowk Main Market and the Gomat Railway Station.[11] The principal photography of the film began on 31 May 2017 and the shoot was completed in August.[12][13] About the film, Abraham said: "Parmanu is an ode to the Army and scientists, who although ordinary people, truly accomplished extraordinary feats in the face of adversity to ensure that India finds its due place on the world nuclear map."[14]

Marketing and releaseEdit

The first look of the film was revealed by Abraham through his Twitter handle on 22 June 2017. It showed his face merged with the map of Pokhran.[15] The second poster of the film was released on 14 August 2017 which showed Abraham running with jeeps, bunkers in the background.[16] Two posters of the film showing John and Diana in Army uniform were released on 3 November 2017.[17]

Earlier scheduled to release on 8 December 2017, the film released on 25 May 2018 across 1935 screens.[18][19]


Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran
Soundtrack album by
Released15 May 2018 (2018-May-15)[20]
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelZee Music Company
External audio
  Audio Jukebox on YouTube
Sachin–Jigar chronology
Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran
Jeet Gannguli chronology
Total Dadagiri
Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran

The music of the film is composed by Sachin–Jigar and Jeet Gannguli while lyrics are penned by Vayu, Rashmi Virag, Sachin Sanghvi and Kumar Vishwas. The songs featured in the film are sung by Arijit Singh, Divya Kumar, Yasser Desai, Keerthi Sagathia and Jyotica Tangri. The first song of the film titled Shubh Din which is sung by Sagathia and Tangri, was released on 14 May 2018. The album was released by Zee Music Company on 15 May 2018.

Vipin Nair of The Hindu gave the soundtrack 2.5/5 stating that the soundtrack is a "middling start to the year" for the composer duo.[21][22]

Track listing
1."Shubh Din"VayuSachin–JigarKeerthi Sagathia, Jyotica Tangri4:42
2."Jitni Dafa"Rashmi ViragJeet GanngulilYasser Desai3:42
3."Thare Vaaste"VayuSachin–JigarDivya Kumar3:28
4."Kasumbi"VayuSachin–JigarDivya Kumar4:13
5."Sapna"Sachin SanghviSachin–JigarArijit Singh2:49
6."De De Jagah"Kumar VishwasSachin–JigarYasser Desai3:55
Total length:22:49


Box officeEdit

The film has grossed over 195 crore (US$24 million) worldwide, of which 840 million was in India.[2]

Critical responseEdit

Parmanu received positive reviews from film critics.[23] Bollywood Hungama rated the film 3.5/5 and predicted its financial success.[24] The Times of India rated it 3.5/5 and wrote "What Parmanu lacks in detail and authenticity, it makes up with emotions and a sense of national pride. The narrative isn't explosive but it does have dramatic moments to keep the viewer engaged. Thrills, suspense, drama, a little bit of humor, as well as a solid comment on India's soldiers – this movie, largely has all the tricks to please even a discerning audience."[25] Rohit Vats from Hindustan Times rated the film 3/5 and wrote "Actually, the best moments of Parmanu arrive towards the end, just when they are needed. A film that was slowly progressing towards a definite end in the first half starts to gather steam 20 minutes into the second half."[26]

The film was criticized by some reviewers. Shrishti Negi of News18 criticized over-dramatization and twisting of facts, rating it 2/5. The opening sequence was also criticised, being called "too shaky".[27] Kennith Rosario of The Hindu felt the film was "simplistic" and had "all the ingredients to be a propaganda film".[28] Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express criticised the film for its lack of details and use of historical facts, calling it "all surface, no depth", and gave it 1.5 stars.[29] Deccan Chronicle also gave it 1.5 stars out of 5 in its review by Arnab Banerjee, saying that the seriousness of the film didn't come across as it looked like a "picnic with a little bit of work thrown in here and there".[30]


  1. ^ "Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran – Movie – Box Office India". Box Office India. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Box Office: Worldwide Collections and Day wise breakup of Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Parmanu-The Story of Pokhran: John Abraham set to surprise again". Hindustan Times. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  4. ^ Ghosh, Samrudhi (14 August 2017). "John Abraham unveils Parmanu poster: All you need to know about the story of Pokhran". India Today. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Your complete list of all the major upcoming movies this year". GQ India. 26 July 2017.
  6. ^ Basu, Nilanjana (3 October 2017). "Why John Abraham's Parmanu Is Not Releasing in December". NDTV. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  7. ^ "'Parmanu' controversy: John Abraham files three criminal complaints against co-producer".
  8. ^ "John Abraham and Diana Penty's Parmanu to release on April 6th, trailer to arrive soon". Times Now. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  9. ^ "John Abraham's next production on 1998 Pokhran nuclear test: I search for stories which are disruptive yet engaging". The Indian Express. 15 April 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  10. ^ "John Abraham: 'Parmanu – The Story Of Pokhran' is based on true story". The Times of India. 23 July 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Movies to look forward to". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  12. ^ "John Abraham's film based on nuclear test goes on floors today". Deccan Chronicle. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  13. ^ Kameshwari, A. (14 August 2017). "John Abraham's Parmanu The Story of Pokhran to release on December 8. See new poster". The Indian Express. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  14. ^ Misra, Tisya (14 August 2017). "John Abraham Wraps Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran Shoot. Here's When The Film Will Release". NDTV. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  15. ^ "John Abraham unveils poster of his next Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran on Twitter". Firstpost. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Parmanu: John Abraham's upcoming new poster unveils his look amid rough terrains of Pokhran". Firstpost. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Movies to look forward to". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Parmanu Box Office collections: John Abraham starrer inching closer to Rs 60 cr". Zee News. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  19. ^ Hungama, Bollywood (26 May 2018). "Box Office: Worldwide collections and day wise break up of Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran – Bollywood Hungama".
  20. ^ "Parmanu (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes.
  21. ^ Nair, Vipin (23 May 2018). "Not quite a nuclear blast". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Parmanu – Music Review (Bollywood Soundtrack) | Music Aloud". 23 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  23. ^ Mehta, Ankita (25 May 2018). "Parmanu movie review roundup: Here's what critics and celebs have to say about John Abraham starrer". International Business Times.
  24. ^ "Movie Review: Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  25. ^ Parmanu Review {3.5/5}: Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran is an entertaining recreation of India's race to become a nuclear power, retrieved 26 May 2018
  26. ^ "Parmanu The Story of Pokhran movie review: The climax of John Abraham's film keeps you hooked". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  27. ^ "Parmanu Movie Review: John Abraham Starrer is Too Bollywood to be a". News18. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  28. ^ Rosario, Kennith (25 May 2018). "Parmanu review: Billowing plume of jingoistic smoke". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  29. ^ "Parmanu movie review: The John Abraham starrer is all surface, no depth". The Indian Express. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  30. ^ "Parmanu movie review: Unintentionally funny while distorting facts". 26 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.

External linksEdit