Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran

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Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran
Parmanu film poster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed byAbhishek Sharma
Produced by
Written bySaiwyn Quadras
Sanyuktha Chawla Sheikh
Abhishek Sharma
Based onPokhran-II
Music bySongs:
Jeet Gannguli
Background Score:
Sandeep Chowta
CinematographyAseem Mishra
Zubin Mistry
Edited byRameshwar S. Bhagat
Distributed byPooja Entertainment
Release date
May 25, 2018
Running time
129 minutes
Budget35 crore[1]
Box office95 crore[2]

Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (transl. Atom: The Story of Pokhran; Hindi pronunciation: [pəɾmaːɳʊ]) is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language historical action drama film[3][4][5][6] directed by Abhishek Sharma and jointly written by Saiwyn Quadras, Sanyuktha Chawla Sheikh and Sharma.[7] It was produced by Zee Studios and JA Entertainment banners. The film is based on the nuclear bomb test explosions conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran in 1998.[8][9] It stars John Abraham, Diana Penty and Boman Irani in lead roles.

Parmanu was earlier slated to release on 8 December 2017, but was postponed to avoid clashing with Padmaavat (2018).[10] It was further delayed owing to conflicts between the producers of the film, Abraham and KriArj Entertainment.[11] It was eventually released on 25 May 2018.[12]


The movie begins in 1995 with a text introduction, highlighting that India, a country with no nuclear weapons and no powerful allies left (such as the Soviet Union), was being pressured into signing one-sided treaties with the West.

It then switches to several Indian ministers of the Indian government discussing suitable responses to the latest nuclear missile tests by the People's Republic of China. Most of the ministers suggest weak responses, such as a mango-export embargo to China, until one, Ashwath Raina (John Abraham), an IAS officer from Research and Strategy wing who is also an IIT graduate, suggests a plan to perform a retaliatory nuclear test but is ridiculed by the present ministers. Suresh Yadav, the PMO Secretary, later asks Ashwath to prepare a file on his plan but asks him to keep it brief. Ashwath submits the file and also gives Yadav a floppy which contains the details of the file. Yadav submits a half-baked plan to the Prime Minister and ignores the contents of the floppy. A hasty decision is made to go ahead with the test and Ashwath is kept out of the mission. The plan fails after an American Lacrosse Satellite photographs the test preparations and the United States immediately respond by sternly warning not to continue with the tests. Looking for a scapegoat for his own negligence, Yadav blames and suspends Ashwath.

Three years later a new Prime Minister is sworn in. Ashwath now lives in Mussoorie teaching IAS aspirants. He gets an offer to teach at Delhi University, which was set up by the new PMO Secretary to investigate the failure in 1995. He gives him an opportunity to explain his actual plan which involved keeping the whole operation secret from the US and operating the installation in Pokhran at satellite blind spots. He is asked to gather a team and work on the nuclear test setup. The whole mission is to be kept confidential. He selects five members each from following organisations: BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre), DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), Indian Army, ISA (fictional Indian Space Agency that stands in place of the ISRO) and IB (Intelligence Bureau (India)).

The team proceeds to start with the nuclear test setup in Pokhran. The surge of activity alerts local spies of CIA and ISI living in Pokhran after which they bug Ashwath's guest house to get the information on the nuclear test. After facing several challenges, the team is able to conduct a successful test, which establishes the country as a new superpower not to be taken lightly.

In the epilogue, it is revealed that Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, and Dr. R. Chidambaram were the real heroes behind this successful test and that the American intelligence community was embarrassed as there had been "a serious intelligence failure of the decade" in detecting the preparations for the test.[13]



Parmanu was officially announced on 15 April 2017 via Taran Adarsh's Twitter handle.[15] John Abraham was approached by film producers Prerna Arora and Arjun N Kapoor with the script, which was further developed.[16] 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.[17] The principal photography of the film began on 31 May 2017 and the shoot was completed in August.[18][19] 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."[20]

Marketing and release[edit]

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.[21] The second poster of the film was released on 14 August 2017 which showed Abraham running with jeeps, bunkers in the background.[22] Two posters of the film showing John and Diana in Army uniform were released on 3 November 2017.[23] Teaser of this film was released on April 5, 2018. The trailer was released on 11 May 2018.[24]

Earlier scheduled to release on 8 December 2017, the film released on 25 May 2018 across 1935 screens.[25][26]


Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran
Soundtrack album by
Released15 May 2018 (2018-May-15)[27]
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 as 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.[28][29]

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 office[edit]

The film has grossed over 95 crore (US$14 million) worldwide, of which 84 crore was in India.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Parmanu received mainly positive reviews from film critics.[30] Bollywood Hungama rated the film 3.5/5 and predicted its financial success.[31] 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 the dramatic moments to keep the viewer engaged. Thrills, suspense, drama, a little bit of humour, as well as a solid comment on India’s soldiers – this movie, largely has all the tricks to please even a discerning audience."[32] 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."[33]

The film was criticised by some reviewers. Shrishti Negi of News18 criticised over-dramatisation and twisting of facts, rating it 2/5. The opening sequence was also criticised, being called "too shaky".[34] Kennith Rosario of The Hindu felt the film was "simplistic" and had "all the ingredients to be a propaganda film".[35] 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.[36] 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".[37]


  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. ^ Hungama, Bollywood. "Parmanu – The Story Of Pokhran Cast List – Parmanu – The Story Of Pokhran Movie Star Cast – Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama.
  4. ^ "Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran".
  5. ^ "Parmanu – The Story Of Pokhran – Koimoi".
  6. ^ Tripathi, Rajat. "Parmanu first look: John Abraham is all set to tell the story of Pokharan".
  7. ^ "Parmanu-The Story of Pokhran: John Abraham set to surprise again". Hindustan Times. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Your complete list of all the major upcoming movies this year". GQ India. 26 July 2017.
  10. ^ Basu, Nilanjana (3 October 2017). "Why John Abraham's Parmanu Is Not Releasing In December". NDTV. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  11. ^ {}
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ Weiner, T. (13 May 1998). "Nuclear anxiety: The Blunders; U.S. Blundered On Intelligence, Officials Admit". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  14. ^ Hungama, Bollywood (20 September 2017). "WOW! Diana Penty, John Abraham look quite kickass in the posters of Parmanu – The Story Of Pokhran! – Bollywood Hungama".
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "John Abraham: 'Parmanu – The Story Of Pokhran' is based on true story". The Times of India. 23 July 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Movies to look forward to". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  18. ^ "John Abraham's film based on nuclear test goes on floors today". Deccan Chronicle. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "John Abraham unveils poster of his next Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran on Twitter". Firstpost. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  22. ^ "Parmanu: John Abraham's upcoming new poster unveils his look amid rough terrains of Pokhran". Firstpost. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Movies to look forward to". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  24. ^ "PARMANU: The Story Of Pokhran – OFFICIAL TRAILER – John Abraham, Diana Penty, Boman Irani". YouTube.
  25. ^ "Parmanu Box Office collections: John Abraham starrer inching closer to Rs 60 cr". Zee News. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  26. ^ Hungama, Bollywood (26 May 2018). "Box Office: Worldwide collections and day wise break up of Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran – Bollywood Hungama".
  27. ^ "Parmanu (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes.
  28. ^ Nair, Vipin (23 May 2018). "Not quite a nuclear blast". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  29. ^ "Parmanu – Music Review (Bollywood Soundtrack) | Music Aloud". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  30. ^ Mehta, Ankita. "Parmanu movie review roundup: Here's what critics and celebs have to say about John Abraham starrer".
  31. ^ "Movie Review: Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  32. ^ 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
  33. ^ "Parmanu The Story of Pokhran movie review: The climax of John Abraham's film keeps you hooked". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  34. ^ "Parmanu Movie Review: John Abraham Starrer is Too Bollywood to be a". News18. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  35. ^ Rosario, Kennith (25 May 2018). "Parmanu review: Billowing plume of jingoistic smoke". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  36. ^ "Parmanu movie review: The John Abraham starrer is all surface, no depth". The Indian Express. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  37. ^ "Parmanu movie review: Unintentionally funny while distorting facts". 26 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018. External link in |work= (help)

External links[edit]