Mary Kom ~ Review

Mary Kom with Priyanka Chopra is an inspiring story of sporting courage and and unbounded success. Komal Shastri-Khedkar provides the low-down on the story, performances, direction and music. Find out if it is one to watch or give a miss.

Priyanka Chopra

As I came out of the cinema absolutely overwhelmed, soon enough I came across the audience with mixed reactions about the film.

Some people were as impressed as I was and few were complaining of just how melodramatic and filmy Mary Kom is (yes the same people who had absolutely loved the over-dramatic everlasting Bhaag Milkha Bhaag).

If people are complaining that Mary Kom is an out and out filmy and over-the-top, exaggerated film, possibly they are not realising that the story of Mary Kom itself is one. Her inspiring struggles are almost tailor made for a biopic. Doesn’t sport have sufficient inbuilt drama?

Priyanka Chopra

Well, the story is less about her as a sportsperson and more about the journey and the struggles of the living legend, Mary Kom towards being the World Champion boxer.

Mary Kom is a crisp two hours journey for the audience to become inspired and know about this sportsperson who has made India so proud.

The film puts into perspective, how the aggressive daughter of a poor rice farmer in Manipur went on to create history by becoming a five-time world champion. It’s a story of grit, fervour and immense hard work.

The debutant director Omung Kumar has done a fair enough job but lacks somewhere. Omung and the writer Saiwyn Quadras have tried to underscore many concerns through the film.

Like how uninformed most Indians are about the north-east; how inferior the athletes who make the country proud are treated by the government; how complex a woman’s life is to balance on a personal and professional level and most importantly, female empowerment.

[easyreview title=”MARY KOM” cat1title=”Story” cat1detail=”How the aggressive daughter of a poor rice farmer in Manipur went on to create history by becoming a five-time world champion.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Performances” cat2detail=”Priyanka’s brilliant acting makes us forget that we are watching her on the screen and Mary Kom instead.” cat2rating=”4″ cat3title=”Direction” cat3detail=”The debutant director Omung Kumar has done a fair enough job but lacks somewhere.” cat3rating=”3″ cat4title=”Production” cat4detail=”The film is raw yet glossy but tells an inspiring story without compromising.” cat4rating=”4″ cat5title=”Music” cat5detail=”Music is forgettable, sometimes too loud and sometimes just subtle.” cat5rating=”3″ summary=’Watch it for the incredible story about the living legend, Magnificent Mary along with Priyanka’s brilliant performance.’ word=’A MUST WATCH’]

A lot has been babbled about Kumar’s choice to cast a celebrity Bollywood superstar who doesn’t even look like Mary. Truly casting her could have been a blunder had Priyanka not done an extraordinary job.

Personally, me not being a fan of Priyanka Chopra, it was quite a surprise to see her doing an absolutely outstanding act and delivering perhaps, one of her best performances so far. The actress who was so brilliant in Barfi is finally back (after doing a few tacky movies and item songs here and there).

After or while watching the film, what stays on your mind is the realisation that absolutely no other Bollywood actress other than Priyanka Chopra could have played the character of Mary Kom so well.

Though Priyanka may not succeed to bear a resemblance to Mary in her looks, the prosthetic make-up and her Manipuri lingo along with Priyanka’s brilliant attempt at adapting the sport star’s spirit and soul almost make us forget at times that we are watching Priyanka on screen and not Mary Kom.

So much so that at times you are convincingly left moist eyed empathising with the character.

Priyanka is sensibly put between mainly unfamiliar actors and faces who add up hugely in creating a believable world of Mary Kom. Darshan Kumar as Mary’s husband, Robin Das as her father and Sunil Thapa as her coach are fairly good in their roles.

Where Mary Kom tails off is in the screenplay. The screenplay is poorly broken up with one episode following another.

Unreasonably the first half of the film relies on non-linear unfolding of events with no specific motive to play around with. Conflictingly, the second half of the film is an unadorned linear storytelling.

Also what disappoints me are the distracting product placements in the film to make a few easy bucks by the filmmakers. Obvious and over-mentioning of the products like Iodex, sugar free capsules and Usha by the central character annoys the audience.

The film has genuineness and along with Mary herself, the film gives us a wonderful real life hero: Onler, who not just encouraged Mary to go back to boxing but also, looked after their twin babies while she conquered the world. He beyond doubt should be an inspiration to all the chauvinists out there.

I recommend you all to watch Mary Kom for the simple reason that you will go back home feeling proud of knowing about the ‘Magnificent’ Mary who has not only reached the top to make her country proud but has remained there.

Komal is a cinéaste, who believes she was born to love films. Apart from working as assistant Director in Bollywood, she finds herself doing photography or watching Simpsons. “All I have in life is my imagination and I love it that way!”

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