Biopics are not easy a genre to explore, especially in the Indian context. The theatre here is not that sensitive to the issues portrayed unless it’s with a twist. Within a year of Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Omung and writer Saiwyn Quadras are here with MARY KOM. Mary Kom as a person enjoys great respect from the nation. And the silver screen tale aptly puts forward the reason why she is the star of the nation.
The film based on life incidents of Mary Kom traces her journey from being Mangte Chungneijang, daughter of a rice farmer in Manipur to the 5 time world champion of boxing M C Mary Kom. Not the typical 3 hour flick of Bollywood, film strikes the chord with the people because of keeping the direction and storyline crisp and not having added ‘masala’ to the extent which snatches away its charm. The biopic focusses on what all did Mary Kom as girl from Manipur trying to enter a field thought of as manly had to go through.
Having a flashback inception the scriptwriter tries to bring in the Hindi Cinema flavour. As the film proceeds one witnesses the struggle of the champion. Initially fights the fact that she is born in blazing Manipur and has to be a part of the curfews and the conflicts happening. Further is her struggle with the father to learn boxing, a sport he does not approve of. But Chungneijang never loses her ‘lub’ for boxing and her passion is noticed by the coach of the academy who trains her to become the World Champion with “hamesha whole surrender to boxing”. Soon Mary Kom becomes the face of Women Boxing and the film proceeds with her winning every bout and thus moving ahead in her career. And every bout is shot such that the opponent appears really huge, harsh and tough; Mary losing them initially but in a moment due to coach’s reiteration of focus- focus, or a distant kilometres away cheer or image of her family brings in her the zeal and fervour to win and she does. In between you find the father suddenly hooting for Mary while she is on verge of losing which instigates M C to rise as the champion in Turkey (a typical Bollywood kinda- more than 100kms away cheer is heard due to dil ka rishta). A parallel love track with Onler (Darshan Kumar) runs from the time he meets Chungneijang at a local brawl. Moving with time she gets married against the wishes of her coach and soon has twins. But starts missing her ‘lub’ and that’s when she resurfaces, training to enter into the Boxing championships. Onler- the man behind Mary’s success continuously supports her in every obstacle. Even when the nation laughs on him surviving by sending his wife to be beaten in the ring, he is more cared about the fact that Mary needs to give a written apology for her actions. M C’s passion makes her achieve this hard task of being able to compete and then even win although being the mother of two. Rest is the past as they say, with her, wining 2 more world championships, being named Magnificent M C Mary Kom and the only Indian Women to bring bronze in Olympics boxing, she becomes the role model for thousands of young Indian girls.
Omung tries to show many aspects in this 2 hour flick ranging from a girl’s struggle with her father to the sugar coated husband who is always there for Mary’s support to ‘Sharma ji’ and the federation politics to ‘maa’ ka dil and her love for the children to the difficulties of Manipur to the ordeal of a retired world champion. The film tries to make the audience realise many things at one go which might not go well with the viewers. Other than this the background score of Shashi Suman keeps the spirit of film and emotional attachment alive. One ends up whistling and hooting in the audi for every bout as if it’s happening live. The on location shoot adds to the film in capturing the essence of her background.
When Omung signed the glamorous Miss World for the rustic role, he aroused many questions on his talent. But Priyanka Chopra saves him and once again proves that her acting can no way be doubted. She brings the frustration, passion, love, anger, stress etc of the character very beautifully making you feel the same in those situations. For not even once does her hard work not show whether it be her accent, her training and her fitness for the role or her makeup to make her look MC’s twin. She easily fits into the de-glam, strength oriented role eyeing for the 2015 awards. The film is worth every penny. The acting, the music, and the motivational and inspirational focus of the movie is a must watch. One is sure to come out humming ‘dil ye ziddi hai’ for the kind of impact it has.
P.S- Not a single person will be found sitting in the climax because when the National Anthem of winning nation plays while Mary stands at the top of the victory stand each person in the hall stands up automatically for the respect of the nation called India.