Mary Kom Hindi Movie Review
I am delighted. What I have been so long upset about turns out to be least of the problems in Mary Kom. I have had many arguments in the recent past over why casting Priyanka Chopra as Mary Kom is a casting disaster. Funnily enough, it is Priyanka who saves this movie, pulls it out of usual mediocrity and makes it completely watchable!
My voice regarding Priyanka being cast over a more appropriate face found resonance with many. I would definitely not cast Tom Cruise as Nelson Mandela. At least not if he can't look the part. I would have complained about Farhan Akhtar being cast as Milkha Singh too, had he not managed to look like an actual pag-wearing Sikh. The region and circumstances always play a very important role in a character's life. A Milkha probably would have not happened in another state and era. Not being true to the region hence is as good as not being true to the story. Priyanka Chopra, despite her prosthetic nose and freckles, look as much a part of the Northeast as the real Mary Kom would look a part of Haryana. And there is certainly no Manipur in the story. Not in way that could show how integral being a Manipuri is to Mary Kom's personality.
But as I said, the film proved me wrong. Writer Qadras and director Omung Kumar slip at many other levels that take away from the scintillating life-story that Mary Kom actually has. For one, a life as dramatic as Kom's did not really need screenplay-pushed melodrama.
Mary Kom is easily one of the most inspiring sportsperson the country has seen. Not only because she the fact that she won those titles she won [Quite a few of them indeed]. This is one sportsperson who not only triumphed against the outside forces that tried to keep her down, she is one who defeated the notion of motherhood bogging down a women physically!
Though Qadras does manage to get some touch points right, just about enough to evoke the right emotions, his screenplay seems to more adjusted towards ensuring proper brand placements. But of course, money was always the central point of the film. Like many of the people who argued with me pointed, it would have not been a commercially viable to make a film with an unknown actor who could have actually looked the part. So what we have in the film is an internationally popular face using products that were probably hardly interested in associating with Mary Kom till she won the Olympic bronze medal or even after that!
Apart from the screenplay, which catches up significantly in the second half, the editing could almost knock you out. It's pretty jarring, really.
It is important that a biopic brings the legend to life, without or minimal of cinematic freedom. Mary Kom the film does not quite get that right. Nevertheless, this film still moves and inspires you enough. You would still root for Mary Kom as she enters the ring. But that's primarily because Priyanka Chopra brings that aggression into the character. No this is not quite the biopic that Mary Kom deserves. Yet, I would urge you to watch it. For the ones who seek to understand the champion pugilist better, just read her book!
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