<Review by: Meera Joshi>
Directed by: Omung Kumar. Starring: Priyanka Chopra, Darshan Kumaar, Sunil Thapa
Priyanka Chopra comes up trumps yet again as she did in Barfi. Her sterling performance keeps you glued to your seat throughout the two-hour movie.
A simple, straightforward tale based on the true life story of a farmer’s daughter from Manipur who overcame several hurdles to become the world boxing champion five times.
Mary Kom loves boxing. Period. And with a single-minded focus she pursues her goal. At times going against her father who wants her to be an athlete and her boxing coach who believes her decision to marry was tantamount to career hara-kiri. But she has a staunch supporter in her husband Olsen.
No doubt Mary had to train hard to reach where she has, twice. Once her initial training and then after the birth of her twins. And Priyanka makes it all look real. Her performance is subtle rather than over the top. She’s in control of her emotions when her father burns her gloves or asks her to choose between him and boxing and when the coach turns away because she wants to get married. Her frustration is palpable when she’s pregnant and believes her life as a boxer is over. Mercifully there’s no melodrama brought in at any point. Something Hindi films are so prone to.
There are some heart-warming moments in the film, like when Mary buys the family’s cow back, her father finally comes around and when she starts winning medals. And a heart-wrenching one when she’s told just before a world cup bout that her son has to go in for heart surgery.
Her run in with the federation brings out the negativity in our sports.
This is art director turned director Omung Kumar’s second outing after Saawariya. He seems to have pieced together incidents that were narrated to him. This mars the flow of the film somewhat. The film has some sensitive dialogue and songs like Ziddi and Sukoon mila are pleasing to the ears. Thankfully all the songs play in the background.
The film belongs to Priyanka. Magnificent Mary portrayed by Precise Priyanka. Darshan Kumaar plays the encouraging husband and performs adequately in the few scenes he has. The demanding coach too does a good job.
PS: Just because the characters are from the North East do they have to speak Hindi with a heavy accent? What appeared cute in Chennai Express when Deepika Padukone spoke in an exaggerated South Indian accent evoked titters in the audience as the characters said their dialogue.