How about a film, which states at the very beginning-“Inspired by real life events of…” It gets real shaky where you start to think, if I am going to see a near about biography or am I the victim of countless cinematic liberties taken by the creators of the film? Mary Kom falls under second category.
Who doesn’t know MC Mary Kom (Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom)! She is India’s most celebrated women boxer and she deserves that position. Five time world championships, Olympic medal is no easy task to achieve. Every medal she has achieved shines brighter because of the hardships she faced during her pre-celebrity time. She is inspiration to millions of women as well as men.
But while making a film, one must always keep in mind that Cinema is a visual medium. You ought to make something which looks awesome. The standards of an ‘Indian Athlete Biopic’ have been raised by “Bhag Milkha Bhag” to some unachievable level. That film had visual brilliance and some engaging events that were gut wrenching.
Mary Kom showcases events of about 13-14 years of her life. Starting from age 15 to 27, that’s the period covered in her lifespan of 31 years. We start from teenage Mangte Chungneijang (Priyanka Chopra), who is short tempered and has a kink for boxing. Her father, a former wrestler, is against this and don’t want her face to be damaged before wedding. Just so happens, she turns to inevitable and trained under one of the best ‘coach sir’ M. Narjeet Singh (Suneel Thapa). Rest of the film follows her journey from state level to national level to international level. In between, we get to see her romantic side with her boyfriend turned husband Onler Kom (Darshan Kumar). Also, her struggle to make a comeback after getting married and having two kids and her altercations with ‘Evil Babus’ of Boxing federation.
The problem with the film is, it has very few engaging events from boxer’s life. And those which are presented are put in very clichéd manner. You cannot insert melodrama in a regular person’s life. She had her share of tragic events but it needs to be put in real manner. For instance, in one of the numerous final matches, her father starts supporting her boxing in India and Mary wins a losing match in some foreign country. The winning might be accurate but the telepathy was unnecessary.
Film looks like it is made from very commercial point of view. I personally didn’t like the casting of protagonist at all. Though Priyanka Chopra has worked extremely hard on her body language, her looks and dialogue delivery never satisfies what was intended from a Manipuri native. Rest of the cast is about perfect. Special mention must be given to Sunil Thapa who plays a hardened coach sir excellently.
Director Omung Kumar doesn’t leave his mark at all. There is nothing exceptional in this 120 minutes long film. Film seems very shallow. Training and Boxing matches are not given enough screen space. It looks like writer’s main focus was on Mary Kom’s struggle with people and not with punching bags or other boxers.
All together, though MC Mary Kom is one of the best Sports-woman India has ever produced but this film is not. It also raises a question, ‘was it really necessary to make this film?’, as it looks like it has been made to cash-in the current boom of sports films.