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MOVIE REVIEW: MARY KOM

By Sonal Kulshrestha, Texas, USA

 

 

Three things the movie truly makes you ponder over-

#1. The boxing federation in India is shown in a bad light that is not hard for anyone to believe. It is common knowledge how perks for players are misused among the administrators of such institutions. Everyone knows the utter lack of support by the officials of the very institutions that are put in place for the very purpose of being the do-all for the athletes. This then begs the question, when it is such a common knowledge, why isn't anything being done about it? Was anything done post the release of the movie?

#2. Few knew about Milka Singh before watching the biopic 'Bhaag Milka bhaag'. Even fewer knew about this very magnificent Mary. Why not? What constitutes a 'celebrity' for the media in India? Just the film stars? Add politicians to the list? The athletes they consider as sexy, like Sonia Mirza certainly qualifies, right? Or is it that we don't pay enough attention to those who truly makes India proud? 

#3. About the Indians from east India. In one particular scene, Mary Kom feels that she is being discriminated against because she is Manipuri. The movie made me dig deep into the memory zones of my brain trying to recollect if I have ever met anyone from there. In school? In college? No? Were they there, I just didn't notice? Surely in Delhi University where I studied, there must have been quite a few students from east India? I truly don't remember, I don't even remember if I had any opinion about how 'Indian' I thought of them. But what I do know, living in America, even Nepalese seem like almost Indian. Heck, even Pakistanis sometimes do. That aside, I would certainly say, that if by words or actions, east Indians get the feeling that they are not regarded as Indian 'enough', then it is time to change that, change that NOW.

Five things about the movie you should know-

#1. Mary Kom in an interview with The Times of India said, "I met Priyanka in Mumbai, much before she came to Manipur, during which time we spoke at length. When she came to Manipur, she knew about boxing so I gave her tips as a mother and a wife, how I went about managing my home and profession, how I live with my family — basically she got to know aspects about my family life."  

#2. According to a report on The Times of India, Priyanka also suffered an injury while shooting for the film. "Priyanka was filming a boxing scene with an actor from the North-East. She fell on the floor due to the impact. She got the shot spot on, so director Omung Kumar decided to retain it. The cut mark seen under her eye in the movie is real but we did touch it up with makeup to make it look deeper," says Uday Shirale, who worked on Priyanka's look, according to the report. 

#3. Priyanka Chopra actually worked hard for four months to get the toned sculpted form that she sports in the movie to perfectly portray Mary Kom's muscular frame. PC confirmed on social network that it took her months of determination under the guidance of Mary Kom herself to get there.

#4.  So how true is the story?  Real life Kom did fight off creepy guys with her boxing skills. She did disobey her parents, who forbade her from boxing as it was “un-ladylike,” and she was the victim of racism throughout her career, like many Northeastern Indians. And also, she does have a loving and supportive husband in her life.

#5. Priyanka Chopra, already an international singer, makes her debut as a singer in bollywood movies as well. Here's the song she sings for Mary Kom-

(Video Credit: Manipuri Channel

(Photo Credit, left: Real life Mary Kom, from Mary Kom's Facebook Page) 

Overall ... 

Priyanka Chopra has proved once again that she is an actor through and through. After performances in movies like 'Fashion' and 'Burfi', here once again she seems to have done thorough  research to 'live' and 'talk' her part, delivering a performance that is par excellence. Priyanka also proves that today's actresses are no aesthetic beauties, they work hard and can take on any role, even roles that have been lived by no ordinary people. There are people displeased with her playing the part of a northeastern Indian, but we say, bringing forth widespread attention to the story was important, if Priyanka enabled that end, so be it. After all, it is said that Mary herself chose Priyanka to play the role and that the film has broken all the existing records of a female—centric film. Too bad the movie will not release in Manipur since Hindi films are banned in Manipur since September, 2000, by separatist militant group Revolutionary Peoples Front which claims that Bollywood goes against Manipuri values.

Specially loved the choice of Darshan Kumar as Onler, Mary Kom's husband. He stands opposite Priyanka with grace and confidence. The fact that he actually looks east Indian lends more authenticity to the movie AND he leaves a mark in the movie. The fact that the real life Mary has the real life Onler in her life is beautiful and romantic. Wishing them all the happiness in life....

This Sanjay Leela Bhansali production is a must watch by kids and adults alike. It is full of wonderful messages of diligent and consistent hard work, of perseverance and courage, of love and support. 

Movie Info- MARY kOM

The official trailer of 'Mary Kom' released today. It stars Priyanka Chopra in the true story of the five-time World Champion in women's boxing and Olympic bronze medalist, M. C. (Mangte Chungneijang) Mary Kom, who hails from a remote village in Manipur, India.

The movie has generated a storm of interest both among the film fraternity and the Hindi movie goers. The leading actors of the industry, like Bipasha Basu, Shraddha Kapoor, Ileana D'Cruz, Preity Zinta, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sonakshi Sinha and others tweeted their support and excitement when the first look of the movie was unveiled on July 15th.

'Mary Kom', produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and directed by debutante director, Omung Kumar, is scheduled to be released on 5th Sept of this year (some say Oct 2nd).

As per Bhansali Productions, the movie tells the story of how Mary Kom got interested and introduced to the world of boxing, her life growing up, getting married and having kids, her struggles, dedication, sacrifices, and finally her triumphs. Is is based on Mary Kom's autobiography, 'Unbreakable'.

As per IBNLive, the movie will have its world premier at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in early September.


The celebrity boxer, real life Mary Kom, is 31 and is said to have been completely involved with the making of the movie. Her autobiography, Unbreakable' was released last  December. She is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships,  and is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Mary Kom also has started India's first female-only fight club at Imphal to teach thousands of girls to defend themselves against sexual violence in India. As per her website, she has been honored with -

  • Padma Bhushan (Sports), 2013
  • Arjuna Award (Boxing), 2003
  • Padma Shree (Sports), 2006
  • Needless to say, the movie is surely a must-watch, both for Priyanka Chopra (we hear she went bald and trained hard to play the part) and the real Mary Kom herself. After all, they are both hard work and dedication personified.


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