Sunday, 7 September 2014

O Womaniya : My Review Mary Kom

Director : Omung Kumar 

Starring :  Priyanka Chopra, Sunil Thapa, Darshan Kumar

Story, Screenplay :  Saiwyn Qadras

 Before you read any further, did you know that this film, based on the life of one of the greatest Indian sportswoman will not be shown in her own state Manipur due to a ban by insurgent outfits? That is truly a shame.
This year had already seen three distinct films with strong female leads. Queen, Bobby Jasoos and Mardaani. A great year for women in Bollywood I would say! Mary Kom was thus highly awaited. 

Priyanka Chopra essaying the role of the feisty, multiple title winner Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom was a topic of great discussion and debate. The marketing and promotions were relentless. 

The film sees the debut of Omung Kumar, known Art director/Production Designer as a director. 

To me more important than how Priyanka would "Look" was if the film will be able to tell Mary Kom's story, capture her essence and address the real issues a female boxer faces in India.

The film scores in some places and compromises on others, but the essence, the fire of Mary Kom, comes through.

When you can google and find out almost all details about the person on whose life this biopic is made, it is a big achievement if the film can keep you engaged and interested.

The winning punch for the film comes from Priyanka Chopra. She manages to evoke all the right emotions, portraying Mary Kom in a most sincere manner, despite not looking like her at all. She has definitely put in her heart and soul in the film and this will be counted as one of her finer performances. 

The storytelling is where the film could have been much better. The very fact that before she won the Olympic Bronze Medal, very few people had even heard of her, despite being a winner of five gold medals at the World Amateur Boxing Championship. That itself is a great one-line. The film doesn't even touch upon this properly. I don't get to know what really made Mary choose Boxing, the random opening of the film where she fights with some boys, I kept wondering why SO angry? 

We see her struggle, but the way some of it is handled, specially the realisation that she is pregnant, could have been more impactful. 

Another problem of the film is the melodrama, designed purely to excite your tear-ducts into action. The product placement is so in your face that you can not help but laugh out loud. 

Having said that, the film has its moments, my favorite being where she is not even recognised by a girl and her father as Mary Kom, the pride of Manipur. The dismal condition of our sports facilities, the corrupt officials, gender discrimination, the reality that the Indians from the north eastern parts are treated as outsiders, the film addresses all of these important issues. 

Darshan Kumar as her extremely supportive husband Onler does a fine job, Sunil Thapa as her coach plays it a sur too high but you end up liking him. The film sees some good cameos by Manipuri/North East actors.

The dialogues are just about okay, nothing new there.

The editors have done a fine job, keeping the film tight at 2 hours approximately. It is only in the climax I felt I was watching an inter-cut marathon. 

The cinematography is another plus in the film, and the credit goes to the Japanese D.O.P Keiko Nakahara. She has captured the boxing action well. 

Omung has not disappointed, specially for a debut film. It is finally the script which turns out to be flyweight.

I felt more for the real Mary Kom, her story is so inspiring. Which Priyanka Chopra's committed act brought out well, even in the most un-inspiringly written scenes.

As Mary Kom herself is supposed to have said " I am glad they got a commercially successful actress like Priyanka to play me, people will finally know I am an Indian." I am sure this film will achieve that. 

Watch it!

My Verdict  3/5

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