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There’s something about Mary

Now, Mary Kom is not Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. While, going by the cliché, it does pack a punch, there are some very blatant issues with the movie.
The movie traces Mary Kom’s (Priyanka Chopra) fight from a tiny village in Manipur to becoming a five-time world champion. Her Olympic story is, however, not a part of the movie.

Team Bhansali, unlike Team Mehra, likes celebrating golds and encashing loses, but silvers and bonzes just don’t make the Bollywood cut. Mary is propelled in her career by her husband Onler (Darshan Kumar) and her coach (Sunil Thapa). From going against her father to carry on her training to marriage, kids, end of a career and the rise of this phoenix from the ashes to win again.

Mary’s story is not half as powerful as Milkha Singh’s but director Omung Kumar could have made it just as impactful. The movie, for me, seemed to have been played in fast forward, glossing over vital moments that needed to be fleshed out further. Like the unrest in Manipur, the discrimination against sports people from the north-east and against the whole region in general for starters? Except for the first five minutes of the movie for the former and one angry dialogue for the latter, neither of these issues receives the treatment it deserves.

My biggest problem with this movie is the climax. It didn’t have to be made so horribly OTT melodramatic. It almost ruined the rest of the decent work. We have seen amply melodramatic scenes in good sports flicks like Chak De India and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag but this completely takes the cake in rona-dhona. And not in a nice way. Team Bhansali probably hoped that it would bridge Mary the boxer with Mary the mother and show that the two sides of a woman, her personal life and her professional one, are not divorced from each other. Good idea, terrible execution.

Mary Kom is not a bad movie, I shall reiterate this, it is salvaged by the actors. Priyanka is very good. She gets in to the skin of the character, as is her forte, and she internalises Mary Kom. There is no Piggy Chops on the screen, thankfully no Pitbull and no Exotic, just magnificent Mary - the fighter. Thank god for actors like her and Farhan Akhtar who work so hard that it shows on-screen.

Darshan Kumar as Onlar plays the perfect foil to hot headed Mary. He stand by her steadfast. As a TV anchor pointed out on Thursday, all husbands must see this movie. Well then! Sunil Thapa is also very impressive. He will remind you of Mr Miyagi more often than not.

Don’t miss this movie, but do ignore the tear-jerker at the end.

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