Mary Kom (2014)

My Ratings: 3.2/5

Five-time World Amateur Boxing Champion Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom is Bollywood’s next pick for a sports person biographical film.

Mary Kom, a poor farmer’s daughter from Manipur, who from a very young age dreams to become a boxer though against her parents will; and finally creates history by being the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.

Indeed a story that is worth to be told.

But unfortunately I won’t prefer to call this film a proper biographical account of her life.

The hard-core facts of Mary Kom’s achievements hold the story together and make it look like a biopic but on the other hand the over-dramatization of the events of her life makes the film look like fiction.

I must confess that Mary Kom is not an exemplary film (Bhag Milkha Bhag and Paan Singh Tomar undoubtedly scores better) but still it has its heart in the right place.

And the credit goes to Priyanka Chopra for taking up the lead role with such conviction. Though the painted freckles on her non-Manipuri face doesn’t help but still Priyanka has successfully managed to convince the audience into accepting her as Mary Kom.

She has transformed herself – her body language, her accent and her athletic built (result of an extreme fitness regime) – Priyanka’s performance is the spine of this film and the sole reason to watch it.

A handful of emotional scenes that comes to the audience as real, otherwise the story-telling is pretty ordinary, the unnecessary need to create dramatic moments out of every situation makes the film a bit too filmy.

For example Mary’s father excitedly shouts inspirations to Mary while watching her fight live in the TV and exactly at that point Mary (who is in a different country) looks at the camera and seems to get the signal, and miraculously inspired starts winning the fight. Wow!

In another occasion Mary Kom after loosing a fight unnecessarily accuses the match referees of being partial to her just because she is from Manipur (without any previous context or hint of such state-wise partiality). Seems kind of out of place and deliberate.

Then again the cast of the secondary characters doesn’t look apt, especially Mary’s father, Mary’s husband Onler Kom (Darshan Kumar) and the worst – a stereotypical boxing federation chief Mr.Sharma.

Also I am sure intelligent editing could have made a huge difference to the film.

Directed by debutant Omung Kumar (one of the talented art directors in Bollywood) and produced by Snajay Leela Banshali; overall an inspirational story of a woman who never gave up her dreams even after becoming a mother and achieved great success and pride for our country.

A film worth a watch.

P.S – my humble request to all the recent filmmakers will be that if possible they can advertise the sponsored products in their films in a more subtle way. I mean it kind of degrades the class of a film when the main actors blurt out lines deliberately written especially for the sale of products such as Iodex and Sugarfree.

Film trailer:

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4 thoughts on “Mary Kom (2014)”

  1. film is worth of watch…..I have seen the movie….as u felt the film is over dramatic even I felt the same in the middle of the film it looked fiction as u said otherwise everything was good….I have seen the movie just because its about on life of marry kom and second reason is priyanka chopra….ur review is correct.. u have done nice postmortem of the film.

    1. Rashmi i am glad that our views are same on this film. Thank u so much for checking out cinema forensic articles and also encouraging me.

  2. I felt that after ‘Bhag Milkha Bhag’ this movie was another attempt to present to the world what an Indian athlete goes through if he is not playing cricket or she is not playing Tennis. Only place i differ is that the film making team was little il-prepared to face the truth. There was no dearth of effort from Priyanka chopra to personify Mary Kom but does she actually realise that a punjabi woman getting into the character of a Kuki woman takes not only visiting her house but spending months in that same house and doing all those same thing that an average Kuki village girl do.
    The way the Street fight was shown with Lalboy in the beginning of the film reminded me of one of the Rambo movies and nothing that i had seen or heard similar in Manipur. The way the final match with the German Boxer was shown and that Lalboy listens to the live commentary along with his extremist group reminded me of one more thing, In 98% and more of the villages of North-East radios do not work.
    I accept that in India most of the athletes still train in a very traditional manner with obsolete equipment but the way training is shown across the river ( Priyanka doing pushups in the middle of the river and other non scientific training) seemed very stupid. No athlete trains like that. Bhag milkha Bhag had shown a much reasonable and systematic training.
    I didnt want to compare but the way i felt the movie had been influenced by Bhag Milkha Bhag was very disappointing. Mary Kom deserved a much better movie made on her life. As an audience i deserved a much better movie in the First day’s show.

    1. Absolutely agree with you Ayan. Mary Kom and the audience (of course including you and me) deserved better.

      And since you have experience being in NorthEast for such long time you probably will be the best judge amongst us to point out where the filmmakers failed to portray a true Kuki woman character.
      Over-dramatization especially in biopics is always risky business.

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