Movie Review: ‘Mary Kom’


Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Sunil Thapa, Darshan Kumar

Direction: Omung Kumar

Well before going ahead with the critical analysis of recently released biopic of MC Mary Kom, I would like to make the mention of two thoughts which kept on popping into my head right from the onset till the culmination of the movie first the poetic gem of some poet stating,”Manzil Unhi Ko Milti Hai Jinke Sapno Mein Jaan Hoti Hai; Pankhon Se Kuch Nahi Hota Dost Haunslon Se Udaan Hoti Hai” and the second one which says “when you have nothing to lose then you have everything to win”. And believe me after seeing this mesmerizing cine biopic fable about living legend MC Mary Kom I have turned into an ardent followers of these two thoughts. And that’s not because of any kind of prodigious perfection prevailing in this mildly fictionalized cine depiction of first time director Omung Kumar starring Priyanka Chopra, Darshan Kumar and Sunil Thapa. Rather because of the latent realities pertaining to Mary’s life which turned into a source of inspiration for Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his team of cinematicians.

With so many sought after cine trends co-existing in this “masala entertainer” dominant Bollywood, now it’s the “biopics-streak” pertaining to life histories of our sports icons which has taken-over the fancy of our Industryvalas. Be it “Chak De India”, “Paan Singh Tomar” or “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, by their efforts our Bollywooders have not only tried to bring forth the harsh and unheard realities of some of the sporting legends of India, but at the same time have also tried to cash upon that.

Now latest in this league of biopics is Omung Kumar’s “Mary Kom” inspired from the life of India’s boxing icon MC Mary Kom. And just like many of its companions belonging to the ilk Mary Kom also marks it’s onset with some unbelievable but true instances pertaining to Mary’s life and takes you on a cine jaunt while exposing you to the hardships which Mary faced before emerging as the uncrowned queen of her sporting arena.


With a constant to and fro shift, premise of Mary Kom marks its onset with the portrayal of Mary’s (Priyanka Chopra) early life where she is seen indulging in some street brawl before going under the patronage of her coach M. Narjit Singh ( Sunil Thapa). And on being confronted by her father (Robin Das) because of latter’s disliking for violent sports opts for her passion. What follows next is depiction of Mary’s journey towards her ultimate aim despite administrative apathy and red-tapism prevailing in Indian system.

As far as, crafting of biopics is concerned then there is no denying the fact that despite having so many glorious things to depict about the sporting legends in focus, cine cantatas pertaining to them have to tread their own path in cineplexes. Besides what further adds to the dilemma of the man holding the pen is the perplexity about what to write and what to miss. And just like its predecessor belonging to the ilk i.e. “Bhaag Milka Bhaag” even premise of Mary Kom seems to be infected by same Trojan horse. Though movies essayist Saiwyn Quadras tried his level best to create the era which witnessed the rising of Mary, and probably it was in order to authenticate his write-up that he amalgamated few such redundant sequences in the narration which were indeed not required in any manner.

In fact it won’t be wrong to say that the uptill some extent narrative of “Mary Kom” remains mildly inconsistent in both the halves and looks more of like a “pouncing cub” struggling hard to strike the right balance between Mary’s personal life and her career. Rather “Mary Kom” could have been a masterpieces in its own right had Saiwyn elaborated it a bit by adding some more instances pertaining to Mary’s life instead of skipping the time frame to shape the end product as a stunted jaunt of the sporting icon.


Till the time narration of “Mary Kom” remains circumscribed around Mary’s life it looks quite mesmerizing, but the moment its tries to tab on other half baked issues like administrative apathy, red-tapism and North-Eastern unrest it starts looking like a Bollywood potboiler where these redundant condiments are tacked in, in order to make it looks like a somewhat commercial potpourri.

Even the lethargy prevailing in the screenplay (especially in the first half of the movie) somewhere down the line exposes the oblivion of Saiwyn about the spirit which a cinematic portrayal circumscribed around the life of a sportsmen needs to have. Although it’s a sin to compare any one cine spectacle with other, but I don’t have any qualms in saying that despite having a great intent at its core “Mary Kom” up-till some extent fails in breaking the ice by its emotional vigor and patriotic quotient which some of its predecessor had in abundance.

Some may opine that slow pace of narration was maintained in the first half in order to steadfastly apprise the viewers about the life of the character on the center stage, but there is huge difference between sauntering and crawling and keeping in view the sluggishness prevailing in the first half and partial aberration in the second, screenplay of “Mary Kom” could not be given any benefit of doubt. But yeah there are a few instances which may straight-away find a resort in your heart especially the climax, but on the whole screenplay of “Mary Kom” could have been far more captivating than it actually is.


Editing of “Mary Kom” greatly manages to cover up many of its shortcoming and thoroughly contributes to its invigorating potency. So accolades to Sanjay Leela Bhansali for his effort. Besides other garnishing which does talking for themselves are dialect-perfect dialogues of Karan Singh Rathore-Ramendra Vashishth and cinematography of Kaiko Nakahara. By his cinematic nimbleness Kaiko not only manages to contribute to the onscreen proceedings, but also succeeds in adding to the authenticity of the biopic.

f we talk about music then decorated with aural delights like “Sukoon Mila”, “Adhure”, “Teri Baari” music of Mary Kom is some pleasing and for me it’s peppy and inspiring “Ziddi Dil” which is pick of the deck.

As far as performances are concerned then I don’t have any hesitation in saying that no one else could have played the character of Mary with such a perfection as Priyanka has done and whatever success this cine enterprise will attain, for that credit will go to her. Be it her transformation from a boxing obsessed countrified girl to a professional pugilist with a no nonsense attitude, every avatar she performs with such a conviction that you at once start admiring her acting skills.


Despite being a newbie in front of a heavy weight performer like Priyanka, Darshan Kumaar too succeeds in registering his presence while portraying the character of Mary’s husband Onler. Besides the man who will surely compel you to love him by his performance is Sunil Thapa (playing the character of Mary’s coach). With his consistent and commendable performance Sunil unveils every aspect of his performance spectrum with utmost excellence. Rest of the supporting cast comprising of Rajni Basumatary, Robin Das, Shishir Sharma et al too looks flawless in their respective characters.

To sum up, “Mary Kom” the movie certainly takes you in the world of MC Mary Kom and adroitly apprises you with her journey. But somewhere down the line it lacks that empathizing coefficient and enveloping quotient which needs to be there in cine anecdotes which are inspired from the lives of legendary sports star and are circumscribed around their journeys towards the pinnacle. But in-spite of a few shortcomings, keeping in view the noble intent underlying this entire cine enterprise which put forth the so far unsung ballad pertaining to legendary Mary Kom’s life I am going ahead with 3 out of 5 stars for this praiseworthy cine-salutation of our Bollywooder to ‘Magnificent Mary’.


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