Mary Kom Movie Review - Priyanka Shines brighter than the film
Mary Kom in the film does not look anything like the real Mary Kom. Once that is out of your way, it is not that difficult to see Priyanka Chopra embody the “spirit” of the pugilist in Omang Kumar’s debut directorial attempt. While Priyanka goes all guns blazing she is failed by a script and screenplay that has more holes in it than the average Indian roads.
Mary Kom is the story of one of India’s most successful female sports personality since PT Usha, the three times world champion and Olympian Mary Kom. The film traces her journey beginning from her tom boyish ways in school to a disapproving father worried about her face and its chances in the wedding bazaar later. The film meticulously packs in every part of her life, like a textbook narrative, taking us through every chapter in the boxer’s life till date.
We see her training, winning, getting married and then being torn between her love for her twins and passion for the sport. We are also shown how she then gets back into the ring to win the Olympic medal and make India proud. What Mary Kom is also about is the struggles of a girl, a woman in our society to find her own feet and listen to her heart. How at every step she is stopped ridiculed, considered weak and her ability doubted. How each of these times, she comes out strong and victorious.
Director Omung Kumar starts his career with a biopic- a genre that is not easy even for veterans. He succumbs to the trappings of a Hindi sports film. There is a lot of unnecessary melodrama, scenes and situations that seem forced into the narrative to make a point. The script is weak, doesn’t pack enough punch and has nothing new in terms of a perspective to offer. The Boxing parts are actually less and not exactly ones that would set the pulse racing. Where Mary Kom does succedd though is bringing out the story of a woman fighting to achieve her destiny in a male dominated society. And that is thanks to the lead Priyanka, who sinks her teeth into the role effortlessly.
Priyanka knew she can't look like Mary. So she instead embodies her essence - she physically looks different, one can see the training and hardwork she has put in clearly. Even when the screenplay just puts its hands up, she lifts the scenes up with her sheer energy and sincerity. Careful though, for this is no Jhilmil from Barfi, for her false accent and broken Hindi are inconsistent. Yet, sans make up, sans her alluring curves, she does leave an impact.
In the legion of sports films in Hindi cinema, Mary Kom does not have anything radically different to offer. However, it is Mary Kom the pugilist who towers high above all the faults of the film and Priyanka’s sincerity that shines through bright as the end credits roll. These two women make this worth the watch.