Omung Kumar

Saiwyn Quadras

Ramendra Vasishtha

Film Review
Mary Kom:Facts Fictionalized


Fictionalised Facts!!

fact – There is a debate going on if Priyanka is the right cast for Mary Kom.. Sir, I am discussing an important issue and you are in the kitchen.. is it something important you are cooking?
FACT – Eromba.. cheeky

fact – Eromba? What is that..?
FACT – A popular Manipuri dish - The  one which Priyanka cooks in the film, the recipe is..

fact – Please no need to tell me the recipe, I wonder won’t it need local Manipuri ingredients..?
FACT – It does, especially the Ngari – kind of fermented fish..

fact – So from where are we going to get Ngari here..? surprise
FACT – I am going to use Surmai – we all love Surmai so much, it also looks attractive, much more than Ngari.  wink

fact – But will that make it an authentic dish..?
FACT – But it will surely make it a delicious one. And I am going to use all our (Bollywood) masala to enhance the flavour. We will print a disclaimer “Spiced up with our Proprietary Masalas; Contains added Flavours & Colours, etc. etc.”  Well, that’s how we make a dish that is appealing to the nation. We must get over the fuss of real/authentic look & feel. Life is pretty spiced up; isn’t it?

fact – Humm, our life at least. I see that you have even used artificial flowers to enhance the look (in the wedding scene)..laugh

FACT – The film is also “inspired by events” not “based on life”..Still we have done our bit to make it look authentic. If on one hand we have spiced up the screenplay with emotions on other we have balanced it with deglamourized Priyanya.
fact – If you are taking Priyanka then why deglam her? And how much can you deglam Priyanka btw? wink
Anyway, you are right, Real life needs to be adapted to Reel Life so one has to take cinematic liberty. You should necessarily have all big achievements for the last act and adjust other events accordingly. In Bhag Milkha Bhag too, the winning race with Pakistan was kept for the last. Here too the last bout is the one that shows Mary winning, though chronologically they did have failures after those successes. Also this film being a biopic of Mary Kom takes her side on the controversial match between her and Pinky Jangra (Pinky Rani) for CWG 2014 qualifier which Mary lost. Pinky Rani eventually represented India in CWG 2014 and got bronze medal. Can we actually underplay Pinky's success – isn’t it a real life incidence after all? Also the ground of objection shown here as racism/partiality doesn't come across anywhere in the film. Looks forced fit all of sudden from nowhere. In fact it was shown that the administration was settling score because she chose to speak against the poor facilities provided to sportsmen in India.

FACT - But when one makes a FILM it has to be a FILM by all means..and Mary Kom is a film and not a documentary.

Fact – Sure, Mary Kom’s life is a big inspiration. But the treatment doesn’t catch up with theme “Against all odds”. From small village to Olympics; a dozen of Gold Medals at international level - the journey must have been tough. But it doesn’t come so much in the film. She gets the coach easily; she gets selected for National Level Competition without much. Some token resistance from her father is also conquered eventually (this part also looks forced). The husband comes as a huge support. Now all this must be true.. But nothing as such looks as a big hurdle in her way. She does face bureaucratic opposition from the Federation Babu who also surrenders when threatened with an exposure. Why this wasn’t done earlier one wonders.

The best dilemma in the film that when she has to choose between father and boxing, she goes for the latter but when she has to choose between children and boxing, she has compelling conflict. This situation isn't explored at all. Her coach leaves her, but that doesn't make her journey difficult practically as she gets another coach. Winning over her original coach then comes as an emotional victory like it happens with father.. and not a very big payoff too.

So it seems what the screenplay lacks is conventional single thread plot with one solid goal and hurdles in the way and may be one major hurdle to conquer. But then that’s her life, which is naturally real and not filmy. So the writers mostly focus on creating tear jerking melodrama. Some going to lengths as far as resurrection of a dead infant to life from zero.. as Mom bounces back after an utter rout to knock out the opponent fully in charge!

Anyway all that is required for a mainstream film and we must overlook, frankly when intentions are noble.

Story of a larger than life Sports Personality especially a woman; especially in an unconventional sports (boxing) for women; especially from not only backward but also neglected region of far flung East; must be told to inspire a generation of masses. But this should also translate in more searches for Mary Kom and not just Priyanka or Mr. Bhansali. The effort will be fruitful if we have more Mary Koms in real life than more Mary Koms as Bollywood formulas films. Given over reputation of producing highest no. of films and just a few champs.crying

You can watch this film with your kids and you should too for both Mary Koms, the real & the reel. Priyanka really puts her heart & soul in the act..
And I said take your kids, they will sincerely go for their physical training at least for a week, that’s bonus guaranteed!! yes

FACT – So let’s have the Eromba with Surmai.. all spiced up, ready, hot & steaming... cheeky   

   Sanjay Sharma


Click here to Top