Packing an earnest punch

Packing an earnest punch

Mary KomHindi (U) ¬¬¬
Cast: Priyanka Chopra,Darshan Kumar 
Director: Omung Kumar

“I lub boxing.” That’s reason enough for Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom to rush through her morning chores — which includes milking a cow — and run to her “coach sir”. 

She is a rookie with gloves. But no, punches are not new. She has planted plenty of them on village boys who act smart. And that fiery temperament too works its way to her fists when she is in the ring. 

Playing a five-time world boxing champion requires a lot more than just swinging the arms. And Priyanka Chopra goes the extra mile to fetch that conviction, which makes Mary Kom a good watch. The accent stays, but the freckles vanish midway. Still Chopra’s ernest effort shines through. Hers is a knockout performance, literally. 

Those frequently flaring nostrils and grinding teeth also make Mary Kom an easy target of high-handed, apathetic officials. The film once again reveals the all-too-familiar ugly face of Indian selection committees.

In between the action, Kom finds some time to say “yes” to her footballer-lover (underplayed brilliantly by Darshan Kumar). Both settle down and Kom soon finds herself pregnant with their ill-timed twins. Then, it’s time to juggle motherhood and career. 

This may not be a real account of the champion boxer’s life as the director takes cinematic liberties to add some frills. Thankfully, they don’t jar. And as Kom delivers the mother of all punches to ground her German rival, that familiar goosebumps associated with every Indian triumph makes a grand entry.

A fitting ode to Magnificent Mary.

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