Part of the reason why the movie MARY KOM will succeed is because of the rags to riches story, and also the fierce determination to rise against all odds.
Part of the reason why this movie might not make an epic impact like CHAK DE, BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG or even PAAN SINGH TOMAR is for the simple reason that a biopic on Mary Kom the boxer is too early in the day. The lady is just 31 years old.
Nevertheless [having said that] the makers have to be lauded for celebrating a sportsperson in the prime of her life. Kudos to that! This should spur many girls to take up sports seriously despite the many ills plaguing various sports bodies.CHECK OUT: MARY KOM songs lyrics
While the narrative might not have a smooth flow, with first-time director Omung Kumar (known to design beautiful sets), starting off with too many back-and-forths, Kumar stabilizes as he moves to the time when Mary decides to get back to the ring after the birth of her twins at the insistence of her husband, Onler.
To Kumar's credit it must be said that he manages to keep the spirit of Mary intact in lead actress Priyanka Chopra who, I must admit, fits well into this role, although not to the 'T'. The girl has worked hard to get a toned body and most of the body movements right and although she does not move like a butterfly, she does certainly stings like a bee in certain key scenes.
And it is these scenes that make up for any lackluster performances, tugging at the heartstrings, making you root for this diminutive boxer, who put India on the world amateur boxing map. Another smart move by Kumar is when the audience 'have to stand' in the theatre to applaud Mary Kom as she wins a gold in the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Turkey after her comeback.
The sets are in keeping with the sensibilities of the director in mind. He has managed to recreate the magic of Manipur, the house, the fields, the mood with Mary and her parents. The actors who play Mary's parents put in an impressive performance, lending it that authenticity, with a spattering of their native lingo.
Another actor who pushes the narrative forward with his forceful, underplayed performance is Darshan Kumar, who plays Onler. He is the perfect foil, the hero who is the wind beneath Mary's wings.CHECK OUT: MARY KOM dialogues
There are certain 'sugar free' and 'iodex' moments which punch huge holes in the screenplay. Producers will have to be wary of such impediments. If you believe in the subject, produce it with passion; don't make a joke of it by making it an opportunity to promote products.
I doff my hat to Mary Kom the boxer; she deserves every bit of recognition coming her way.
PS: I have seen talented girls in sport lose out because of the lack of enthusiasm from the respective sports federations. One such talented sportsperson I know of is Former India No. 1 squash player Misha Grewal, who went on to compete at the International level with no support from the Squash Body.