Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Mary Kom worth watching

Mary Kom another wonderful Bollywood film. Loved it! Its story line, its character portrayal, the settings...all commendable. Fine acting by  Priyanka as five times World Boxing Champion and Olympics winner M.C. Mary Kom, and Darshan Singh as Onler Kom, her husband. The film moves at great pace and before you know, it is the end. Over two hours of action and not a dull moment!

And what wonderful role models both Mary Kom and Onler make for our youngsters. Mary as a young woman who has taken up boxing, and her husband, as a supportive partner who offers to look after the babies while she trains to re-enter the boxing ring after pregnancy and childbirth, and gets ready to compete. I have not seen such inspiring figures, such powerful role models for our youngsters in a long long time. And ones that break the stereotypes for both men and women!

I am very dismayed to learn that the film has not yet been released in Manipur, Mary Kom's home state. There is a ban on Hindi films there by a militant group. And while the people of Manipur are travelling to neighbouring states to see the film, theatre owners in the state dare not screen the film and face the wrath of the militants. Also read that Onler is trying his best to get it released there. He has been in touch with the Chief Minister's office. Now imagine having to knock at the CM's door to have a film released about the national figure who has done her state and the country proud. What knots we tie ourselves in!

Then I hear, that there is some controversy over why the character of Mary Kom was not played by a Manipuri actress. It does not have to. In fact, it is good that it was played by a Punjabi from Meerut (if I am correct about Priyanka's origins). Cinema is an art form and no art form should be restricted or be restrictive. I thought Priyanka did justice to the role and so do Mary and Onler!

There is criticism and with reason about the north-east being left out from national mainstream. The rest of India knows so little about the north east. This is one film that is a giant step in changing that through the story of one of its best known face. I saw the hall full when I went to see it in Delhi. The audience largely youngsters, seemed to have loved it. Manipur should welcome the film. Screen it in schools and colleges as should the rest of India. It is not often that we get a film like this! Great job by its director, Omung Kumar and producer, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. 
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