Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz had it’s first Asian premiere at the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival opening night, and all it got was whistles, loud claps and a standing ovation.
Here the audience movie review of what is going to be India’s best sports film so far, Mukkabaaz.
India just got it’s most realistic sports movie of all time, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s as good as Dangal, if not better. Anurag Kashyap has used his cinematic skills to craft a satire on Indian society with Mukkabaaz. It’s not just any other sports film, it slaps us with he realities of casteism, honour killing and religious gang wars. From beating beef eaters to death while chanting Jai Hind, to revealing the unfathomable realities of our bureaucratic system, Mukkabaaz is no less than a punch in the face of goons and corrupt high order employees at every level in the country who shatter dreams and s**t on them.
Can we just give a special award to Jimmy Sheirgill already? He plays the role of a boxing coach named Bhagwan Das Mishra who lives upto his name and thinks he’s God. He’s a butcher, or let’s say some what like Ramsay Bolton and Euron Greyjoy from Game Of Thrones. He doesn’t see left or right, but only kicks you at the centre. Bhagwan Das cannot have kids of his own for which Anurag has a line that says, “Bhagwan Ji Ki Beedi main tambaku nahin hai” (His cigarette doesn’t have tobacco in it) if you know what he means! Jimmy Sheirgill’s red eyes, piecing dialogues and hypermetropia elevate his performance to another level. He owns the movie!
Next in line you have the main lead Vineet Kumar Singh whom we’ve seen in GoW, Bombay Talkies and Ugly. Vineet aka Shravan, is the Mukkabaaz who makes the mistake of falling in love with Bhagwan Das’ niece Sunaina and the rest is a gory but a brilliant fight -journey of an intercaste love marriage, ill-treatment by government servants and struggle to secure a place at the Nationals. Vineet nails his part and his in deliberate comic timing will leave you in splits throughout the movie. ‘Shikshit Berozgar’ is written at the back of his scooter which is a bang on satire on the current state of our country.
Newcomer Zoya Hussain who plays the role of Sunaina, Jimmy’s niece, delivers a promising performance in her debut as a mute girl. Her eyes do the talking, and this is where she’s winning.
A surprise package to balance Bhagwan Das’s cruelty is Ravi Kissan. Shravan finds solace and a coach in him when he gets ousted from Bareily because Bhagwan Das doesn’t approve of his love with her niece and cancels his participation in the boxing ring.
A special mention must go to Sadhana Singh, famous yesteryear actress of Nadiya Ke Paar fame who is as good as the men in the movie.
Music and Lyrics
Though the music is quite unconventional in feel, but once you get a sense of the lyrics, you’ll be in splits and in deep thought. Watch out for the song with a deep satirical tone - Mushkil hai apna prem priye.
The dialogues of this movie are a clear winner! You will be in splits, clapping throughout and would want to use someone of them in real life. The movie is not just about the struggle that Shravan and Sunaina go through, it also manages to showcase the quintessential indian parent who compares his child to Sharma Ji ka ladka. Shravan’s father yells, “Sapno pe hug chuke ho, izzat pe moot chuke ho!”
In a funny instance, Anurag has tried to keep the movie light and modern too. When Shravan gets interrogated by Sunaina’s father about his livelihood and what will he make her daughter eat since he’s unemployed, he very simply puts it, “Humari amma jo hain, bahot achha khana banati hain.”
There’s power, wit and simplicity in the dialogues, They’re a clear winner!
Slaps or satires?
Intercaste marriage, misery of being handicapped in India, selling off daughters for business alliances, patriarchal thinking, gang wars, religious wars, and corruption at every level in the society including sports, are all the topics that Anurag has brilliantly accumulated in one film.
Any surprises? Not spoilers
NAWAZ UDDIN SIDDIQUI! Wait for him to come on screen. You’ll go nuts!
To watch or not?
Mukkabaaz is a must watch, also for people who don’t necessarily enjoy sports movies. It isn’t a high funda picture on the problems of a boxer in India, it’s a throughly entertaining masala movie which you can enjoy and reflect upon. It could have been half an hour to 20 minutes shorter because Anurag does get carried away in the narration of his characters. But you can safely put your money on this one and watch it raking prestigious honours if the antibodies don’t take offence to the real picture of our country that’s shown in the movie.
“Boxing pe picture banao to 40 crore kamati hai, boring dekhne 40 log nahi aate.”