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Mukkabaaz Movie Review: The dark side of boxing

Mukkabazz is one of the best movies which could have started our 2018. It is one movie which you shouldn't miss.

Mukkabaaz is a breath of fresh realizm in the world of unrealistic Bollywood movies. Wikimedia Commons
Mukkabaaz is a breath of fresh realism in the world of unrealistic Bollywood movies. Wikimedia Commons

Anurag Kashyap is back with another one of his shake-your-core kind of movie. Mukkabaaz featuring Vineet Kumar Singh, Jimmy Shergill and Zoya Hussain can be one of the best movies of 2018 already.

Mukkabaaz is like a fresh air of realism in the world of glitzy and glamorous, and unrealistic Bollywood movies. The movie portrays aptly the dirty game of politics mixed with the sports of boxing.

Like all other movies based on sports, Mukkabaaz is also all about struggle, determination, failure and success. The only difference is the way politics is depicted in all its dirty glory.

The hero of the film played by Vineet Kumar Singh is an untrained boxer but still calls himself Mike Tysen of Uttar Pradesh. He is passionate, and idealistic which instantly makes him a victim of the corrupted political system. He is the angry young man who is aimless but has got a spine of steel which no one can bend. He is determined with his dream of winning the National level match and he will do anything for that.

Vineet Kumar Singh, the hero of the movie 'Mukkabaaz'. Wikimeadia Commons
Vineet Kumar Singh, the hero of the movie ‘Mukkabaaz’. Wikimedia Commons

Just like all Bollywood movies, the hero is supposed to have a heroine. In this movies, the heroine is a mute girl who likes to silently watch the hero practising. Both fell in love but the twist arrives when the hero realizes that his lover is actually the niece of a gangster/politician, played by Jimmy Shergill, who is against the struggling boxer and his ideas.

The film has some light moments, where the hero’s household struggles with everything ‘English’ and refuses to give importance to his passion. Because what parents want their son capable of being a clerk to go into sports?

But the film also gets especially dark at places where dirty politics and caste system comes into play. Boxers and coaches are judged and mistreated on the basis of their castes and backgrounds by the corrupted politicians. This film depicts the poor conditions of boxers, like never before. Few scenes may make you wonder if they were ever taught humility.

Serious issues dealt with seriousness, and not sarcasm is one of the USPs of Anurag Kashyap’s films. He brings out the various dark sides of the sports including politics and drugs on the screen in a very splendid manner.

Anurag Kashyap is targeting each and every kind of evil that he could find, through this film. One major evil the film Mukkabaaz deals with is, casteism. Wherever the hero goes, it follows him like a plague.

Anurag Kashyap delivered once again in the form of 'Mukkabaaz.'Wikimedia Commons
Anurag Kashyap delivered once again in the form of ‘Mukkabaaz.’Wikimedia Commons

Anurag Kashyap’s direction like always is on point and there is no complaining. Slow motion fist fighting never seems more enthralling. The picturisation and emotions are so good, you’ll feel every minute of it.

The performance of all the actors is splendid. Zoya Hussain especially marks her presence through her strong expressions, since she doesn’t have any dialogues in the film. Vineet Kumar Singh gave what might be the most legendary performance possible of his career. We could feel his passion penetrating to us through the screen.

This sports movie is not just another sports movie. It is much more than that. It takes us to the darker side, where sports is not just sports but business. It is a way of controlling people and earning money.

Mukkabazz is one of the best movies which could have started our 2018. It is one movie which you shouldn’t miss.

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‘Hichki’: An emotionally inspiring film

The film reveals how as a student she was expelled from twelve schools before finally being accepted whole heartedly at St. Notker's High School

Rani Mukherji at an award function recently
Rani Mukherji's Hichki is definitely a must-watch. Wikimedia Commons
  • Film Hichki is directed by Sidharth P. Malhotra
  • It stars Rani Mukerji, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Neeraj Kabi, Shivkumar Subramaniam, Asif Basra, Ivan Rodrigues, Harsh Mayar and Kunal Shinde
  • The movie is great to experience some relaxed time

Adapted from a 2008 released English film, “Front of the Class”, which is based on Brad Cohen’s book “Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had”, director Sidharth P. Malhotra’s “Hichki” is a feel good, emotionally packed and inspirational film.

It is the touching story of Naina Mathur, a young girl who would not let Tourette Syndrome keep her from doing what she loved most; teaching. Despite her speech defect, she sets out to become a teacher.

Anil Kapoor is one of the most legendary actors in India. Twitter
Anil Kapoor also shares the screen in the movie. Twitter

Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder which sets off multiple motor tics which include compulsive throat-clearing, knee knocking, violent muscle twitches and piercing barks. These tics are beyond one’s control. While the exact cause that sets off these tics is not known, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Rani Mukerji as the plucky Naina Mathur is flawless. She portrays her character with sincerity.

“I can’t see you as a teacher,” one blunt administrator tells her. To which, she replies, “Before meeting me, did you know about Tourette Syndrome? Well, now that you know, I have educated you.” This simply tells you how persevering she is.

The film reveals how as a student she was expelled from twelve schools before finally being accepted whole heartedly at St. Notker’s High School. The same school later accepts her as a teacher, mid-term, not because of her brilliant academic credentials but because of a crisis situation. She is hired to teach a class of underprivileged, reluctant misfits. How she wins everyone’s hearts, forms the crux of the tale. Looking back periodically to show Naina as a child, the film is most powerful in some of those flashback sequences.

Also Read: Rani Mukerji talks about speech impairment on the launch oh “Hichki”

How as a child, she convinces herself that Tourette Syndrome is her lifelong companion and that could teach her important lessons about human nature. That bit of disassociation which is crucial helps her cope with otherwise difficult situations. This comes through in her strained relationship with her father and also when she tells her school teacher, Mr. Khan, “Treat me like other students.”

The film is packed with dramatic moments that are as truthful as they are inspiring. Every scene resonates with sentiments. With apt metaphors and lingo, the writing is simple and straightforward. And while the film intends on communicating life-affirming values, there are moments in the first half that seem forced.

The second half, despite the painstakingly moralistic notes, touches the right chords. You get so immersed with the characters especially Naina. You feel sorry for her when despite her sincere efforts, her class gets suspended, for no fault of theirs.

Hichki is a feel good film.

What elevates the film is the brilliant performances by the supporting cast. You can relate with every character as each one of them is well-etched. The ones that stand out apart from the gang of students are Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar as Naina’s estranged parents, Ivan Rodrigues as the School Principal, Neeraj Kabi as Naina’s colleague at school who is keen to dismiss Naina’s students from the school and of course the character who plays Naina’s brother.

The loving relationship between the siblings is well-defined. With ace production values, the film is well-made. The only sore point is the loud background score that kills the subtlety of the subject. Overall, “Hichki” remains in your mental space long after you leave the theatre. IANS