Shravan Kumar Singh (Vineet Kumar Singh) is a budding boxer from Bareilly who trains under Bhagwan Das Mishra, a retired boxer and local goon (Jimmy Shergill) and aims to become a successful boxer like Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali. He is also smitten by his coach’s niece Sunaina (Zoya Hussain) who happens to be a mute girl. One day, he gets into an argument with his coach and ends up punching him which results in him being bashed badly by his coach’s goons. Moreover, Bhagwan Das swears that he would ensure that Shravan’s dreams don’t come true.
What will Shravan do? How will he fight for his dreams? What will happen to his love for Zoya?
Positive Points: –
- Vineet Singh’s star-making performance as he reinvigorates the film throughout its slow pace.
- Sharp and witty dialogues which are not only humorous but hard-hitting as well.
- Songs that help in carrying the story forward instead of being solely for entertainment purposes.
- Excellently choreographed fight sequences both in the ring and off it.
Negative Points: –
- The songs are good no doubt, but they have been overused in the film. You see a song popping up in every five to ten minutes and that becomes distressing after a certain period of time.
- The film’s agonizing pace which takes toll of the time during the second half.
- Quite some glaring flaws and unintentionally laughable moments throughout the film and mostly in the latter half.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities: –
Anurag Kashyap has done a commendable job on the director’s seat as he dives deep not only into the politically grotesque condition of Indian sports but also other important social issues like casteism, goonism and vigilantism. The performances of the actors flourish under his arms and so do the action sequences which are as realistic as possible. The screenplay of Mukkabaaz is also well built and coalesces humour, action, music and drama perfectly into the premise. The dialogues are wonderful, at times hilarious, at times heart-touching and at times both. Nevertheless, it has some overt flaws like Sunaina romancing with Shravan without any family restraint, her going to Benaras alone in spite of hailing from a staunch patriarchial background, her going away with her parents to her grandmother’s house and many more. The Bharat Mata Ki Jai moment was really idiotic though it may gather a cult liking.
The songs are well merged into the movie’s premise and unlike most Bollywood films, they go with the flow of the film. Thankfully we don’t see any of our protagonists singing and merrymaking to the music and that’s a relief. However, the narrative is overburdened by the presence of so many tracks and a few of them could have been avoided to save the film from its slow pace. Prashant Pillai’s background score is superb; the cinematography and editing jobs have also been well executed.
Vineet Kumar Singh delivers a blinder in the shoes of the protagonist. He is perfect right from the beginning, until the end. He makes you laugh, he makes you cringe, he makes you angry and he makes you emotional too. If this won’t make him a star in Bollywood, I don’t know what else will.
Jimmy Shergill is outstanding as the movie’s antagonist. He holds his ground well, doesn’t make any idiotic quintessential villainous expressions and delivers his lines with flair. He truly is an amazing actor.
Zoya Hussain is delectable and charming as the mute muse of the protagonist. Her expressions are spot on and her energetic onscreen presence is prepossessing.
Ravi Kishan is subtle yet sublime as Shravan’s new coach.
Final Verdict: –
Mukkabaaz is unlike most usual Bollywood sports-dramas. It’s realistic, connecting and powerful in what it wants to convey. Its performances and dialogues will be etched in the minds of its viewers for long and with a start like this, we can hope for a better performance from our film industry in unlike the year gone by.