The movie begins in earnest by showing an incident that builds her interest in self-defence before showing her first interaction with a boxing gymnasium and coach and her entry into boxing. The movie then tells the story of her initial training, her struggle with a new sport, her immense dedication and will, her passion, while at the same time showing the immense struggle of balancing the needs of home and boxing and the additional sacrifices that she had to make to pay for her classes and equipment, all in the context of the poverty that was a constant in her
The script builds up to the reasons for Mary’s first unsanctioned fight and theimmense odds that she faces against a fancied opponent to win some money for her family. The script them engages with Mary’s relationship with the officialdom of the boxing federation and weaves in the challenges of that relationship into her burgeoning professional career in the larger context of Onler’s proposal and her decision to marry him and then giving birth to twins. Mary is shown balancing the demands of her training with the demands of her young children and how the balance is made possible by the unending attention of Onler, who learns to take care of the children under Mary’s supervision.
The story shows how the country writes her off and the pressures on her and her family to have her quit. And then it is shown.
Bollywood has over the years been known for its commercial ‘masala’ films, however, every once in a while, the industry also gives birth to films that tell the real life stories which touch your heart and soul. While the former gets many takers, the latter is fast becoming popular. Thanks to the new found attention being given to reality based films, there are many filmmakers out there who have and are waiting in wings to try their hand at making movies based on the real life stories of iconic personalities. A few examples (read ‘testimony’) in the past have been films like BOSE: THE FORGOTTEN HERO, GURU, GANDHI MY FATHER, THE LEGEND OF BHAGAT SINGH, PAAN SINGH TOMAR and not forgetting the controversial film THE DIRTY PICTURE. Interestingly, films on sports personalities are picking up with CHAK DE INDIA and more recently BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG winnings the audience’s heart.
This week’s release, Omung Kumar’s MARY KOM is one such film which is a biopic on one of India’s most illustrious sports personalities, Mary Kom, who, despite all her hardships, put our country on the international map with her achievements. The film goes on to show the real life story of this sports star, which not many are aware of. The film serves as an eye opener not just on the fact that India can produce international ‘gold medal winning’ boxers, but also that Manipur is very much a part of India!
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