Mukkabaaz movie review: Punches for the sake of love, punches that struck us right

Directed By:Anurag Kashyap
Produced By:Aanand L. Rai, Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena, Anurag Kashyap
Cast:Vineet Kumar Singh, Zoya Hussain, Ravi Kishan, Jimmy Sheirgill
Duration:2 Hours 25 Minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating:3.5/5

Mushkil Hai Apna Mel Priye

Yeh Pyar Nahi Hai Khel Priye…

Hence, in Anurag Kashyap’s latest serving ‘Mukkabaaz’, a fixated boxer’s hunger of winning becomes as instrumental as an unwavering lover’s quench for his lady. Through a course of two and a half hours, the Mukkas are of dissimilar power; nevertheless, all relevant.

As we are introduced to Shravan Kumar Singh (Vineet Kumar Singh) and Sunaina Mishra (Zoya Hussain), we immediately know theirs is a bumpy romantic ride. Shravan, a self-acknowledged failure at academics, has been trying his luck as a boxer for years now. Despite being the best from his native land Bareilly, he never qualifies for the championships. Courtesy: local don Bhagwan Das Mishra (Jimmy Sheirgill) who regulates the local sports scenario. Sunaina, a pretty but by-birth mute girl, is incidentally Bhagwan Das’ niece. Fate smirks, so do we.

Amidst a time when progression takes a back seat when filmmakers sketch their female protagonists, Sunaina is a refreshing entrant. So what she can’t speak? She is vocally expressive about her desires, her approval, her reluctance, and of course, her love. And when humiliated, she straightaway throws a punch. I told you, all the Mukkas here were relevant.

Two of Shravan’s struggle soon merge as he should desperately win the district championship before he gets a job in railways through sports quota and marries Sunaina. There begins the battle. Key points: A slice of small-town India, oppression in the name of caste, misapplication of funds and political power… and so on.

If I had to pick one word to sum up what ‘Mukkabaaz’ is about, I’d choose ‘effort’. Hence, after one point, it became beyond just another sports drama to me. Here’s a lover who keeps making efforts to meet his promises. Here’s a sportsman who believes the show must go on. Here’s a woman who’s ceased of speech, but is being the bravest that she can be. And because it someone as maverick as Anurag Kashyap, the film becomes a string of short stories. Each of them, as moving as it can get.

It is also a fair dose of who and what to blame, the next time we discuss ‘poor state of sports in India’. Albeit, nobody is preaching it the old, usual way. Also, I like how ‘system’ is a muted character in this film. There’s a little of our evil ‘system’ behind putting Shravan and Sunaina’s love story at stake. There’s a little bit of system behind a deserving sportsman not getting his due. And in this ‘system’ exists a coach who puts his life at stake as he uplifts his student. And exists a guilty local goon who is secretly running a free gym for boxers, for over a decade. This massively faulty system sometimes glitters in sunbeam as a few, very few of us, try to set things right.

Kashyap’s works are beyond an amalgamation of script and performance. The visuals breathe and the music escalates the story. ‘Mukkabaaz’ is no exception. Shankar Ramen adds his own storytelling through every frame. But the two people who add life to the story are Vineet and Zoya. Zoya is a true discovery while Vineet will definitely grab more and meaty stuff now onward.

And Jimmy Sheirgill! For years, this man has played men who sacrificed their love, and needless to say, was underutilised. Isko Ladki Kabhi Nahi Milti,we joked. So glad he finally does films that do justice to his ability! Next, a big shoutout to Ravi Kishan for being the subdued and yet daring coach that he was.

And the final Mukka? The most crucial one, done well and un-cliched.

Ditch your Lonavala plan and watch ‘Mukkabaaz’ this weekend!

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A delightful Varun Dhawan with a predictable storyline, makes 'October' an OK affair

A delightful Varun Dhawan with a predictable storyline, makes 'October' an OK affair

Directed By: Soojit Sircar
Produced By: Ronnie Lahiri, Sheel Kumar
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu
Duration:
115 Minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating:
3/5

Varun Dhawan is without a doubt one of the most sought-after actors of Bollywood today. The young actor has been giving frequent hits and proving his mettle in the industry, but it sure was high time that he stepped out of his comfort zone and tried his hands on something different. So for everyone who was tired of seeing Varun in masala potboilers, the actor did listen to us and how. His recent release ‘October’, directed by the impeccable talented Soojit Sircar sees Varun in a totally different avatar.

Living as a hotel intern, Dan (Varun Dhawan) is all about enjoying his life with his friends and living carefree. It is only when one of his colleagues Shiuli (Banita Sandhu) faces an accident and ends up in a hospital, which changes Dan’s life forever. The story unfolds as the careless Dan embarks on an emotional journey. He starts finding love in the strangest the places and the strangest of ways.

If you too thought of Varun’s forte lying in potboilers and comedy flicks, this movie is made to prove you wrong. The actor deserves an applause for Not only taking a risk of playing a role this complex but also for executing it’s so flawlessly. Dan is innocent and a brat at the same time. He will make you fall in love with him, and you will feel what he feels until the very last scene. Banita, on the other hand, is a revelation. She can go places if given the right path. The rest of the cast, especially Shiuli’s mother, Professor Vidya Iyer (Gitanjali) are fabulous playing their parts.

Shoojit handles the sensitivity of the plot brilliantly, it is however his direction which is not up to mark. The movie starts off nice but gradually gets into the boring zone. The parts shot in the hotel are sure to keep you hooked. However the hospital sections soon start to doze you off. Even after being a mere 1hr 56minute long, the movie seems to take a lifetime to end. The storyline is predictable and leaves no scope for suspense or surprise. The climax however is engaging and gets you thinking even after you exit the movie halls.

The camera work by Avik Mukhopadhyay is top notch, while the wound track goes well with the flow of the plot.

Overall,’October’ is about passion and love and is meant for the ones who do not believe in giving up easy. The film however lacks the Entertainment quotient and becomes tedious in the middle. Watch it for the performances.

Missing movie review: An unconvincing tale led by Tabu’s brilliant performance

Missing movie review: An unconvincing tale led by Tabu’s brilliant performance
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Directed By: Mukul Abhyankar
Produced By: Shital Bhatia, Shabana Raza Bajpayee, Vikram Malhotra, Shri Adhikari Brothers, Anand Pandit, Roopa Pandit
Cast: Tabu, Manoj Bajpayee, Annu Kapoor
Duration: 2 hours
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2/5

Manoj Bajpayee and Tabu, two of the greatest performers we have in the industry. Both of them are known for being a part of good cinema, and when these two are starring in a film we would surely expect the movie to be fantastic. Well, Manoj and Tabu have come together after a gap of 18 years on the big screen with ‘Missing’ which hits the screens on April 6, 2018.

‘Missing’ is about Sushant (Manoj), Aparna (Tabu) and Titli (Aparna’s 3-year-old daughter). They come to Mauritius via cruise, check into a hotel late night, and next morning Titli goes missing. And then starts the hunt for Titli and during this whole searching scenario, twists and turns take place.

First all of let me tell you that ‘Missing’ has a very good concept. It had a potential to be a very good suspense thriller, it had the potential to make you sit back and think that what would happen next, and it surely had the potential to be nail-biting. But, writer-director Mukul Abhyankar, unfortunately couldn’t deliver a good suspense-thriller here. I am not saying that there are no good twists and turns, but the way they appear on the screen they don’t look convincing to make us believe. The sequences that should have been the highlight look too dull here.

Another thing that doesn’t really impress us is that the movie is based in Mauritius, but from receptionists in the hotel to manager to the police officers everyone there is Indian, even the people staying in the hotel are Indians. UFF!

The biggest disappointments of the movie are, Manoj Bajpayee and Annu Kapoor. The former in the first half is not at all good. However, he manages to impress us in the second half. Talking about Annu Kapoor, he is a very senior actor, but his portrayal of police officer starts irritating us a bit after a point. I can’t blame the senior actor much for that as his character itself is not convincingly written.

The movie is saved by Tabu. The supremely talented actress does justice to her character and holds us throughout the film. What a brilliant performance!

Overall, ‘Missing’ is an unconvincing tale that leaves you with a lot of questions. Annu Kapoor mouths a dialogue again and again in the film, ‘Something is wrong’, and that’s what you will feel while watching the film.

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