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

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

Mukkabaaz Anurag Kashyap
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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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My Birthday Song movie review: Has its moments of density among abruptions

Directed By: Samir Soni
Produced By: Samir Soni, Sanjay Suri
Cast: Nora Fatehi, Sanjay Suri, Zenia Starr, Ayaz Khan
Duration: 1 Hours 36 Minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2.5/5

‘My Birthday Song’. That’s a bit too poetic for a psychological thriller. As if, a little less rasping. As if a bit mellifluous. Albeit, it gives hints of a birthday going eventful, probably in the wrong way.

Actor Samir Soni delves into making films with this one and opts for a genre that’s not yet prevalent in mainstream Hindi films. Does he succeed? Yes, and no.

Rajiv Kaul (Sanjay Suri), an ad-man with a neat house, a beautiful wife and two happy children, is like how those happy men in TV ads look. His postcard-ish life, however, is in for a hurricane one night. As he rings in his 40th birthday with a cosy party sans his wife at his residence, he meets Sandy (Nora Fatehi). And a romantic hiccup is assumed.

“Do you cheat?”, whispers Sandy. “Depends on whether it’s worth cheating for,” smiles Rajiv. I am smirking as they make out through a chain of sequences, actually beautiful to look at. A minute later. Sandy lies in a pool of blood, dead. Boom.

There begins the story. Rajiv wakes up on his birthday, to a cleanly done room with no blood and no trace of Sandy and thinks of it as a bad dream. But every tiny thing that he saw in his ‘dream’, starts coming true. And oh, the birthday party is tonight. Hence, the misfortune is supposed to happen tonight too!

Through the next hour, We’ve Rajiv running around like a possessed person, trying to set things right as if he has foreseen the future. Does he? Does he not?

Before we start analysing, ‘My Birthday Song’ had the ingredients of becoming so much more than what it is. It is a technically strong film with a potentially powerful story. Soni, who can’t escape glitches here and there, came up with a decent first attempt. At one point, the tense gets dense, and we start wondering if the characters we are witnessing are at all there, or are surreal. But surrealism is where it goes wrong as well.

After a few shifts between reality and surrealism, the thin line disappears and it is difficult to figure out which course is it following. Probably to make it psychologically tickling, Soni has added elements of hallucination, which is justified. But it is also necessary to place hallucinatory events in a way that they don’t disrupt a story’s rationality. Here, that happens.

Since the film majorly banks upon its events and not the number of characters, it is mostly shouldered on Sanjay. The intention was probably to allow us to sync in the uncertainity. But it results in the film losing pace.

Barring that, ‘My Birthday Song’ has its moments of cinematic expertise. Sanjay Suri is a delight to watch and Nora Fatehi is decent in her shoes. Australian beauty Queen Zenia Starr steps into Bollywood with this one, and will probably stay. I also like how the director’s approach is to move the viewers with subtlety. And I admit, it brings end with a climax I had never even imagined.

To watch or not? The call is yours.


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1921 movie review : Less spooky, more comical...

Directed By: Vikram Bhatt
Produced By: LoneRanger Productions
Cast: Zareen Khan and Karan Kundrra
Duration: 2 Hours 24 Minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 1.5/5

Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt has given us some good horror cinema in the form of the ‘Raaz’ franchise, so one would have high hopes from the director from his newly released horror flick ‘1921’. This fresh series is nowhere close to the last ‘1920’ series which was a decent horror fest.

To start with, the story begins with a young man named Ayush (played by Karan Kundrra) who shifts to London to learn music and works as a caretaker in a huge palace. Those times were all about royal palaces right? It’s barely been a month and the man with a penchant to heal through his musical skills starts experiencing paranormal activities in the house. So, he decides to seek help from a psychic medium named Rose, played by Zareen Khan who too is mesmerised by his music. The beautiful lady has earned this special power to communicate with ghosts through her late mother, or so she claims.

Together, they decide to unravel the mystery of finding the adhoori ichcha of the evil spirit looming freely in the house. Since this is the first evil spirit that Rose has ever encountered , the task is way too tougher for her than it seems. Will they succeed or they will succumb to spooky ghost? It is something you discover when you sit through two hours of mindlessness.

As simple as the story seems to be, the plot gets confusing and too boring with every progressing scene. The horror scenes are forced and predictable and even evoke laughter many a times. You know that something spooky awaits you in the next scene and you’re all prepared for it and more than getting scared, it makes you laugh out loud. The loud and spooky background music on every second scene just doesn’t help the immensely boring plot which tries its level best to scare you off your seats. Forced elements of romance between the protagonists makes it even more worse and to add to it, a dozen romantic songs to enchant the viewers which are more irritating than interesting.

We’ve seen romance in various movies but when the lead actors break into a romantic song after every four scenes, it somewhere starts scaring you, making you wonder as to where exactly the story is headed towards. And to add to all the agony, the ending will leave you cringing heavily because you wouldn’t really know what just happened.

Moral: Two good looking actors Alone can’t save the fate of a horror movie with their love story.

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