Mukkabaaz is a 2017 Indian sports drama film co-written, co-produced and directed by Anurag Kashyap. It was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2017 Mumbai Film Festival. Produced jointly by Anand L. Rai and Phantom Films, the film stars Vineet Kumar Singh, Zoya Hussain, Ravi Kishan and Jimmy Shergill. Mukkabaaz is scheduled to release theatrically on 12 January 2018.
Synopsis: A low caste boxer (Shravan) trains at a gym controlled by a local Don (Bhagwan Das Mishra). Shravan falls for Mishra's niece (Sunaina). The Don does not approve of this match. Shravan strives to win Sunaina's hand in marriage and become a successful boxer while trying to avoid retaliation from the Don.
Film Mukkabaaz is worthy to watch once for its dramatic elements with thrilling punches. !!
January 12 th, 2018
Anurag Kashyap’s great form continues as he spares no one. From reverse casteism to the messed up political scenario, he trains his gun to several vices. Earlier, Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone wrote a script about an underdog boxer and struggled to find producers for it because of his condition that only he be allowed to essay the protagonist. The movie (Rocky) went on to become one of the greatest Hollywood sports drama and is still considered an offbeat film. In the same way, the lead hero Vineet Kumar Singh does the same for this boxing drama.
Vineet Kumar Singh (of Ugly and Gangs Of Wasseypur fame) has a similar story. After writing Mukkabaaz, he struggled for more than two years trying to find backers for it before Anurag Kashyap stepped in to save the day, but will Mukkabaaz prove to be Bollywood’s answer to Hollywood film Rocky?
Set in Bareilly, the film revolves around Shravan Singh (Vineet), an ambitious boxer who falls in love with the mute niece of the local boxing coach and strongman Bhagwan Das Mishra (Jimmy Sheirgill). When Shravan challenges Mishra’s authority, the latter goes out of his way to ruin Shravan’s love life and his chances of becoming ‘Uttar Pradesh ka Mike Tyson’ because he is a Rajput, who dared to challenge a Brahmin. How Shravan deals with these challenges, forms the rest of the plot. Fascinatingly, Shravan’s love story with Sunaina (an enigmatic Zoya Hussain) never takes a backseat. It remains the prime emotion. The more cruel the masters become, the more rebellious the oppressed get.
Vineet Kumar, who was seen in insignificant roles in Ugly and GOW, is unquestionably the highlight of the movie. The young man has given his sweat and blood to the movie and rightfully deserves every pat on his back. Vineet is really inspiring as Shravan whether he is letting his fists talk or defending his passion to his father (Rajesh Tailang) or smiling shyly at the object of his affection. Zoya Hussain, who essays Sunaina Mishra, the niece of Bhagwan Das, acts her part beautifully and she is at the lack of words, but her eyes are not. Sunaina may be unable to talk, but she is as expressive (or even more) than someone who can. Jimmy Sheirgill is menacing as the arrogant Bhagwan Das, who believes in the power of Brahmins and is willing to go to any lengths for his beliefs. Jimmy Shergill might look over-dramatic to some, but he has tried his best to justify his persona. Ravi Kishan is gracious as Shravan’s Coach Sanjay Kumar and proves to be an able counter foil to Bhagwan.
As for the movie, Mukkabaaz is a variation of the ‘poor boy meets rich girl’ plot that has been peddled in Bollywood throughout the years. But, what sets this movie apart from the numerous other love stories made is the sheer realism and the realistic treatment. Shravan and Sunaina are in love, but they do not run around trees or whisper sweet nothings to each other on snowy mountains because there are unpleasant issues like casteism, nepotism, corruption, favourtism, cynicism, disapproval of parents and regional politics to deal with.
Director Anurag Kashyap takes us inside the modest Singh household where they don’t know everyday English; in fact they are irritated by it. They maybe consider English as one of the reasons for their misery. It’s oddly funny and a tight slap on the face of the education system and a society which equates knowing English with being educated.
The action scenes are pretty good and the intensity of Shravan’s punches are too powerful. Vineet trained long and hard for this role and his hard work is noticeable in the scenes where he is shown training to be a boxer and his boxing match sequences. Special mention must also be made of the background score by Prashant Pillai, which strikingly supports the plot. The 156-minute Mukkabaaz is the best film in last one year.
Overall, film Mukkabaaz is worthy to watch once for its dramatic elements with thrilling punches.