Mary Kom - Review

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

Over-dramatized. Over-fictionalized. Over-commercialized. Too episodic. An inspiring story nevertheless.



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Wogma Review

Yes, Mary Kom the film is much more dramatized and fictionalized than I had expected, but Mary Kom the character has so much grit that even if the real life Mary Kom is half as gutsy and strong-willed, she makes for a story that inspires.

Unfortunately though that you have to do - discount a lot of the story. It's a shame that the makers didn't find the true story exciting enough and chose to spice events up for their convenience. I understand, some times that is what a commercial film needs, but it shouldn't be done to such an extent that you start questioning every episode you see on screen.

So much so that, I came home to check the chronology of some events and was hugely disappointed with the way the timing of the climax (including the opponent Mary Kom plays) is changed around for filmy effect. I shouldn't be made to wait to get to Google to look up Mary Kom's life, I should want to be with the film for a long, long time.

Then for a person who knows nothing about boxing, I wonder if the technicalities of boxing were shown appropriately. Without wanting to look it up (more because of disinterest rather than anything else) I am willing to place my money on boxing technicalities being totally ignored. It does look like an ill-researched project or worse, one where well-done research is intentionally disregarded.

You then have the narrative itself. The screenplay is way too episodic almost like you are watching the film one short chapter after another. Almost as if to cover this drawback, the first half of the film even tries its hand at non-linear narration. Else, there is no particular reason to take us back and forth on the timeline.

It is heartening though, that all these gaps in writing are sidelined by the best efforts of the cast. Priyanka Chopra and Darshan Kumaar are all equally earnest in their performances. At times, the dialogue help at others the filminess distracts but you cannot put the dialogue delivery at fault. This is despite the distracting make-up, colored and straightened hair, where none belonged. The actors make you root for the real-life people. If not for the blatant product placement, you would feel their pain with them too.

While a husband's support for his wife's career, especially such a demanding one should be a given, not every one gets it. Less so, in small-town or rural India. I am happy that Mary Kom's husband, Onler's sacrifices and contribution received as much screen time as it did. This is an inspirational story of its own.

And oh the irony of seeing sugar free, Iodex and Usha advertise their way into a film about one of the country's athletes who in real-life struggled to find sponsors and financial support for most of her career. I guess we should just be thankful that there were no item numbers to make the film commercially appealing.

So, would I take my kids to the theater to watch this one? Unlikely, will certainly not make extra effort. But would want them to watch it when it's on TV, just to see the power of strong will. Fortunately or unfortunately, it's not for the cinema, it's for the real-life person who deserved a film about her life.

It is also interesting that a biopic has been made of a person whose career is still on. So for all you know, the story isn't over yet and we have the chance for an even more inspirational Mary Kom 2 at our hands, and hopefully a better film too.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots of boxing fights in the ring. A fist fight or two too.
  • Language: Clean.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None.
  • Concept: Mary Kom's biopic
  • General Look and Feel: Starts off with a heavy sepia tone, but eventually gains color and glamor.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 3.5
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 2.5
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director: 1.5
  • Lyrics: 2

Mary Kom - Movie Details

Mary Kom - Trailer

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Comments (13)

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After Bhaag milkha Bhaag expectations are from any Biopic coming in future....But Mary Kom is nowhere close to BMB....
Major problems are 1.not so good choreography of boxing scenes , 2. the aggression what priyanka shows outside the boxing ring ,, she never shows it inside it.....3. a lot of unwanted songs and 4. its lenght.....Its too short for me,,,,i would have liked more detailing ,, i would like to know more about Mary Kom ,, its not upto the satisfactory amount....
These all problem directs the finger to the director ,, he is inexperienced ,, and u can see it easily.....
Leaving all the above things ,, its still a movie to watch ,, because its about our honour MARY KOM ,,, but there is no reason to rent it for big screen watch.....
Its an opportunity lost ,, there could have been another BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG

lost in confusion:

Thanks for your informative review, although it gives a bit of the movie away. Going by your review, it seems that if there ever should be Mary Kom 2, you wouldn't want the same team (except the actors, maybe) to be involved in its making.

Wanna watch it, but less inclined to go for it on the big screen.


@Anup : Didn't get you. BMB was hardly a biopic and neither is MK. They're more of fictional plots "inspired" by real life events to a certain degree. Both films have been tweaked and moulded to cater to commercial sensibilities and fortunately, both films work quite well in their own respective domain. They might not be cinematic classics but they do serve the purpose of mixing inspiration with good old melodrama which Indian audiences thrive on. Both would be a 3.5/5 from my side.


Fantastic initial. Hopefully the word of mouth will be positive enough for this film to become the highest grossing female lead film in recent times ahead of The Dirty Picture. In any case, even with mixed trending we can at least expect a box office performance at par with Kahaani/Queen.


Anuj- Dont bother ,, i have simply written the points which i didnt liked about the movie,,,,dont know which one u r unable to understand because u havnt mentioned it....
For Mary Kom is an opportunity lost ,, an average film ,, may be 3.25/5 ,, But BMB was the best movie of last year along with Madras Cafe to both of which i would give 4.5/5.....And please dont start your box office verdict ,, because these are my personal choices that too not according to box office collection ,, because i dont like movies as per there earning....


Nice feel good patriotic film.

I understand Anuj's point of view that to commercialize the film it's alright to spice up real life story. But on this movie I am more in line with Meetu I.e. if you cannot find enough real awe inspiring and 56" chest moments from the life of a5 times world champion (at the time of going to press) and in a politically + bureaucratically charged sports environment then you have really not done your basic research/homework. Adding too many fictional anecdotes puts a doubt into viewer's mind as to what part to believe.

The movie length of just about 2 hours is perfect.

A few attempts at comedy were lame with the oft repeated joke of feeding twice one of the twins and never the other one; and the bathing water being cold.

Overall nice patriotic and power to women emotions mixed in with national integration message.

PS: since the BMB conversation has started let me make my position clear. I found BMB an over hyped utterly boring and extremely long movie. In the hindi film fraternity where tu meri khuja aur mein teri khujau culture is rampant, the film was overhyped. Mary Kom is several times better.


@Anup @Fan : I wonder how the 2 of you rate Paan Singh Tomar which was a lot more of a "biopic" in the true sense as compared to BMB & MK.

@Fan : Perhaps 'coz Milkha Singh's life has been a lot more eventful and dramatic starting from his personal tragedy to his life as a dacoit to his girlfriends to him becoming a champion and hence packing all of that in in one film does take time!


Strictly, by-the-numbers story which is ruined by the Bhansali penchant for soap. The boxing scenes are laughably bad and freckles or not, Priyanka tests our credibility as a Manipuri girl. The climactic ECG/Boxing countdown scene is milked till it parches, and makes no sense. I still found it marginally less boring than BMB, which for me was near-unwatchable.


I so agree with your review and other comments below. Its an opportunity lost. I hate comparing movies (especially ones taking inspiration from real lives) but BMB was ultimately better researched. I got the feeling that with Mary Kom, the makers and PC were satisfied to showcase their hard work which is undeniable, but in the process lost focus on the bigger picture i.e. making people more aware about Mary Kom and her thought process other than some superficial level of strong will.

I also think the angle about Manipur and the disassociation with the rest of country could have been explored a bit more (surely an interesting movie in itself). Also, the bit about Dingko Singh's victory inspiring Mary to pursue boxing and her impact now on other Manipuri youngsters. These are all points just touched upon in the movie and I would have loved if the makers would have explored these in more detail.

I will wait for Mary Kom 2 which will hopefully end with a gold medal at Rio in 2016...

lost in confusion:

My comment seems to have got lost in confusion!!


Anuj- Paan Singh Tomar was definatly a brilliant movie.....with few negligible boring scenes in the second half ,, other wise it was great.....

Suman Chakraborty:

Direction: 1
Story: 1.5
Lead Actors: 1.5
Character Artists: 1

Dialogues: o.5
Screenplay: 1
Music Director: 1
Lyrics: 1


@lost in confusion not really...same team, better research, less drama can work.

@Suman wow..that bad huh?

@Rachit yeah, as unfortunate as that is...

@Samir I know quite a few people who didn't like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag at all. Quite interesting.

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