The breadth and depth of Love

Being a big fan of the opulence, drama and aesthetics of the eccentric director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, I analysed his penchant for incomplete love stories. Being single himself (or unattached in public life) he probably has felt the despair of heartbreak at some point in his life.

No other director has shown us so many hues of this universal emotion. While his first film ‘Khamoshi’ achieved a complete couple, ‘Guzaarish’ united an unlikely pair. We saw the ultimate sacrifice in ‘Hum Dil de chuke Sanam’ in the traditional marriage. A courtesan was capable of love while childhood sweethearts remained unfulfilled in ‘Devdas’. Love broke all barriers of the senses and age, albeit for a second, in ‘Black’. Doomed were the lovers who belonged to warring families in ‘Ram Leela’ and taboo was the warrior princess’ devotion for her saviour, in ‘Bajirao Mastani’. The innocence of unrequited love in ‘Saawariya’ broke our hearts while the prostitute gave us hope in humanity.

This Valentines’, focus on the highest, most important form of love: the one for self. Only when we love ourselves are we capable to fully love another. And if you have attracted the right significant other, celebrate them, and yourself, ALWAYS…

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If only life was so black and white 🙂 we judge evil and celebrate righteousness, knowing full well we are a mixture of both ourselves. Defeat your own demons, now that would be a celebration! Happy Dusshera !

Mary Kom (2014)

Attempting a biopic for ‘Magnificent Mary’ was a bold move. It is about a girl from Manipur who became a boxing legend against all odds and made the country proud. Not only following her professional career, the director, Omung Kumar, has given us equal insights into her personal life. He makes a thumping debut after being art director for projects such as ‘Black’, ‘Saawariya’ and many others.  

Her struggles seemed difficult as a single person, as wife and mother, they increased ten-fold. But our Mary Kom is a fighter and we have only one talent who could portray her. Priyanka Chopra. From the first scene, to the last fight, she embodies the spirit of Mary Kom and all Indian women who fight to pursue their passion, raise families as well as be dutiful daughters. A constant battle inside the ring and outside as well! The result? Two hours of pow wow that will knock your socks off!

Priyanka is not the big star, but the ‘angry young girl’ with an endearing accent and speech, who stumbles upon ‘Coach Sir’ who reluctantly trains her. Noted Nepali actor Sunil Thapa plays the stern coach who whips her into controlled action. Onler Kom is her supporter, admirer and eventually her husband. The role is confidently played by debut actor Darshan Kumar, who was every bit the ‘man behind the successful woman’. The old adage goes to show that either gender needs the unending support of their spouse to succeed.

Of course such a story needs an ensemble cast to succeed. Her parents, siblings, peers, friends and town folk create a space where we root for every fight and share her every struggle. They walk the tight rope when they show her relationship with her father. Never becoming melodramatic, they show her angst and frustration beautifully.

Parallels will be drawn to ‘Chak de’ and ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, but besides getting a new ‘sports theme song’ we see some excellent shots in the ring and very crisp editing by Rajesh G. Pandey and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is also the creative director. If you thought he always needed larger than life sets and costumes to show his story, here you will see his trademark style in the most humble backdrop.

Story / Screenplay writer Saiwyn Quadras creates a ‘square world’ where he doesn’t leave room for any competition for his team. Witty one-liners and serious dialogue by Karan Singh Rathore and Ramendra Vasishth give a balance to the tense audience. Team Mary Kom, this year will get you all the accolades, awards and maybe even medals. Priyanka will kick ass!

The content will punch you. It grips the breath, hearts and minds of the audience! Bravo!

4/5