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MUKKABAAZ is a feisty, gripping and soulful drama!

With an absorbing narrative and skilfully sketched characters, this belligerent underdog story manages to keep you glued for all of its longish runtime of over 2.5 hours. With interestingly constructed multiple layers, writer/director Anurag Kashyap brings out a highly charged sports drama that’s totally worth your time and money. Go for it!

The story: In the city of Bareilly (UP), aspiring boxer Shravan (Vineet Kumar Singh) slogs day and night to achieve his dream of being a recognised boxer. Things go awry when he falls in love with a high caste, mute girl (played by Zoya Hussain) who happens to be the niece of his arch nemesis, the head of the state boxing federation, Bhagwandas Mishra (Jimmy Shergill). MUKKABAAZ is basically a love story of a boxer, which also deals with social and political elements.

Director Anurag Kashyap, known for his dark, hard hitting subjects, plays it safer this time around, with a story which is accessible and acceptable for a much larger audience. Having said that, in no way does he compromise on the writing table, and makes sure his product is still of an international quality. A normal screenplay of this duration could’ve been exhausting for a viewer, but that isn’t the case with MUKKABAAZ. With not even a single dull moment, the film keeps you engrossed throughout. This isn’t just a sports drama, but much more, as it also brings to light the politics that goes in the Indian sports arena.

There’s the quintessential Anurag Kashyap flair in every frame, right from the opening credits to the songs within the narrative, and down to the very last scene. Playing with earthy characters in a rustic backdrop is Kashyap’s forte, which he proves yet again. He wanted authenticity in the boxing that’s depicted on screen, for which his protagonist Vineet had to go through rigorous training, and it definitely pays off. Technically brilliant, the film leaves an indelible mark on the viewer’s mind. The setup too is extremely convincing. Yes, there are minor flaws, but are hardly of any concern to most of its audience. The music is terrific and lends an interesting character to this engaging story.

Lead actor Vineet Kumar Singh is phenomenal. He literally grows on you as the film progresses. Eventually, you feel he’s the only one cut out for this role. He totally gets into the skin of the aspiring boxer Shravan who’s also insanely in love with a girl. His transformation is awe-inspiring and his performance registers as the one to reckon with in 2018. Zoya Hussain, playing the mute girl, and the love interest of the protagonist is truly charming. She looks extremely attractive here and her presence is truly magnetic. She laps the challenges of portraying this character and does it with tremendous depth. Jimmy Shergill is yet again found trapped in the character he’s been stereotyped with, time and again. Nevertheless, he brings a new vigour to his role and does a swell job. Ravi Kishan and others also play their parts very well.

To sum up, MUKKABAAZ is an interesting film with a riveting plot and great performances at its core. This one should not be missed!

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