Mukkabaaz movie review: Director Anurag Kashyap brings yet another gritty and robust tale of a pugilist who encounters casteism, poverty and yet makes it big in this most difficult of careers. This is by far one of Kashyap’s best works, where he touches on love, family and sports. The lead actor, Shravan Kumar (Vineet Kumar Singh) hails from a humble background, barely educated and to top it all, belongs to a low social status. But he is ambitious enough to fight it all and make his presence felt as the boxer who proudly calls himself as the ”Mike Tyson of Uttar Pradesh”. But can a man as humble as Shravan with no means to influence the bigwigs have his dreams play out that easy? Well of course not! Here enters Bhagwan Das (Jimmy Shergill) to make his worst fears come to reality. An ex-boxer, Bhagwan Das is corrupt, influential and to top it all a ruthless upper caste baddie who runs the Bareilly district boxing federation. Shravan gets into the bad books of this malicious man which costs him dear. Shravan’s ladylove played by newcomer Sunaina (Zoya Hussain) is mute but melts his hearts with her eyes. But Sunaina is Bhagwan Das’s niece who is at the mercy of his uncle since her father is timid enough to hold up his voice. So when the plot proceeds you are shot with ample questions to only find an answer in the climax which could have been a tad better given the gripping first half and an even better second.
Kashyap known for his gritty directorial ventures, this one does not miss the attention of the viewers. For the first time , a filmmaker was audacious enough to highlight things like cow vigilantism in his film and also talks about the sporting menace in the country. Kashyap should be given full marks for always coming up with issue and sparking some bang on repercussion. He is one director who does not care on the theory of featuring actors on their star value and such is his brand name that he is the power to run the film with the brilliance of plot and screenplay.
Vineet Kumar Singh who is the protagonist in the film was earlier seen in films like Issaq, Gangs of Wasseypur, Ugly and Bombay Talkies makes a comeback after four years. The actor comes back with a rugged boxer like tough body for which he had undergone rigorous training. Now coming to his performance, this is the first time he has been cast as lead in a film and man he needs more meatier roles to show his prowess. There is not one frame where Vineet disappoints you or falters. Playing the leading lady is debutant Zoya Hussain who has no dialogue to deliver. This could have been really challenging for the actress but I think her eyes and expression did all the talking. A challenging role for a newcomer but she aces it. Jimmy Shergill as the corrupt ex-boxer is scary. The toxicity in his role, the wrath, his unbridled brutalities made him one dreaded villain in the film.
The background score has been given by Rachita Arora and this adds to the layers of the film well. The movie is based on real events and is riveting enough to get you back to the screen again.