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‘Mukkabaaz’ Movie Review: Anurag Kashyap’s most sensitive film

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Mukkabaaz
A still from the movie.

New Delhi, Jan 12: Starring: Vineet Kumar, Zoya Hussain, Jimmy Sheirgill, Ravi Kissan, Directed by Anurag Kashyap

Rating: ****

Really, we couldn’t hope for a better start to our movie-going spree in 2018. Mukkabaaz is many things at the same time. To begin with it isano, it not just an ode to pugilism. It is an ode to that thing called love.

Mukkabaaz is Anurag Kashyap’s most romantic film to date. It’s about, believe it or not, love at first sight when Bareilly’s self-proclaimed Mike Tyson, aka Shravan Singh (Vineet Singh, startling in his transformation into a ferocious fighter) happens to see Sunaina (newcomer Zoya Hussain, expressive in her silences).

The sequence where Shravan falls in love brilliantly yokes violence and tenderness, and sets the pace for what is to follow. This is a film steeped in the ethos of ethnicity, immersed in the culture of caste and gender prejudices.

But it’s not as bereft of hope and humour as one would think Kashyap’s milieu of mofussil mayhem would be. This is a mellower more sensitive world, a world of love and compassion in a universe of corruption and debauchery.

The smalltown setting is chilling in its bold undertones of violence. Kashyap’s Bareilly (as we come to know the setting to be) is run by a glorified goon Bhagwan Das Mishra (Jimmy Sheirgill) a sadistic patron-saint, who early in the narrative asks the local Tyson to drink his urine from a bottle, “like holy water”.

We never know whether Shravan actually performs the offensive act of subservience. The film’s anxious editors (Arati Bajaj, Ankit Bidyadhar) cut away from the sordid sequence of subjugation.

But knowing Shravan we can easily conclude he would never eat shit, or drink pee. This is a boy-man on a mission to prove to the world and his disapproving father, that boxing is not a soft option but a hard career decision.

In the film’s most powerfully acted episode Shravan hits back hard at his father’s contemptuous reading of his son’s ambitions, taunting the older man for achieving so little in life. It’s a scene of abject filial cruelty performed with such guilt and hurt by Vineet Kumar, that a potentially stereotypical father-son confrontation scene acquires a towering personality denoting the entire gamut of conflicts that go into the aspirations of one generation as they are passed on to another.

Son says, father has no respect for his passion. Father thins son is talking about ‘fashion’. It’s a silly confusion, that hides the larger growing tensions simmering in small towns where youngsters want to make something of their lives. But what????

Linguistic confusion plays a major part in driving the plot forward. The actor Shree Dhar Dubey who plays the hero’s buddy insists on using smatterings of angrezi in his conversations. A conceit that infuriates our Shravan.

Elsewhere cow vigilantes are busy, for no particular reason, thrashing a suspect while someone films the brutality on a phone. In the smalltown fables of Kashyap and his ilk of directors mofussil directors, video recordings on phone are indicative of how roughly hewn technology is into every day life.

Our hero roughs up his casteist senior at his workplace. When the man wets himself in fear Shravan gleefully films the man’s humiliation. It’s not just villains who expose their dirty subconscious.

The dialogues and situations are pronouncedly scatological, as they are wont to be in a Kashyap film. But the tone changes oh-so-delicately when Shravan is around the love of his life. Balancing between bouts of boxing brutality and episodes of unfettered tenderness Mukkabaaz is Anurag Kashyap’s most vividly written and fluidly executed film since the underrated Dev D.

The performances are so powerful you fear they would outdistance the director’s mastery over the patois of mayhem, and none more powerful than Vineet Kumar in a career-making role and performance that compares favourably with Robert de Niro’s boxer’s shots in Martin Scorcese’s Raging Bull.

Not that Kashyap is Scorcese. Heavens, no! Kashyap is on a trip of his own, tripping cheekily over the live wires that are thrown all over the bleak brutal and wounded landscape of his films. And it’s not just Vineet Kumar who comes forward with a performance that defines the director’s quenchless thirst for searching out the violence that underlines life lived on the fringes. Ravi Kissan and Jimmy Sheirgill are rqually superb in their roles as the coach and the ganglord. These are actors who know the culture of caste and gender politics. They feel the throbbing veins of violence.

As the narrative progresses it acquires the personality of a tightly-wound entity coiling and recoiling into shapes of tenderness and venom. Mukkabaaz is a different more balanced and less unsettled beast than any film Kashyap has made. While all his recent films portrayed the dark ugly sinister underbelly of mofussil existence this time, just this once, the Director has allowed himself to explore the tricky relationship between love and violence with gentle care.

This is the Director’s most sensitive film to date. It hits a hard punch. And not just in the boxing ring.

IANS

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We need less corruption and scams, says Saif Ali Khan

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Saif Ali Khan

Mumbai, Sep 25 (IANS) Saif Ali Khan, who is all geared up for the release of his forthcoming film ‘Baazaar,’ says “we need less corruption and scams in the country.”

Saif was present at the trailer launch of ‘Baazaar’ at Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

‘Baazaar’ is based on stock market scam and corruption. When asked about recent scams, Saif Ali Khan said, “I think it is horrible and terrible, we want less corruption and less scams.”

He said artists are in a very honest line of work. “We try and make films, we try and sell films, most of the times, press is catching movie stars to make examples of, and you should catch these guys. Seriously, press should catch these guys (those who do scams) , we’re nothing, we’re small-time people,” he said.

“The big game is happening somewhere else and we don’t even know what the game is,” he added.

Taking dig at the press, Saif said, “Someone says he did this, or that, and everyone is happy with that… it is like a dustbin. We celebrities (are always blamed ) I mean, everyone gets happy with that, we need people to blame. But the real people you should be blaming are the people who are stealing your money.”

In the movie, Saif Ali Khan plays the role of Shakun Kothari as a ruthless businessman whose world revolves around money and power.

Talking about his role, Saif said it has been the most special role he has ever played in his career. “First of all, I would like to thank Nikkhil Advani for offering me such an amazing role. It is one of the most special parts that I have played in my career,” said the actor.

The film is directed by Gauravv K. Chawla, written by Nikkhil Advani, Aseem Arora and Parveez Sheikh. The film also stars debutante Rohan Mehra, Chitrangada Singh and Radhika Apte.

The film is scheduled for release on October 26.

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Sonu Sood honoured with doctorate in Taekwondo, credits his action films

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Soonu Sood-

New Delhi, Sep 25: Actor Sonu Sood, who has been honoured with a doctorate degree in Taekwondo here on Tuesday, feels special that his dedication has been recognised and says he gives due credit to the slew of action films that he has starred in.

Sonu was feted in the presence of Prabhat Sharma, secretary general of Taekwondo Federation of India, at the opening ceremony of 107th International Kyorugi Referee Seminar/121st International Kyorugi Referee Refresher Course and 40th International Poomsae Referee Seminar here.

“I feel really honoured. I remember the days as a kid I had joined Taekwaondo classes and never really knew or realised that one day I will be honoured with a doctorate in it,” Sonu told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

The 45-year-old actor gave credit to all the action movies he has done.

“All thanks to the action movies that I have done. I have spent so many years doing action and today when I have been honoured I feel really good. It is really special,” added the actor, who has featured in films like “Dabangg”, “Kung-fu Yoga” and “Paltan”.

He was nostalgic about his early tryst with the martial art form.

Sonu said: “I remember the first time my mother bought a Taekwondo outfit for me and took me to these classes. Today, I wish she was here to see that I have been honoured in the same action field of Tekwaondo. I am sure her blessings are doing the trick that I am getting all these honours… There are still miles to go, but the journey is on,” he added.

IANS

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Ajay Devgn begins shooting for ‘Taanaji – The Unsung Warrior’

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Taanaji The Unsung Warrior

Mumbai, Sep 25: After trolling his wife by sharing her WhatsApp number on Twitter, Ajay Devgn has started shooting for Om Raut’s film “Taanaji – The Unsung Warrior”.

The 49-year-old actor on Tuesday took to Twitter to share the clapboard of the film. The picture was clicked at the Muhurat pooja of the film on the sets.

In one of the pictures, Ajay can be seen conducting a prayer with Om Raut.

The “Raid” actor will play the role of Subedar Taanaji Malusare, a military leader in the army of Shivaji and also the founder of the Maratha Empire in 17th century India in the film.

Earlier this year, Devgn unveiled the first poster of the film on Instagram. He captioned the post, “He fought for his People, his Soil and his King Chhatrapati Shivaji. The unsung warrior of glorious Indian history, Subedar Taanaji Malusare.”

Produced by Bhushan Kumar of “T-Series”, epic drama “Taanaji – The Unsung Warrior” is slated to release on November 22, 2019.

Meanwhile, Ajay Devgn made to the headlines when he shared his wife Kajol’s number on Twitter. However, the number was obviously not right. But the tweet served as a fodder for the netizen who teased the couple for the brands they endorsed.

Angry Kajol also responded to her husband’s prank. In the tweet, she wrote that he will not be allowed entry in his home for a day.

On the other hand, Kajol is gearing up for the release of her upcoming film Helicopter Eela which is scheduled to hit the screens on 12th October 2018.

Helicopter Eela

Helicopter Eela

WeForNews

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