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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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I’m not going to tone down just because I’m married: Ranveer Singh

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Deepika Padukone Ranveer Singh

Mumbai, Dec 14: Actor Ranveer Singh will not change his personality after his marriage to Deepika Padukone and says he doesn’t want his wife and actress to change herself either.

Deepika and Ranveer got married in Italy last month.

Ranveer Singh Deepika Padukone Reception

“Marriage is like the best thing that has ever happened to me. I feel some kind of magic, some kind of power, it’s like I’m invincible. You know in those superhero movies, you know that moment when the suit comes on. I feel like marriage has done that to me,” Ranveer said during a session at Times Network’s India Economic Conclave 2018.

He says getting married makes him feel “grounded, feel secure”.

“I’m really loving it. It has only been about 10-15 days now but it’s so nice, it’s so lovely. I would highly recommend it to the entire young population of the country. Take it from me, it’s great,” added the actor, who was present at the fifth edition of the conclave to talk about new age role models.

Asked whether the couple is planning to expand the family, he said: “It’s not my call really. I mean partly it is, but mostly it’s just her.”

“I allow her to make most of the decisions because she is just better at everything. I have no qualms in accepting that she is a much more evolved, a much more mature person than me. Of course I love her, but I respect and admire her for everything that she has achieved. She is a much greater person than me. She has achieved a lot more than me,” he added.

He says he has not toned down.

“Did you see what I was wearing for my wedding? I was wearing a leopard on my shoulder for one of the events. A leopard who had green lasers coming out of his eyes! How is that toned down? It was hot pink. Manish Arora made it especially for me. He is my spirit designer, and he’s really out there.

“I don’t think I’m going to tone down or change who I am just because now I’m married which leads me into the next part of my answer that if it happens, I’m not going to filter it. I’m just going to allow it to happen if it happens naturally.”

IANS

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Chris Pratt makes his love for Katherine official on her birthday

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Chris pratt Katherine Schwarzenegger
Photo Credit- Getty Images

Los Angeles, Dec 14: The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt made his love for girlfriend Katherine Schwarzenegger public on her birthday.

He took to Instagram on Thursday to wish Katherine happy birthday. He shared a collage of intimate photographs of the two, which include Schwarzenegger giving Pratt a pedicure and both wearing face masks.

“Happy birthday Chief! Your smile lights up the room. I’ve cherished our time together,” Pratt wrote alongside the collage, which marked the first time he has shared a photo of the two together.

“Thrilled God put you in my life. Thankful for the laughs, kisses, talks, hikes, love and care, ” he further concluded.

On Wednesday, a source said that the two, who were first spotted together in June, are in a “serious relationship and everything is going well”, yet Pratt isn’t rushing to get engaged anytime soon.

“Chris just finalised his divorce from Anna (Faris) a couple months ago, and he’s happy with just dating Katherine for now. The couple has a lot of fun together and is fully involved in one another’s life,” the source said.

While they have remained out of the public eye, they have been spotted attending church, going to dinners and even hanging out with her star father Arnold and brother Patrick.

WeForNews

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Alia Bhatt breaks silence on her relationship with Ranbir Kapoor

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Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor (File Photo)

Mumbai, Dec 14: It seems that Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt is handling as many questions about the rumoured boyfriend, actor Ranbir Kapoor, as she is about her career that is going places.

Alia interacted with the media at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2018 here on Thursday.

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#aliabhatt at #nickkidschoiceawards

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When asked about Ranbir, the Raazi star said that she feels shy to talk about her relationship with her “Brahamastra” co-star.

In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Alia’s filmmaker father Mahesh Bhatt had said he feels happy that his daughter is in a relationship with Ranbir and added that he is a great guy for her.

Asked how does she look at acceptance from her father on her relationship with Ranbir, Alia said: “Why are you going into future? You should stay in the present moment. To be honest, I don’t want to talk about it.

“I am feeling shy but I love my father and anything he says obviously means the world to me, but I don’t want to talk about this right now.”

On her upcoming line-up of films, Alia said: ‘’Kalank’ is releasing next year on April 18 and ‘Gully Boy’ is releasing on February 14. ‘Gully Boy’ has been selected at Berlin Film Festival and ‘Brahmastra’ is releasing on Christmas, so what a fabulous next year it’s turning out for me.”

Alia made her Hindi film debut at the early age of 19 with “Student of The Year”. Now other star kids like Janhvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan have made their Hindi film debut this year.

How does it feel when people term her as ‘senior’ to Janhvi and Sara, she said: “I am not a senior. If you call it senior, then I am a senior to them but I don’t think there is such kind of vibe between us and they are not very much younger than me.

“They all are such beautiful girls. They treat me with a lot of warmth and shower upon me lot of love, so I will only give lots of love and warmth back to them.”

WeForNews

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