Mukkabaaz is a socio-political love story of Shravan Singh (Vineet Kumar Singh), a boxer from Uttar Pradesh, who falls in love with a mute girl, Sunaina Mishra, who belongs to a higher caste, and also happens to be the niece of his arch rival, Bhagwandas Mishra, the head of the state boxing federation. Co-written and directed by Anurag Kashyap, and produced by Colour Yellow (Anand L Rai) and Phantom Films, Mukkabaaz also features Zoya Hussain, Jimmy Shergill and Ravi Kishan in pivotal roles. This also happens to be the Bollywood debut of the film’s lead female star, Zoya. The film that had its world premiere in the Toronto Film Festival, elicited rave reviews and standing ovation from movie critics and connoisseurs from across the globe. The movie was later also showcased at the Jio MAMI Mumbai film festival where it opened to some laudatory reviews. The film finally released today ie ,January 12, and has been attracting lukewarm to positive reviews from all quarters. Let’s find out what the movie critics have to say about Kashyap’s directorial venture.
# The Indian Express (3 Stars) : “Anurag Kashyap’s best work is shot through with a strong political streak, and he weaves it into the plot with grit and a robust, raucous, bawdy wit…. This is a film whose lack of ostensible polish works to enhance its rough-and-tumble flavor: Kashyap and the film are at its most sure-footed when they are calling out discrimination, across the board. That’s when their punches land in exactly the right place.”
# The Guardian ( 3 stars) : An eclectic run of credits – bizarre psychothriller No Smoking (2007), Devdas update Dev D (2009), crime diptych Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) – have established writer-director-producer Anurag Kashyap as Hindi cinema’s foremost moderniser. He took a beating on Cotton Club-like period folly Bombay Velvet (2015), but his latest, Mukkabaaz (The Brawler) is a canny comeback bid: a heavy-hitting social critique disguised as a rock ’em-sock ’em sports movie. It follows the attempts of angry lower-caste boxer Shravan (Vineet Kumar Singh) to claw back personal and professional satisfaction after walloping the well-connected coach whose mute niece the boxer was wooing.
#NDTV ( 4 stars) : “A boxing melodrama, Mukkabaaz refuses to be boxed in. It is at its best when the gloves are off. That is when it throws well-targeted hooks at the unbridled brutalities of the baddie – a ruthless custodian of upper-caste privilege who runs the Bareilly district boxing federation at his own whims and fancies – and, by extension, at the toxic forces that the thuggish MLC and his henchmen represent…. Mukkabaaz packs a massive punch. Watch it because it is one of the more important films to have come out of the Mumbai movie industry in recent times”
#Koimoi ( 3.5 stars ): “Don’t expect a Rocky or Gangs Of Wasseypur, because this is not. Growing comfortably in its own little space, Mukkabaaz fits perfectly to the genre of Anurag Kashyap films but this time it’s comparatively less dark & more entertaining. Don’t think, go watch!”
# Deccan Chronicle ( 3.5 stars) : “Mukkabaaz is a well-knitted tale of love, passion and revenge.Hardcore Anurag Kashyap fans may be a bit disappointed with its happy ending and moreover, less of blood bath unlike his films. Though Mukkabaaz is not as dark as his genre, the overall treatment is edgy and thrilling alongside the universal appeal. The film is definitely a milder version of the director, but there is not a dull moment in the movie either. Book your tickets now!”