Critics’ Verdict: Mukkabaaz’s Punches Land in the Right Place

Are critics giving the Anurag Kashyap film a thumbs up or a thumbs down? 

Updated
Bollywood
2 min read
A still from <i>Mukkabaaz</i>.
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Film: Mukkabaaz
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Vineet Kumar Singh, Jimmy Sheirgill, Zoya Hussain

Excerpts from reviews of Mukkabaaz:

“Boxing, a star-crossed romance, corruption in sporting federations, the arrogance of upper-caste privilege, gender discrimination, troubled family ties – Anurag Kashyap’s movie makes room for all these themes and finds the place to throw in hyper-nationalism and the attacks on bovine traders in the name of saving the cow.... Kashyap’s movies are littered with superbly written and performed sequences that do not always cohere into a convincing whole. In trying to create a socially aware entertainerthrough Mukkabaaz, the director throws too many punches. The movie has more in common with Creedthan Rocky, and attempts to emulate the spirit of the 2015 sequel rather than Sylvester Stallone’s 1976 breakout feature about a working-class boxer, but without Creed’s clearly delineated commentary on race and the sport.”
Nandini Ramnath, Scroll
“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.”
Shubhra Gupta, The Indian Express
“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.”
Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV

(Source: Scroll, Indian Express, NDTV)

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