In a scene typical of exasperated anger, the Mukkebaaz, holds his boss against the wall, uttering a dialogue while still crushing his own teeth, fist pointed at him as if he’s about to bury him in that same wall, shouting: ‘Jaante ho na hum kaun hain? Uttar Prades ke Mike Tyson‘.
The plot of the movie is about Shravan, played amazingly well by Vineet Kumar Singh, trying to prove this to his parents, his coaches, the administration, his lady love, and anyone and everyone about his passion. In a scene where he confronts his father about his ‘Passion’ is reminiscent and relatable to the frustration that kids have with their own parents when trying to follow what they believe in.
Mukkabaaz is a beautifully stitched poetry of the hinterland’s caste/religious infested clenched fist from which no one can get out. The storyline captures it all in not-so-subtle hints. Be it Caste based discrimination, dowry, patriarchy and how infested all of it is, in the ‘administration’. It’s like a slap on your face, scene by scene, as you dive into the plot.
But, don’t mistake this to be another ‘preachy’ indulgence of a movie, laced with typical Anurag Kashyap style humor and tight knit plot, this is an entertaining watch.
Ravi Kishan shines for me in his limited role like you won’t believe! He’s held the character together with surprising sophistication that it deserved. Of course, Jimmey Shergill’s character is clearly the best written of the lot. An ultimate villian and man, that guy is evil in the movie.
Vijender Singh’s first big break and he’s given his all. Not a frame goes amiss when you’ll find this guy not being at his best. One would expect him to ace it with the ‘boxing’ but where he’s better is his scenes with the leading lady, Zoya Hussain (who plays Sunaina Mishra). These two are testimony to the fact that you don’t need dialogues to make a love story work. Coz, boy, they nailed it. The girl does a good job of playing a mute who isn’t afraid and passionate like the guy she loves.
If you’ve seen enough of Anurag Kashyap’s work, you’ll realize most of his movies work better because of the small role playing characters. The friend of the lead, the father, sister, wive(s), and what you’d refer to as the ‘supporting characters’ to the supporting cast. That’s the magic of a Kashyap film. To use these characters to bind together the fun part of his movies in such a way that the audience will remember all of them after leaving the theatre. He perfected this in Gangs of Wasseypur and here he’s used the same.
One can also sense a lot of his personal angst coming out in the storyline through the different fribge narratives that he’s tried to unbox. Of all the things, he’s given meaning to a different ‘Bharat Maata ki jay’ chant.
The music flows through the spectrum of pumped up rap, to folk and even poetically inclined.
I found the cinematography quite different from the usual Kashyap offering by not being too dark and isntead full of colors. Is that a result of an Anand L Rai collaboration? Nevertheless, it still looks good.
It’s definitely important to relate to the hindi hinterland’s nuances and lifestyle to connect more. Although I won’t make that as a prerequisite to watch this, but the length of the movie won’t affect you if you connect closely.
I’ve loved the film and wouldn’t mind watching this again. It definitely climbs up the charts of one of the best movies of recent years. Go catch this in the theatres.
Hum derahe Hain isko 4.5 Sitara rating. ‘Bhaarat maata ki jay’ kahiye aur theatre me dekh aiye.