Mukkabaaz, directed by Anurag Kashyap, and starring Vineet Kumar Singh, Zoya Hussain, Jimmy Shergill and Ravi Kishan is a staggering achievement and a great reminder to people how to tell emotionally potent stories while also commenting on the societal issues that plague our country. The film is about a lower class man, named Shravan Singh (Vineet Kumar Singh) who wants to become a boxer, and who falls in love with Sunaina Mishra (Zoya Hussain). She is the niece of the local don, who hates Shravan and won’t let him succeed professionally or personally.
Even though this could be pegged as a traditional sports movie, there is little similarity between this and other movies of the genre. But it is even more entertaining and has a nuanced view of class issues and how the government sometimes chooses to treat its sportsmen. All the themes that Kashyap tries to grapple with in the movie could have made for very preachy and corny story that could irritate the audience by hammering down the points with every dialogue and sound cue. But Kashyap, one of the best directors in Indian cinema, chooses wisely to develop his characters and it is a joy to see so many character actors get a chance to really dig into their roles and not just speak dialogues from a script.
Vineet Kumar Singh, who has worked with Kashyap in Gangs of Wasseypur and Ugly, makes an extraoridnary impact on the audience. His character could have been a cliche, but instead, he makes Shravan completely original and natual. This could the best male performance of the year. Zoya Hussain is equally luminous in the movie, and holds her own in dramatic scenes. Jimmy Shergill has a tricky role, but never overdoes it one bit, and Ravi Kishan shows his acting chops in the movie, giving one of his best performances. Simply said, Mukkabaaz is a must watch.