“A knockout punch” is what one experiences while watching the Bollywood movie Mukkabaaz directed by Anurag Kashyap. Comprising of some outstanding performances from the entire star cast, some brilliant music, and excellent writing backed up by brilliant execution by the director, this movie tells a tale of love, sports politics in India, and casteism in an extremely “gripping and entertaining” manner. So, having watched this wonderful Bollywood movie in a theater, here is presenting an analysis explaining “why” this film is such a great watch.

Protagonists Zoya Hussain and Vineet Kumar Singh in a scene from Mukkabaaz (Source: MensXP.com)

1. The “Brilliant” story, dialogues, and screenplay of Mukkabaaz:

Jimmy Shergill as the main antagonist Bhagwan Das Mishra in a scene from Mukkabaaz (Source: IMDb)

“Engrossing, real, and powerful” would be the best way to describe the story of this Bollywood movie which has been written by Vineet Kumar Singh, Anurag Kashyap, Mukti Singh Srinet, KD Satyam, Ranjan Chandel, and Prasoon Mishra. Furthermore, the story revolves around a boxer named Shravan Singh (Vineet Kumar Singh) coached by Sanjay Kumar (Ravi Kishan) and belonging to a town called Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, who falls in love with a mute girl named Sunaina (Zoya Hussain). Adding complexity to the love story is that while Shravan belongs to a “lower caste”, Sunaina is from a “upper cast” and is the niece of a tyrant mafia don named Baghwan Das Mishra (Jimmy Shergill) who controls the local gymnasium. The rest of the plot basically deals with the fascinating “professional and personal” tussle between Shravan and Bhaghwan Das.

The screenplay of this movie written by Kashyap is extremely “flowing” and is spiced up by the use of “Beef politics”, “Casteism” and “Sports politics in India” . While the dialogues written are real, and for once the use of abusive language in a Kashyap film has been avoided, which is extremely refreshing.

2. The “Excellent” editing and cinematography of Mukkabaaz:

Ravi Kishan as Sanjay Kumar in a scene from Mukkabaaz (Source: The Indian Express)

Overall, the editing by Aarti Bajaj and Ankit Bidyadhar is “neat” however, it must be said that this Bollywood movie could trimmed by about 15 minutes at least so as to make the narrative much more streamlined and interesting. The cinematography by Jayesh Nair, Shanker Raman, Rajeev Ravi, and Jay Patel, is “terrific”, and captures the “rustic” and “tribal” atmosphere surrounding small town north India in an extremely realistic manner. In addition, the boxing sequences have been shot extremely well, and perfectly capture the essence of boxers slugging it out in the ring.

3. The “mind-blowing” music of Mukkabaaz:

DJ Nucleya, the music director of the popular song “Paintra” in Mukkabaaz (Source: Hindustan Times)

“Magnificent” is the ideal adjective that can be used to describe the manner in which music of this Bollywood movie  composed by Rachita Arora and DJ Nucleya have been used. The songs “Paintra”, “Mushkil Hai Apna Meil Priye”, and “Bhaut Hua Sanman” are brilliant musical compositions but, more importantly have been used as a “storytelling tool” that actually takes the narrative forward rather than just a “showpiece”.  Furthermore, the wonderful music is backed up by an “superb” background score by Prashant Pillai that captures the “intense” drama in the narrative quite beautifully.

4. The “Powerful” performances and the “Visionary” direction of Mukkabaaz:

Anand L Rai and Anurag Kashyap, producer and director of Mukkabaaz (Source: Deccan Chronicle)

“Real and raw performances” are what the entire star cast of this brilliant Bollywood movie has delivered.  As Sanjay Kumar the coach of Shravan, Ravi Kishan (the Bhojpuri megastar) is great and delivers a very restrained yet real performance. Jimmy Shergill as Bhagwan Das Mishra the main antagonist is brilliant, and brings out the “evil” that resides within the “casteist” Indian society with great panache. However, the movie belongs to the lead protagonists played by Vineet Kumar Singh and debutante Zoya Hussain who are truly brilliant. As a lower caste boxer Shravan, Kumar brings to life the angst against the system that sadly resides in upcoming sportsmen and women in India. On the other hand, debutante Hussain as Sunaina a mute girl with a mind of her own and the better half of the boxer is excellent and confidently portrays her emotions through equal use of body and sign language. However, it is antagonist Bhagwan Das Mishra played by Jimmy Shergill (known for portraying softer characters) who through this “knock out performance” shocks and literally gives the face of “evil” a completely new makeover.

Above all though, it is the visionary direction provided by Anurag Kashyap that makes Mukkabaaz such an entertaining and engaging movie. So be it the use of real locations, great camerawork, or use of brilliant music and background score, the director brilliantly manages to fuse these key movie making elements together to produce an excellent film that not only “educates” but “entertains” as well. More importantly, Kashyap (who is also one the writers of this film) quite courageously takes a typical “Bollywood Movie Template” i.e. a love story filled with obstacles, and produces a thrilling movie combining “facts and fiction” rather than “fantasy and fiction”, which a majority of the directors in Bollywood unfortunately tend to do.

And so, having thoroughly enjoyed watching this Bollywood movie directed by the mercurial Anurag Kashyap, here is hoping that the films he directs in the future continues to “pack a punch” in terms of critical acclaim as well as success at the box office.



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'A knockout punch' is what one experiences while watching the Bollywood movie Mukkabaaz directed by Anurag Kashyap. Comprising of some outstanding performances from the entire star cast, some brilliant music, and excellent writing backed up by brilliant execution by the director, this movie tells a tale of love, sports...