The only Indian film at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival is a biopic on Mary Kom, a five-time world champion female boxer from India. The film, titled as "Mary Kom," stars former Miss World Priyanka Chopra.
The movie, produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and directed by Omung Kumar, was one of the first movies to be shown at the festival. TIFF, like several other major film festivals around the world, prefers movies with the "world premiere" status. "Mary Kom," scheduled to be released in India on Friday, premiered at TIFF 2014 on Thursday, Sept. 4. Former Miss World Priyanka Chopra, who has dramatically evolved over the years from being a ramp model to an accomplished actress in her native country, plays the Olympian in the movie.
According to Daily Mail, the strongest point in the movie is Chopra herself. The real life story of the boxer is quite "remarkable." Chopra gives a "knockout performance" in her convincing transitions "from a schoolgirl in pigtails to a battle-hardened mother of twins, hungry to get back into the ring." "And in the ring and in training, she looks like the real thing," the website said.
The movie, however, gets less appreciation back home in India as several Indian critics have already been unimpressed with it. While almost every critic speaks highly of Chopra's performance, several of them are critical about the lack of subtlety. First Post wrote that the movie had shown that Bollywood (Hindi movie industry in India) was still not "mature enough to tell India's stories." India Today blamed it for having "innumerable moments of restlessness in the film." "Mary Kom doesn't have enough to pack a punch," it said.
Chopra was in Toronto for the premiere. She said that it was a conscious decision to premiere the movie in Toronto as the global viewership for Indian films was opening up. She said that Indian viewers were more generous for films with a male protagonist. "If (the movie) ends up, you know, breaking those barriers, I think it'll change a lot of things for female actresses. I'm hoping for that and we've done our best," she said.
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