Mary Kom is a 2014 Indian Hindi-language biographical sports film directed by Omung Kumar and produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film stars Priyanka Chopra in the lead role of the eponymous boxer, with Darshan Kumar and Sunil Thapa in supporting roles of her husband and mentor, respectively. Mary Kom depicts Kom’s journey of becoming a boxer to her victory at the 2008 World Boxing Championships in Ningbo. The film marks the Hindi playback singing debut of Chopra, who provided her vocals for a song named “Chaoro” (a lullaby).
Mary Kom was developed by writer Saiwyn Quadras, who suggested the storyline to Kumar when Kom was not a familiar name in India despite her numerous achievements. Kumar met Kom to ask her permission for the film, before her bronze medal victory at the 2012 Summer Olympics, which brought her recognition. Chopra underwent extensive physical training for four months to attain a muscular physique and learned the sport and Kom’s distinct boxing style. Principal photography started in June 2013 at Filmistan, where the boxing sequences were filmed. After plans to shoot in Kom’s hometown, Manipur, were dropped due to safety concerns, Mary Kom was shot in Dharamshala and Manali, where a major portion of Manipur was recreated.
The film premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, becoming the first Hindi film to be screened on the opening night of the festival. Made on a budget of ₹180 million, Mary Kom was released on 5 September 2014 to generally positive reviews with praise for Chopra’s performance. Upon its release, the film recorded the highest opening weekend of all time for a female-led Indian film. The film was a box office success, grossing ₹1.04 billion at the box office. Mary Kom is also ranked among the highest-grossing Indian films led by a female actor.
Mary Kom received several accolades at award ceremonies across India. The film won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Film and Best Actress for Chopra. Additionally, Chopra won the Screen Award and the Producers Guild Film Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
A young Mangte Chungeijang Kom, daughter of a rice farmer from Imphal, Manipur, finds a boxing glove in the remains of an air crash in 1991 in Kangathei. Kom is fascinated by the glove and grows up taking keen interested in boxing, despite her father’s disapproval. During an early fight, she chases a boy and ends up in a boxing gym. After realising that the coach of the gym, Narjit Singh, was also the coach of the Asian champion Dingko Singh, Kom tells him about her boxing aspirations. He asks her to visit the gym for the next thirty days and says that he will only teach her if she is deserving enough. She starts visiting the gym, informing her mother but not her father. Days pass but her coach does not enquire about her. Due to Kom’s dedication and stubbornness, Singh starts training her. Later, he suggests changing her name to Mary Kom.
Kom challenges a local wrestler for money, in order get a household cow back, which the family had to sell off because of their financial troubles. This is where she meets the footballer Onler Kom. After winning the state-level championship, her father confronts her for keeping her involvement in the sport from him. When her father asks her to choose between him and boxing, she reluctantly chooses the sport. After watching her victorious 2002 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships match on television, her father reconciles with Kom, and apologises to her for not understanding her passion for the sport. Meanwhile, Onler proposes to her and agrees never to ask her to quit boxing. After she wins the 2006 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championships, Kom agrees to marry him much to her coach’s dissatisfaction. After the marriage, Kom gets pregnant and gives up her career to look after her family.
Kom gives birth to twins and applies for a government job. However, she refuses the position of a police constable, feeling that as a world-champion boxer, she deserves better. It devastates her to learn that people no longer recognise her. Onler encourages her to restart her boxing training. She joins the gym again, leaving her husband to look after the twins at home. Her coach is still upset about her decision to marry, but Kom makes a comeback in the National Boxing Championship. Despite performing better than her opponent, she loses the match due to the apparent partiality of the judges. Kom throws a chair in anger towards them, resulting in a ban. She later writes an apology letter, and the official accepts it, but only after insulting her.
Kom then convinces Narjit Singh to train her, as she thinks that he is the one who can get the best out of her. After completing her training, she participates in the 2008 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and reaches the finals. Meanwhile, Onler informs her about one of her children having ventricular septal defect. In the subsequent fight, Kom fails to defend herself. After a knockout punch from her opponent, Kom hallucinates about her husband and children in the audience. She regains her strength and fights back, winning the championship. On the podium while accepting the medal, she learns that her son’s surgery was successful. Later, she is given the nickname “Magnificent Mary”, with the Indian flag waving and the Indian national anthem playing in the background.
Priyanka Chopra as Mary Kom
Sunil Thapa as M. Narjit Singh
Darshan Kumar as Onler Kom
Robin Das as Mangte Tonpa Kom
Rajni Basumatary as Mangte Akham Kom
Lin Laishram as Bem-Bem
Bijou Thaangjam as Naobi
Zachary Coffin as German boxing coach
Bandari Raghavendra as Peter Michael
Raghav Tiwari as Mangi
Shishir Sharma as National team coach
Shakti Sinha as S. Sharma
Kenny Basumatary as Jimmy
Ritika Murthy as journalist
Raghav Tiwari as Mangi
Binud Kumbang as Lalboi
Pabitra Rabha Jalah as Asong
Ramendra Vasishth as Federation official’s assistant
Rajesh Nigam as Federation official’s assistant
Deepak Kumar Singh as Alberto
Mridul Satam as Young Mary Kom
Credits adapted from Bollywood Hungama.