Heart. Blood. Sweat. Soul. I've given it my all. Over to you guys now! #MaryKomFirstLook #FightLikeAGirl ..here goes pic.twitter.com/GNAZsz7MWN
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) July 14, 2014
To be fair to Priyanka, one of the biggest problems I have with Mary Kom: The Film is the same problem I have with ANY "biopic" of a person in living memory--namely that it erases the real person and replaces them with a glossier, less edgy, less complex, and more societally acceptable version of themselves. I will never forget the day I stumbled across the mass market tie-in paperback of A Beautiful Mind--a biography of John Nash--with freaking RUSSELL CROWE'S FACE ON THE FRONT! I mean… what? There's just something really, really creepy about it, as if we're celebrating the accomplishments of a real person as if some actor did them instead.
So, to be fair to Priyanka, that's already how I feel about biopics.
But, on the other hand, training for "two years" to make a boxing movie is not the same as what Mary Kom went through.
But, on the other hand, Mary Kom is a real athlete not a former model. She's not glamorous or coquettish. She's tough, determined, capable.
And, perhaps most glaringly, Mary Kom is from Manipur in Northeast India and looks like she is from Manipur in Northeast India, which Priyanka Chopra most certainly does not. While this would be fine if the film was a fictional "inspired by" account, the fact that it's called MARY KOM when girls that look like the real Mary Kom are getting called "chinky" on the streets of Delhi… it's really galling.
I'm sure Mary herself is crying all the way to the fancy dress store and she absolutely deserves to enjoy her brush with filmi glamour to the utmost. I would never begrudge her that.
But. BUT, as a person who cares about these kinds of image-related issues and women's issues and a life-long despiser of biopics for all the reasons listed above, I reserve the right to be snarky about this. Priyanka's loud publicity machine should not erase the real image of the real athlete from collective memory:
(Both photos courtesy of Mary's official site)