Bollywood has produced a string of films which are based on some popular male figure or the other, but once in a blue moon it comes up with a film which takes its inspiration from a woman achiever. But debutant filmmaker Omung Kumar, who had previously assisted the movie maven Sanjay Leela Bhansali, took up the daunting task and made a film which will go down in history as one of the finest sports biopics featuring a female lead. Yes, we are talking about ‘Mary Kom’ (2014), which won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment at the 62nd National Film Awards.
As the name suggests itself, the movie was based on the life of boxer Mary Kom and her struggle to become one of the best known faces in the field of sports. The lady of undying spirit went on to clench the 2008 World Boxing Championships in Ningbo, along with winning a number of championships at home turn. Omung Kumar was so inspired by her life and her achievements that he decided to make his directorial debut with a film based on her life. His mentor Sanjay Leela Bhansali too liked the subject and decided to finance it along with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. They roped in former Miss World beauty pageant winner, Priyanka Chopra, in the titular role. PC gave her sweat and blood to perform the character as flawlessly as possible. She underwent extensive physical training and achieved the muscular physique which was needed for her character.
After being shot in 57 days over the course of two years, the film had its premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and became the first Hindi film to be screened on the opening night of the festival. Following its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the movie released in India on 5th September 2014 to excellent reviews. Some even described it as a motivational masterpiece. The audience too patronized the film and made it a success at the ticket window. Made on a moderate budget of Rs. 15 crores, the movie pulled in over Rs. 100 crores worldwide.