Ugly Review: The name says it all!
Ugly Review: The name says it all!
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 26 December 2014
Ronit Roy, Surveen Chawla, Girish Kulkarni, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Vineet Kumar Singh, Vipin Sharma, Rahul Bhat
The film is ugly from the word go, and only gets progressively ominous. No, you won't be chomping through your popcorn through this one. You won't have the appetite for it. Remember the saying about the glass half full or half empty? In Anurag Kashyap's 'Ugly' world, not only is the glass completely empty, it's also cracked and about to smash.
Within the first few minutes you have a suicide attempt by an alcoholic mother (gun in the mouth), a father who speaks filthy language in front of his child (the child puts her earphones on) and then proceeds to leave her in the car while he wraps up some work, and then the chilling development of the child's kidnapping.
Once the child Kali disappears, everyone's on the hunt. Or so it seems. The mother Shalini (Tejaswini Kolhapure) is either too drunk to decipher the situation or too depressed to care, we don't know. The father Rahul (Rahul Bhat), having incurred bruises on the face is more worried about that he may not get any film work. Shalini's second husband Shoumik (Ronit Roy), a high-ranking cop, suspects the father of kidnapping Kali, after all he left the kid in the car.
That the three ? Shalini, Rahul and Shoumik had an uneasy equation from an earlier time, adds fuel to the fire. Everyone's hurt for various reasons and this seems the perfect time to vent. Of course, the audience is horrified at these ugly characters that morbidly go about their personal agendas, pretending that finding the kidnapped girl is their primary concern.
While the characters are lovingly crafted, with their madness and ugliness disgusting us adequately?the film falters in showing a few key developments. The ransom portion involving Shalini is not convincing at all; neither is Rahul's desperate and unconventional attempt at raising the money.
You have an uncomfortable, queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach throughout, whether it's guessing who kidnapped the girl, to the spectacular, even if indulgent, police station scene where the father is trying to file a complaint, but the cops are too busy wringing him for his film star ambitions. But like the film, Anurag crams too much into that one portion, long after the scene has done its job.
The attention to detail in the film is a treat. Rahul's friend Chaitanya, a small-time casting director has an office in Naaz building and wears T-shirts that says, "Prem Rogue?. Rahul's struggling actor barely has money to take care of his family but we spot gigantic bottles of Whey Protein on the kitchen shelf.
The performances by the lead cast? Rahul Bhat, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Ronit Roy? is extraordinary. The peripheral cast including Vineet Kumar Singh as Chaitanya, Girish Kulkarni as a cop and Surveen Chawla as Shalini's friend is equally adept.
The sharply written dialogue, consistently foreboding background score and superb cinematography are further treats in the movie.
The film is based on true events, and indeed, as Anurag has mentioned in numerous interviews, there are thousands of children that get kidnapped, never to be found. It's a gruesome reality, which he tries to mirror in this film. But one wishes writer-director Anurag Kashyap had exercised some caution while making some of the scenes so graphic and morbid. There are ways of implying that a situation has occurred rather than showing it for effect.
Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur, Dev.D, Black Friday) gives us a film that represents a disturbing reflection of life. It's a film where there are only villains in varying degrees and no heroes. It reminds you of his 2011 film ?That Girl in Yellow Boots'.In the end, 'Ugly' is a fairly gripping film that?s also exhaustingly melancholic and cynical. After all, it does seem unreasonable to view the world only through smog-tinted glasses!
Rating: Three stars