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Second Half, Direction Play Spoilsport!
Dec 26, 2014 03:32 PM 10435 Views





When a director like Anurag Kashyap comes up with a film, one can’t help but take notice and get curious by it. Though he has faltered with films like No Smoking and That Girl In Yellow Boots, he’s also delivered some brilliant films like Black Friday, Gulaal and of course Gangs Of Wasseypur series. Hence, when the promo of Ugly was unveiled last year, it immediately generated interest despite lacking star power and grandeur. And it was very saddening to see that the film was indefinitely delayed after Kashyap moved court to protest the Censor’s diktat of inserting anti-smoking disclaimers. And it was even more unfortunate that he lost the case despite being totally justified. He then got busy with his ambitious venture Bombay Velvet but 2 weeks back, he suddenly revealed that he’s releasing Ugly in the next 14 days, on December 26, and that too a week after PK! But alas! Ugly is average – yes, it has its moments but overall, one expected much better from Kashyap!

The story of the movie: Rahul(Rahul Bhat) is a struggling actor who has got divorced from Shalini(Tejaswini Kolhapure). Shalini now lives with their child Kali(Anshika Shrivastava) and is married to the tough cop, ACP Shoumik Bose(Ronit Roy). Story begins on a Saturday which is when Rahul is allowed to meet Kali. He takes her out with her in his car and at one point, when he steps out of the vehicle to meet his casting director friend Chaitanya(Vineet Singh), Kali suddenly goes missing. Naturally, ACP Bose gets involved and this becomes a high priority case for the policemen. Rahul, Shalini and Shoumik don’t have a fine relationship with each other and Kali’s missing incident brings out the worst or rather the most ‘ugly’ side of theirs and also of others who get involved.

As the name of the film suggests, Ugly is quite ‘ugly’ – dark, disturbing and depressing. Nothing is happy-go-lucky or hunky dory out here, which is completely fine. The film begins with a bang and immediately sucks the viewers into the dark world of its principle characters. The chase sequence is terrific and the following scene at the police station is just out of this world – definitely, one of the most memorable sequences in years! It’ll surely be uploaded by some fan later on on YouTube with ‘Ugly – scene in the police station’ title and would be seen by lakhs of people! The twist in the tale comes across in the first 30 minutes which definitely is quite startling. The flashback portions help viewers better understand the dynamics of the relationship. In short, everything is fine till the intermission point. It’s in the second half when the film goes downhill. Inexplicable developments take place and what’s worse is that it fails to look convincing after a point. Hence, the charm that was created in the first half loses its sheen later on. The film’s ending should have been shocking but instead, it gives an underwhelming feeling.

However, no complaints when it comes to performances though. Rahul Bhat who rose to fame with the TV show Heena is a powerhouse of talent and effectively plays the victim and villain. Especially his vulnerable side comes out very nicely. Hope he gets more and better roles after Ugly! Ronit Roy is bound to send a chill down the spine. If you thought he was scary in Udaan and Boss, then you are in for a lot of shock and scare in Ugly! Without doubt, he’s one of the finest actors that we have who knows how to play a horrifying negative lead! Tejaswini Kolhapure proves that she’s a very fine actor and leaves a very huge mark in some scenes. Vineet Singh has a very important part to essay and he gets the nuances totally right which was very crucial for the film. Another actor that saves the day to an extent is Girish Kulkarni(Inspector Jadhav). He looked every inch a policeman and is responsible for the success of the police station scene! An actor to watch out for! Siddhant Kapoor(Siddhant) is fine in his supporting role. Surveen Chawla(Rakhee) looks sizzling and gives a superb performance. Anshika Shrivastava is quite decent.

Brian McOmber’s background score goes well with the film. Nikos Andritsakis’s cinematography is raw and quite novel in few sequences that makes for a great watch. Editing could have been better. Story(inspired from true events) is definitely quite interesting and made for a great film story. But Anurag Kashyap the writer is let down by Anurag Kashyap the director. He keeps viewers hooked with the ‘what-will-happen-next’ feeling but after a point, the plot goes haywire. And when the whole picture is unveiled in the end, the impact generated is thanda which shouldn’t have been the case. Here’s hoping Anurag Kashyap’s next Bombay Velvet makes for a great entertaining fare!

On the whole, Ugly boast of a great plot, performances and terrific first half. But things go downhill in the second half. The direction plays spoilsport which is when the desired impact is not generated, despite the very shocking climax. Sadly, an average fare!

P.S.: Watch out for Alia Bhatt in a blink-and-you-miss-scene!

My rating - ** ½

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