MOVIE REVIEW: UGLY IS A DISGUSTING FILM


I walked into the movie hall thinking this film would be Anurag Kashyap’s worst. This is also perhaps the first movie review in ages, for which I wrote down sub-heads; because I wanted to make this a 500 word review. (Yeah, that didn't happen!)



The Review

A dead man lays on the road- his head open and upper body crushed. A man is bludgeoned to death with a brick, while yet another is held by his testicles by an admirably vulturous looking woman. These are merely sparse scenes from Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly.

Ugly is brave, shameless, unapologetic, disgusting, in parts repulsive and that is perhaps why...Ugly is beautiful.

The story is simple and that is the last time I will use ‘simple’ as an adjective in this review. The movie starts when a little girl gets kidnapped due to a negligent father. However the story begins much earlier, for me at least. 

The narrative sputters to a start and gradually consumes you with one brilliantly crafted scene after another. The father of the missing girl Rahul (played by Rahul Bhatt) along with his friend Chaitanya (Vineet Kumar Singh) go to a police station to file a report about the missing girl. Here they are met a clichéd Indian cop- one who couldn’t care less.

We’ve seen the nonchalant attitude of Indian cops in many films but, none captures and projects the emotions of such a scenario like this one scene does. So much so, that the audience is divided into two: Those who laugh at the dark humour and, those who feel the genuine irk that the characters presumably would have felt.

Not to forget a third set of people like me who were probably mentally applauding the screenplay and the way it was captured on film (I would have said memory card but it just doesn’t have the same romantic effect!).

The story progresses and we’re introduced to the kind of characters that are trademark ingredients of an Anurag Kashyap movie. 

Tejaswini Kohlapure plays Shalini; the missing girl’s mother and Rahul’s ex-wife. Ronit Roy plays Shoumik Bose, the missing girl’s step father and top cop. Who has a bone to pick with Rahul and Shalini because of how they bullied him back when they were together in college. No one could have essayed the role better than him!

Girish Kulkarni plays the irritating cop Jhadav who initially files the FIR. Although later he goes on to provide both dark comic relief in a juicy skill packed  performance. Vineet Kumar shines as Chaitanya and performs more than brilliantly.  Surveen Chawla plays a sensuous gold digging, vulturous item girl and does it beautifully- she almost reminds me of Kalki and Mahie from Dev-D and more.

PS- Vulturous is apparently not really a word but I like it.

G.V. Prakash Kumar and Brian McOmber have provided the kind of non-intrusive music you aren’t used to hearing in an Indian movie. Kudos to them for that! Aarti Bajaj has clearly done a brilliant job of editing everything Nikos shot. There are moments when you can almost tell that the edit held the pace- which makes it rather interesting.

Final Take

I wish Anurag Kashyap went the whole mile, I wish he didn’t hold back, I wish he was a little wilder and I wish he didn’t stuff so many characters in one movie. Because I loved them all! I want to watch more of them all... but alas! I can’t. I got on board whatever ride he was taking me on but, right when I would begin to relish the kind of dark brilliance one usually has to watch good Hollywood or foreign language films for... the ride stopped.

Yet, I think this is a huge leap for Indian Cinema like all Kashyap films. I hope the fame and money he has gotten so far and will hopefully get more of in the future, empowers him further as a filmmaker. Oh also, I didn’t say this anywhere in my review but, this film explores human relationships in a way that some might find uncomfortable and dark (compared to you know the other stuff we watch). It might not be your thing if you are not willing to accept the disgusting things that happen in our society. This is not a film for those who wish to live obliviously.

Overall... Yes. Go watch Ugly.

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Comments

  1. The 'disgusting' in the headline was clearly a puller. Great review! :)
    Waiting to be back in Delhi soon so as to catch the film before it goes out of the theaters.

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