A 10-year old girl is missing. Or kidnapped. Or murdered. And the cops at the nearest police station are busy scratching their nails deep into why actors change their names for screen and if everyone does it, why hasn’t Amitabh Bachchan done the same? This is a piece of reality anyone would relate to. Certainly, this doesn’t work in the favor. For that matter, even the departmental sniffer dog is also an inefficient one. But Anurag Kashyap never misses it, especially when it comes to paint the screen in the most under-lit shades. UGLY is dark, disturbing, real, riveting and one of the best thrillers in the lines of Kashyap’s earlier trysts with the genre; PAANCH & BLACK FRIDAY!
The college love-triangle usually flourishing in the most vivid Karan Johar style romantic dream world returns to the hard & harsh world of reality, handled in Anurag Kashyap fashion. The ‘Rahul’ boy with the most charming looks [Rahul Bhatt] here is now a struggling actor with a bottle of rum in one hand and packs of pre & post workout protein supplements on the upper rack in his room.
The girl in love [Tejaswini Kolhapure] has lost it completely. Her dream world is beaten, bashed and thrashed to the broken world of no hopes left. The silent-shy lover and the toughest cop in the circuit [Ronit Roy] do come to recue the girl but not without leaving his masculine ego to throw away lines like ‘tum bachi khuchi mili thin mujhe’. Circumstances bring both the contenders against when the daughter from the first marriage goes missing. And everyone is under the sharp knives of suspicion; from the real father and his friends to the step one!
Kashyap’s UGLI is a winning combo of brilliantly written characters, worth-watching performances and a perfect expertise on the execution level. The cinematography is extremely grasping, explosive and exact. The background score keeps the tension high on meter and constantly haunts for the rest. And then, the most enjoyable characters with their indefinite shades.
Girish Kulkarni as the ‘technology unconscious’ cop is both maddening and enjoyable. Vineet Kumar Singh is a shocking revelation. Watching him trying voice-modulation in one scene and his all swearing verbal outburst in the finale, is a rewarding experience. Tejaswini deserves a mention for playing hopeless soul torn between her miserable first choice and the unashamedly egoist savior in the second. Rahul Bhatt fearlessly shifts shades from a caring father to self-centered struggling actor. We have seen Ronit Roy as an arrogantly manipulative cop [in Akshay Kumar starrer BOSS] and a dominating male [in Kashyap produced UDAAN] before, but it looks like neither he’s done with it nor us. He’s repetitive but simply outstanding.
With UGLY, Anurag Kashyap returns to his territory where dark is the only illumination to reveal and discover one’s inner-self. The violent, sadistic, opportunist, selfish and vengeful self that come out in light only when it gets dark. And real. And well-suited. When a subordinate updates his chief about the missing girl being a fine-looking and that this could make it narrowing the search to the child-sex rackets, he realizes later that it is the father who he’s talking to. Nothing can be so terrifying for a father and a sensitive viewer too. Definitely, the world outside is dark. Watch it if you want to wake up yourself from laid-back dreams and don’t if you have a fragile heart. UGLY remains awesome, in both settings! [4/5]