Directed by: Anurag Kashyap | 126 minutes | thriller | Actors: Rahul Bhat, Jayant Gadekar, Abir Goswami, Sandesh Jadhav, Siddhant Kapoor, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Girish Kulkarni, Murari Kumar, Ronit Roy, Anshikaa Shrivestava, Madhavi Singh, Vineet Singh
‘Ugly’ by one of India’s most captivating directors Anurag Kashyap is based on true events. And that makes the film all the more poignant and poignant. This grubby, urban thriller, which is not inferior to films by masters of the genre Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese, tells the story of the disappearance of a girl of ten, Kali. In the polluted, crowded metropolis of Bombay, she is kidnapped in broad daylight. After this, a shocking image of a thoroughly corrupt society unfolds.
Out of work actor Rahul (Rahul Bhat), Kali’s father, and his friend, casting agent Chaitanya (Vineet Singh), first scour the area around the scene of the disaster. Mask seller Shrilal (Murari Kumar), who runs his business nearby, is caught in possession of Kali’s phone. He runs away and Rahul and Chaitanya go in pursuit.
When Rahul and Chaitanya go to report the disappearance, they are not believed. In fact, Police Inspector Shaumik Bose (Ronit Roy) suspects Rahul is the evil genius behind the kidnapping. He, the new love interest of Rahul’s ex-wife Shalini (Tejaswini Kolhapure), first treats Rahul to a merciless beating before taking him into custody.
Rahul manages to escape and tries to find his missing daughter himself. Everyone involved is trying to get a slice of the kidnapped girl’s back. Mother Shalini, her teasing brother Siddhant (Siddhant Kapoor), ‘good friend’ Chaitanya and Rahul’s new free-range, Rakhi. They all turn out to be very interested in his / her way to ransom money and all try to make up for their miserable existence in this underhanded way. The opportunity makes the thief and thieves are it!
The alcoholic Shalini, caught in a loveless marriage to ‘hardline cop’ Shaumik (“You have to keep women short”), Shaumik, who eavesdrops on his wife and saddles her with a chaperone, Shalini’s failed brother, the debt-ridden Chaitanya, the disillusioned Rahul, frustrated but a loving father, desperate to find a job as a serious actor; the mutual connections are becoming clearer and that makes ‘Ugly’ an intense viewing experience.
Guilt, revenge, penance. It all comes along in this beautiful piece of ‘cinema noir’. Human weakness is portrayed in a disconcerting way. The atmospheric visual approach, dripping with sarcasm, is supported by a delightfully pulsating soundtrack. A system that is rotten in every layer is ruthlessly filleted. Overall the cast delivers an excellent performance, especially the hilarious reporting scene with the cynical local police chief Jadhav (Girish Kulkarni) is worth mentioning.
‘Ugly’ lives up to its name. A representation of India as a very ‘ugly’ country. Not for overly tender-hearted souls. Spicy seasoned food. ‘Ugly’ should not be missing from the movie menu of the true cinephile.