Directed by Anurag Kashyap, Ugly is yet another piece of realistic cinema from the filmmaker who is considered one of the flag-bearers of parallel cinema or indie cinema in India.
A film that garners applause on many international platforms is certainly a good film, even though it doesn’t cater to the taste of the majority. Director Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly is one of those films with intense cinematic value.
Kashyap who is known for his realistic films such as Satya, Paanch, Black Friday, and Gangs of Wasseypur has yet again proved his mettle with Ugly – an extreme, dark, and hard-hitting thriller.
Ugly starts with the kidnapping of a child named Kali who happens to be the daughter of a struggling actor Rahul (Rahul Bhat) and the stepchild of a police officer named Soumik (Ronit Roy).
Now, here the complex part is Kali’s mother Shalini (Tejaswini Kolhapure), a melancholic woman with deep suicidal tendencies, who is now married to Soumik. All three of them have known each other since their school days.
So, when Kali disappears, Soumik accuses Rahul of being the culprit while both find the recent happenings around them very confusing. All the characters in the film seem to have been driven by their selfish motives and insecurities in life while trying to gain from the evilest thing.
Kashyap’s attempt is indeed genuine by portraying the ugliness behind every face that often comes to the fore under grim circumstances.
If there is anything that I don’t like about the film, it is probably the climax; even though everyone’s focal point is finding the girl, the ending almost comes as a coincidence. I am not too sure of the idea behind this; probably the filmmaker doesn’t have too many options in such an interlaced storyline.
Performance-wise, Ugly is probably one of those films with an interesting cast. Rahul Bhatt as a struggling actor, well-known Marathi actor Girish Kulkarni as the goofy inspector, Tejaswini Kolhapure as a lonely distressed wife, and Ronit Roy as a disciplined cop, are simply amazing to watch.
Finally, I must say that Ugly is NOT for everyone to watch, particularly not for those who only search for typical Bollywood entertainment with song and dance. If you are fond of indie cinema or those familiar with the new wave cinema in Bollywood, this is indeed a must-watch.
Starring: Rahul Bhat, Ronit Roy, Girish Kulkarni, Siddhanth Kapoor, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Vipin Sharma, Vineet Kumar Singh, Anshika Shrivastava, Surveen Chawla
Written and directed by Anurag Kashyap
Release Date/Year: 24 May 2013 (Cannes); 26 December 2014 (India)