Life is a tangle of relationships and desire and we, humans are at the crux of it. We take the center stage and plot a play that diversifies and mystifies our life. It either makes our struggles worth the efforts or it simply turns out to be vain. Life is so much, so much more than what we live. It isn’t routine, it comes with frustration of routine. It isn’t love, it comes with loveless living. It isn’t tangible, it comes with everything that’s intangible. It is desire and it is much more. It is simple and it is Ugly! Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly harps on these premises of life and weaves an intriguing tale of complicated relationships.
The film’s story takes off with a 10-year-old being kidnapped. This leads to a series of suspicions, investigation, chase and heated arguments. While the story is simple, it shows us the vile side of humanity. It cruises through the dark trenches of Mumbai. It is gruesome as it wades through a maze of complicated relationships and desires that take a life of an innocent. It is fascinating but not entirely. This 127 minute long film isn’t one of those crime-thrillers which will keep you glued to the edge of your seat, for it has one too many loose ends and unnecessary drama. However, Kashyap magnificently uses silence as a potent tool in the film. But unlike most of his film this film is sans social and political insinuations. Too many blank screens and abrupt cuts are another folly of the master auteur.
The film despite being a crime-thriller doesn’t have too much of gory blood baths and violence, it thrives of human feelings and aggression. It gives a way to the human insecurities and wrong perceptions through the sprightly dialogues that are used. By showing the darkness and dim lit sets, Kashyap ably points out at the grimy spirits that lurk throughout the film. The climax of the film is way too cruel and spine-chilling; it almost leaves you numb and sore with grief. The imagery leaves us unsettled.
Considering the story is of essence here we need not speak about the performances. All the acts put up are decent but Ronit Roy and Vineet Singh are show stealers here. They are focused and firm with their characters while others tend to loosen up in some spaces. The character of Rakhee Malhotra played by Surveen Chawla looks forced and the film could have done well without it. Speaking of Siddhant Kapoor, he replicates his father, Shakti Kapoor, as he delves into insanity of his character.
Overall, the film is ruffled, layered and although this is not the best film of Anurag Kashyap yet it has finesse and fineness to it.