Picture Post-Mortem: Ugly

Trust Anurag Kashyap to shake your senses, and stir your idea of conventional cinema. Of Indian cinema at least. Kashyap’s mastery lies in portraying real characters, of tracing the underbelly of the actual world, and depicting it all with shrewd honesty.

Kashyap’s latest directorial venture, ‘Ugly’ packs all the trademark punches. The realism, the grit, the dark wit. It’s all there. You stay involved. It’s a thriller which manages to keep you on the cliched edge-of-the-seat. The ending may not be an extravagant revelation, but then it’s a mirror of the dystopian society Anurag Kashyap’s movies are generally set in. The exaggeration is there, but never pinches.

Rahul Bhat plays a struggling actor, trying to gain a foothold in the fast-paced city of Mumbai. He’s divorced, and has a daughter from his short-lived marriage. The wife, Tejaswini Kolhapuri, has suicidal tendencies living a closed life. She remarries. This time to a police officer, Ronit Roy. Roy has his own insecurities, and taps his wife’s phone. Rahul and Tejaswini’s daughter goes missing, and the maze gets entangled.

Beyond the leading characters, the film has an impressive cast which delivers excellent screen presence. Girish Kulkarni portraying the role of a Marathi police inspector is a treat to watch. He has been aptly applied in a ten minute long police station scene, laced with dry humor and sharp acting prowess.

The acting is one of the strong pillars in this character driven plot. As the story progresses, amid the rising tension and building narrative, layers beyond layers of each character is uncovered. The story is pacy and promises shock value. In the complexly intertwined lives, Kashyap finds an ugly set of grey shades. This is the modern city of Mumbai, much beyond touristy lines. And Ugly comes out beautifully.

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