Film: Ugly

Cast: Rahul Bhat, Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Surveen Chawla

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Storyline: Shalini essayed by Tejaswini Kolhapure is a middle-class housewife forced to stay at home by her second husband, police chief Bose Shoumik played by Ronit Roy. She considers to commit suicide, and is about to shoot herself in the head with her husband’s gun when she is interrupted by her daughter, Kali essayed by Anishika Shrivastava.

Unaware of her mother’s activities moments earlier, Kali asks her mother to call her estranged father, Shalini’s ex-husband, Rahul (Rahul Bhatt). It’s a Saturday, and Kali’s day with her father as decided in the custody agreement from the divorce.

Rahul, an aspiring actor struggling to make it big, comes to take her for a drive but ignores her in favor of phone calls made to try to further his career. Finally, Rahul leaves Kali alone in the car to go to an audition and to check in with his agent, Chaitanya (Vineet Kumar Singh). When he returns to the car, Kali is missing.

Rahul first searches for Kali through the police, Chaitanya in tow. The local police-captain, Jadhav (Girish Kulkarni), does not take Rahul seriously until he realizes that Kali is the stepdaughter of the police-chief. Bose, out of hatred for Rahul, orders Jadhav to accuse Rahul of the kidnapping and to torture both Rahul and Chaitanya to interrogate and punish them. A game of one-upmanship follows as Rahul and Bose search for Kali while simultaneously attempting to upstage the other.

Review: Unexpectedness is a given in Anurag Kashyap's world of the dreadful and the damned. The film begins with Tejaswini Kolhapure making a stunning comeback after years of uncertainty, contemplating death.

Human nature, by its very nature, is rotten and to the core. You cannot escape your basic nature of self-serving greed. Everyone in 'Ugly' craves for something more than what he or she has in life. It may not be a better life, but there is a hankering for escape.

Fathers, mothers, friends and lovers were never meant to behave the way they do in Kashyap's kingdom of the doomed and the damned. The camera (Nikos Andritsakis) looks on with brazen brutality at the below-the-belt antics of an inebriated unbalanced mother(Tejaswini Kolhapure), her policeman-husband (Ronit Roy, sturdy and sinister), her former husband (Rahul Bhat, immersed in angst) and his best friend (the natural-born scene-stealer Vineet Kumar Singh).

All the characters seem to have a happier back-story, which given the present crisis-ridden context in their lives, seems like a cruel joke.

'Ugly' is a beautiful portrayal of the squalidity that swamps the human soul. The characters are ruthless, dark, desperate and dangerous, more to themselves than others.

This is a thriller which leaves us with a sense of utter futility about the quality of life that we lead.

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