Ugly at heart
Only Anurag Kashyap can show us that the milk of human kindness has long dried up. This film will shake you up, creep you out, and disturb your beliefs social niceties.
There are movies like 'It's a wonderful life' and then there are movies like Ugly. It's weird how Anurag Kashyap's movie about the seamier side of humanity releases when the social media is overrun with Secret Santa, Season Of Giving, Holiday Cheer, NORAD tracks Santa, and other emoticon riddled 'events'.
The last time I was disturbed by unexplained evil was a movie called The Grey, where a pack of wolves systematically track and tear apart people trekking through the snow. Not even Liam Neeson is spared. The evil in the eyes of those wolves may not be seen in the eyes of the characters in Ugly, but you know it is present, because you are afraid to see who is sitting behind you in the theater.
Even in The Grey, you know that the people are good and the animals are evil. Anurag Kashyap simply deletes the people, and shows us wolves. They skulk in the wings, hide behind their uniforms or stereotypes, they stalk, and then they jump at you, bared fangs, fur and claws.
Every character is fleshed out that way. The evil in some is hidden and it surfaces when you least expect it. Watch out for a dialog that simply states, '65 lakhs'. Anurag Kashyap manages to bomb this Bollywood bastion called 'Maa' forever.
The cop Jadhav (played by Girish Kulkarni), is so good, you want to slap him, stab him with the nearest blunt object repeatedly, and even throw a frustrated shoe at the screen. And that hasn't happened ever since Pran first kicked Ramu Kaka with his hessian boots and used his 'hunter' on hapless villagers.
Chaitanya, (played by Vineet Kumar Singh) is that friend you wish you never had. I wanted to help him meet his maker long before it happens on screen.
Imagine an audience who is used to Hum Saath Saath Hain suddenly wanting to end a friendship violently? Imagine an audience used to a fare of extra loud 'dhishum-dhishum' when the hero beats up baddies, being treated to real life sound of stone tearing flesh, smashing bone and blood.
There are many glitches in the story, and you know the director is waffling when a scene is set at a bar, there's a botched robbery scene and so on, but you don't mind the contrived turn the movie is taking. I did wonder about the forced intrusion of the computer experts and the supposed policemen being posted to keep a watch on suspects. Had they done their jobs, the culprits would have been found much earlier...
Even so, when the movie ends, you find your legs a little unsteady and your head pounding. You make your way to the nearest dive and hope alcohol will numb your ears to the sounds of wolves tearing away at human kindness.