#Ugly #HindiBollywoodFilmmovieReview #JohnsonThomas Rating: * * *

#Ugly #HindiBollywoodFilmmovieReview #JohnsonThomas Rating: * * *

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#Ugly(Hindi) Rating: * * * A sort of ‘Mardani’ through a much more convoluted warp-edged male gaze. It’s more about intra-relationship politics than about the issue of child-trafficking. A familial dystopia that is interesting but it does not exactly make you revisit the animal inside you mainly because the characters in the interplay are all a little too conveniently involved with each other- and therefore doesn’t exactly ring true entirely. Edgy treatment and sharply rendered performances make it somewhat worthwhile though. #AnuragKashyap #VikramadityaMotvane #VikasBahl #RahulBhatt #RonitRoy #DarMotionPictures #PhantomProductions #SpicePR
#NightAtTheMuseum3SecretofTheTomb(English) Rating: * * ½  A franchise that appears to have overstayed it’s welcome, this 3rd episode doesn’t try too hard to either be funny or exciting. At best it’s faintly amusing and has some interesting moments.The addition of well known comedians to accompany #BenStiller in his buffoonery only makes it an under achiever of sorts! #FoxStar #ParagDesai #UniversalCommunications #RobinWilliams#MickeyRooney #OwenWilson #RebelWilson #DickVanDyke #BenKingsley#SteveCoogan #RamiMalek #FoxStar #ParagDesai #UniversalCommunications
#RomeoAndJuliet(English/LiveTheatreOnFilm) Rating: * * *
#RomeoAndJuliet(English/LiveTheatreOnFilm) Rating: * * * Helmed by David Leveaux, the gritty, contemporary staging of Romeo and Juliet, staged on Broadway, has been brought to you on film by Emmy award winning Don Roy King, distributed by PVRLive in India.The highlight is of course the inter-racial pairing of Hollywood heartthrob Orlando Bloom essaying Romeo opposite Condola Rashad as Juliet. It’s Shakespeare alright but not all quite there either! .#OrlandoBloom #PVRLive #DavidLeveaux #CondolaRashad#AvianMedia #SaniyaTendulkar #NetheerlanderTheatre #Screenvision #BroadwayHD #DonRoyKing #OrlandoBloom #PVRLive #AvianMedia #SaniyaTendulkar #NetheerlanderTheatre #


#BestFilms(Releases)This Week19thDec2014/#JohnsonThomas


Hindi Film review
Johnson Thomas
Edgy Familial Dystopia
Film: Ugly
Cast: Ronit Roy, Rahul Bhatt,Tejaswini Kolhapure ,Siddhant Kapoor, Surveen Chawla, Jayant Ghadekar, Girish Kulkarni, Vineet Kumar Singh
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Rating: * * *

Anurag Kashyap’s attempts to chart a new course for Bollywood with his brand of edgy stylized realism have borne some fruit in the past decade or so. With the steady stream of  talented young directors striving to create a new idiom for artily inclined cinema intent on creating a viable commercial platform, that is in fact a given.  ‘Ugly’ is yet another effort in that respect but certainly not of as high an order as his ‘Black Friday’ or ‘Gangs of Wasseypur.’ As in all his films the central characters here don’t exactly play fair or have an acceptable social conscience.  They are in fact the dregs of society who outwardly occupy acceptable spaces in the echelons but behind the curtains their decrepit morality is cringe-inducing. And that’s exactly what Anurag Kashyap plays around with here.
Soumik(Ronit Roy) is a senior cop in the Detection unit of the Mumbai police. His whisky guzzling depressive wife Shalini(Tejaswini Kolhapure) is kept on a tight leash financially and is constantly watched over by his minions. Ten year old Kali is her daughter from her first marriage to unsuccessful aspiring actor Rahul kapoor nee Varshey(Rahul Bhat). The adult trio in fact have a history of being in the same college with both men vying for  Shalini’s affections. The unsuccessful one at that was of course Soumik. So he is now perennially angry and out to avenge his one public humiliation at the hands of Rahul. His eventual marriage to Shalini also happens to be one step in that direction. So when the little girl goes missing from a parked car in a crowded vicinity and no one is any the wiser about having seen her, it’s his turn again to enter the picture and vent his frustrations on the hapless father who comes in to report the ‘missing’ complaint.

The anomalous narrative plays shadow boxing with each characters’ possible motives springing up convoluted reasoning for almost every character in the interplay to be suspect. It even comes to a point when you begin to wonder at the writer’s mental make-up.  Take for instance Soumik Bose- once rejected in love and victorious in his second assay as ‘Knight in shining armour,’ he is too warped mentally to be able to appreciate his good fortune. He doesn’t have sex with his wife and all his free time while on duty is concerned with having flashbacks about his naiveté while at college and listening in on conversations his strategically imprisoned wife makes with her strange bedfellows. At home he is barely civil to that same once coveted epitome of  beauty.  He is also quite unusually on the spot whenever the director wants him to be- and that’s practically everytime there’s some incident with relation to his family. And you wouldn’t be surprised to know that he stays on the ball about his family by using the cop-offices to  do his dirty sneaky deeds. He is also so decrepit as to even listen to those said conversations enroute to crime scenes. With that kind of baggage and very little appreciable human emotion to go with it, there’s not much likelihood that anyone in the audience could be rooting for him. Shalini again is no victim. She is quite unlike any mother we have seen in bollywood. She feeds her kid milk laced with sleeping powder just so she can gain the sexual attention of her first husband’s casting director friend(Vineet Kumar Singh). She also promptly drops her husband for the one she once rejected just because he appears on the scene just when she needs succor and was also conveniently positioned financially to take care of her- more so than her jobless husband could. Then there’s her delinquent  brother(Siddhant Kapoor) who specializes in being in debt and coming up with criminally minded hare-brained schemes to get out of hot water. He is also always seeking help from his sister and even has the temerity to visit his steely current bro-in-law in the cop-station just so that he can get the latter interested in one such potentially profitable scheme. The casting director, possibly the main suspect as he is the one the script focuses on right from the point of  reporting the abduction, plays his own games using VOIP and other recording devices to muddy the waters. He is also conveniently placed to have brief flings with Shalini and her friend Rakhee Malhotra(Surveen Chawla) married to an ageing producer and is in the moment seeking sex from Rahul. The casting director is also one to suggest possible ways( like rob a jewelry store) for Rahul to cough up the ransom. 
Scattered somewhere in between all this is the kidnapping of a young girl and a possible child-trafficking motive that spans the length and breadth of this country. With so many motives and culprits to keep track of, there’s very little chance of an immersive engagement. Also developing empathy for any of the characters is impossible to say the least. The kid of course is completely lost in the schematic shadow play.

The convoluted nature of the entire set-up is quite emblematic in a sense. Is Anurag Kashyap the writer-director seeking to mirror the true nature of the characters that people his unfettered imagination?   Well… it seems like that to me. The dystopian edginess consistently rendered throughout the film doesn’t exactly ring true. There is absolutely no light shining through this dark cloud. It’s as though Kashyap is trying to foist a world view colored by his own darkened imaginings. and it’s quite unrelenting in it’s internecine expansiveness.

What starts off as a gritty, stylized thriller bordering on human drama ends up becoming an over-the-top endurance run that tests both your resilience and patience. The incredulous nature of the scripting, the lack of unencumbered realism in the telling and the sheer obviousness of the stylization puts paid to complete enjoyment. There’s no doubting that Anurag Kashyap has the skill to make the filmed experience unique but to make the telling more involving he may well have to try harder. His actors though, manage to sharpen the experience quite a bit. And this despite the flawed characterizations at play here. Ronit Roy, Rahul Bhat, Tejaswini, Surveen, Girish Kulkarni all make the effort to keep it sharp but the entirety unfortunately doesn’t utilize it to solid effect!


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