Movie Review FUGLY: ‘Rang De Basanti’ layer doesn’t help
Star Cast: Jimmy Sheirgill, Mohit Marwah, Vijender Singh, Arfi Lamba, Kiara Advani, Anshuman Jha;
Director : Kabir Sadanand
Four friends, one life-changing incident, in Jat-dominated Delhi. ‘F*UGLY* follows the footsteps of the films which take the national capital, throw in a bunch of youngsters, mix ‘em with a mad, bad character, and serve. The result isn’t exactly palatable.
The marker was ‘Delhi Belly’. Many imitations followed. Last year, it was ‘Fukrey’, in which a group of middle class boys ran afoul of a foul-mouthed female don. Now we have ‘F*UGLY’, which the filmmakers define as `Fighting the Ugly’, or some such, right when the opening credits roll. That in itself, and the things that follow, are worthy of an eye-roll.
Dev, Gaurav and Aditya (Mohit Marwah, Vijender Singh and Arfi Lamba respectively) and Devi (Kiara Advani) are BFFs. Having a girl in the gang results in the film’s only true moment : after a run-in with a lecherous shop-keeper, she sinks into rage and helplessness, very familiar feelings for women who have been subjected to this kind of humiliation. And who hasn’t? She knows the difference between a ‘dhakka’ and a ‘ragad’, and she is quite capable of giving it back, but how long can you keep your guard up?
The little skirmish results in the group running slam bang into the drunk-on-alcohol-and-power-policeman, Chautala (Jimmy Shergill). The cop forces them into many unsavoury corners, never once abandoning his sneer, while talking of himself in the third person. A feather-boa sporting fellow (Jha) who goes by the name of Chini, and who organises ‘parties’ in farmhouses, shows up. And then everything begins unraveling. So does the film.
It’s not like a Delhi cop can’t squeeze a group of youngsters. It happens all the time, if we go by the sordid stories spilling out in our media. But ‘F*UGLY’s cop and kids keep stretching credulity: anyone worth her Dilli ‘namak’ knows that if you are connected to a ‘neta’, you can get away, literally, with murder. Or at least get bail. And here’s this cop boxing in a Haryanvi heavyweight’s relative, played by Olympian Vijender Singh. How believable is that?
That’s not the only stretch. The plot, especially in the second half is full of improbabilities. And its ‘Rang De Basanti’ layer doesn’t help. My favourite is a TV reporter being allowed into the ICU to record a seriously ill patient’s statement. A doctor tells another, before jazzing off : it’s on your head. Or words to that effect. Is this what happens in plush hospitals in the Capital? Scary.
The lack of a credible plot does the debutants in, the girl faring just a little better than the boys. I liked that these kids are not your standard Delhi slackers we have been overdosed by, that the Capital’s dark underbelly peeks through occasionally, and I laughed out loud at a hilarious set-piece featuring an old Jat lady. But these were just fleeting moments.
‘F*UGLY* begins with a hint of promise, and it could have gone down some paths less travelled. But it meanders, and loses its way.
One and a half ( 1.5)