Yes, the Great indie maverick director genius Anurag Kashyap has gone
Mainstream. The Transition started
somewhat with Gangs of Wasseypur and here he is - with Ugly and Bombay
Velvet. I liked both of these films
but still hope that he will return to his free unrestrained indie film
Ugly is a Crime Kidnap Drama done in Neo-Noir style, and it's certainly
Black and with fantastic performances
from all of the actors. The actors seems to love Kashyap and he really
drags out the best they have to offer.
Bollywood has got some lovely actors and it's a shame the Masala school
of acting has given them a bad repu-
tation outside of India and scared a lot of potential viewers away from
All Actors are Great in this film, even the child actor
(Anshika Shrivastava) playing Kali, and then Bollywood
child actors, often some spoiled annoying fat kids, usually stink in
There's a great intro with many parallel scenes and
then a divorced father gets to meet his daughter on his
weekly day with her. He's an unemployed wannabee film actor, Rahul Varshney
(Rahul Bhatt), the girl is Kali
and her mother is the depressed and alcoholic Shalini (a great Tejaswini
Kolhapure, at far right in the pic above).
When visiting his friend, the producer Chaitanya (Vineet Kumar Singh)
he unwisely leaves the girl alone in the
car, and the tragedy strikes when she disappears from the car in a crowded
The story is told day wise - Saturday - Sunday etc.
and the police officer in charge of the investigation is the
Very strict and brutal stepfather Shoumik Bose (Ronit Roy), unhappily
married to Shalini.
Shoumik and Shalini - The Sad Married Couple
Shoumik's an interesting figure. He's an imposing chief
official that don't hesitate in using brutality against his
suspects, but he's also a man filled with inferiority feelings since
childhood against the then school bully Rahul
who later became his wife's 1st husband, and he can't make Shalini happy.
Ronit Roy is very good in the role.
Actually, the most intense moments in the film are from these moments
between the unhappy couple.
Great in a slightly minor role is Girish Kulkarni as police inspector
Jadhav, what an odd charisma this guy have.
So, this film is really a Who Dun It? and the massive
police investigation let their suspicions fall on an array of
characters, first at the father Rahul, then at .... We have a debted
brother to Shalini and her "friend", Rahul's
mistress Rakhi (Surveen Chawla) as suspects. Well, at the end we get
It's beautifully photographed by Nikos Andritsakis,
the man behind the camera also in the Calcutta Retro-
1940's thriller Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! In contrast to Bombay Velvet
Ugly was met with good reviews
and the film was delayed for a whole year because Kashyap didn't want
to have the required "Smoking is
hazardous to your health" warning on the screen everytime someone
widescreen 2.35:1, Dolby True HD 5.1 or DTS -HD Master
Audio hindi with english subs. Bonus features
on an extra DVD with the Making Of Ugly (only 22 min) spoken mostly
in english with some hindi