Writer-director Anurag Kashyap is in top form in this suspense thriller that has you by the b…ls from the start.
A despondent Shalini (Tejaswini Kolhapure) leans too hard on her whiskey bottle. Your heart races as she fingers a gun placed in her dresser drawer and just when you think she’ll pull the trigger, she puts it back.
So what has driven Shalini to the edge? Well, she was once an attractive collegian being wooed by two friends – Rahul (Rahul Bhat) and Shaumik Bose (Ronit Roy). She chooses the flamboyant Rahul, an aspiring actor. One daughter Kali (Anshika Shrivastava) later, love flies out of the window. Rahul fails to find work, Shalini fails to find love.
This lands her in the arms of Bose, now a super-cop. However, he crucifies her because he hasn’t forgotten that she had slighted him for Rahul. Amidst all this, 10-year-old Kali goes missing.
In yet another case of his cinema noir, Kashyap not only has you glued to your seat unravelling the whodunit, he subtly draws you into a vortex of emotions. It’s the dark recesses of his characters that has you riveted. Check this out – the failed actor is a frustrated man, but a loving father. The tough-as-nails cop is a lousy husband, but a principled policeman. The alcoholic mother is concerned about her child, but more concerned about herself.
There are also slime-ball characters like Shalini’s brother Siddhanth (Siddhanth Kapoor) and an item girl Raakhee (Surveen Chawla) who act as catalysts. Frustrated police inspector Vijay Jadhav (Girish Kulkarni) and casting agent Chaitanya (Vineet Kumar Singh) are dealing with their own voyeurism. Human nature is captured with all its failings, frustrations and frailties. Even while the hunt for the girl goes awry, other skeletons tumble out, adding a macabre twist.
While the pace does dip in the second half, what makes Ugly tick is the searing honesty with which it is told. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but for those who are willing to let the morally decrepit live.
A team of the best cops in Mumbai is dispatched to find a girl who has gone missing from her father’s car. As the hunt for the kidnapper begins, fingers suspiciously point to closer home.
The Times of India