DISCLAIMER: This is a retrospective, contemplative article about the movie that left me disturbed, and sleepless. This is NOT a review.
Contrary to popular beliefs, Bollywood has good movies. No, I’m not talking about the movie hitting the headlines, PK. I’m talking about the other one, the one which came out a week after PK, which is silently creating ripples.
Haven’t you heard of it? If you haven’t, I can’t blame you. There are no songs that you could tap your feet and shake a leg to, no famous leading actor or actress who can provide some publicity to the movie, or religious fanatics accusing the movie of hurting religious or cultural sentiments.
Here’s the very short, very brief, and the no-spoiler version of the story: The movie revolves around the kidnapping of a 10 year old girl, and the attempts made by the police and her father to find her. But finding her becomes less important when the characters show their ugly side, which is brought on by desperation, greed and other emotions.
Anurag Kashyap skilfully shows the uglier side of human nature, by using money as an element that brings out the less known side of a human. He shows the uglier side of parenting, which sent me chills down my spine.
As the plot evolves, the characters evolve. Ugly is a movie where the story plays second fiddle. The characters are skilfully crafted, and handled all through the movie with delicate, simple artistic touches. You become so involved with the characters that after a while, the story becomes unimportant to you. The kidnapping becomes another detail in something bigger, deeper, and darker. And you experience that “something” from the point of view of each and every character. And the experience is something new, something that will leave you thinking about it for a long time.
That’s all I have to say about the movie. But what about me?
To put it in simple, frank words, I can say this: It took me 5 days to get over Ugly. For five consecutive days, my brain was working on processing Ugly, and those days had me contemplate about many, many things.
Anurag Kashyap captured the darker side of parenting, money and humans on the screen, and put it out to disturb us.
In my case, he succeeded.
There is an intensity in the movie, in the concept that left me dumbfounded, and at a loss for words. Suddenly, it was an insanely difficult task for me to walk out of the theatre. After coming out, I looked at my friend’s face, and it was evident that he was as affected as I was.
Ugly left us, as my friend excellently puts it, in a state of denial. No matter what your worldview is, there will be something in Anurag’s story that will hit you hard, and you will be forced to think, and find answers by yourself. Not many people watched Ugly, because PK has been in the lead, because of the presence of A-listed actors. Ugly, on the other hand, has a cast where most of them are unknown.
There’s not much action, and the humor is pretty dark, and very subtle. It is something that most of the Indian audience resent, which is why the movie is not receiving its due credit. It may leave you in tears, shock, disturbed or depressed. But it is all worth it.
I urge you to watch this movie. In fact, I want you to watch it. Because no matter who you are, where you live, what language you talk in or what you believe, Ugly will get on your nerves, because it is a masterpiece. It may not have any message, or anything controversial, but it does show the unknown, uglier side of parenthood, and it deserves to be watched.