wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
The mysteries of love, and the things it makes you do, are not so easy to articulate. As we find out in Ugly aur Pagli. The uneven pace kills this time.Read more
Take any romantic relationship where one in the couple is more involved than the other. Then, exaggerate it - sometimes a bit, sometimes quite a bit, almost always slapsticky - and you have Ugly aur Pagli. Now this movie too could be a copy of/inspired by some movie or the other. But, how does it really matter - because it's a story about you and me anyway. So then, is it inspired by life in general? Maybe. Except that it has to be fit in 2 hours and in between 4 songs! And however realistically you present an idea, if you are going to rush in a story in the last 20 minutes it's not going to be digestible.
What is love? How does a crush become more than just a crush? When does a very good friendship turn into romantic love? If you can do 'anything' to keep the other person happy, would that be defined as love? But then, wouldn't you do 'anything' to keep your closest friends happy? These are not the questions that Ugly aur Pagli makes you think about, for these are not new questions, by any means. But these are the questions that it tries to play out.
They are played out by simpleton Kabir (Ranveer Shorey) who does the weirdest of things just in the hope that Kuhu (Malika Sherawat) will smile genuinely. He wants to reach out to the darkness that Kuhu hides almost successfully with her eccentric attitude towards him. She in turn, leaves no stone unturned in having him embarrass himself.
All of this is wonderfully carried off on screen by both Ranveer and Mallika. Yep! Mallika too! Of course, she can't cry or take the load of an emotional scene yet, but she's believable when in prankster mode. And she did manage to pull off the scenes in which she's snoring and/or drunk. But, then again, the complexities of her character were hardly shown to us, they were just told by way of a voiceover.
Ranveer is simply cast very well to play the good-for-nothing, unconditionally smitten guy-next-door. Though, I must say I was OD'ed on his voiceover by the end of it. It's just always there! True it's his point of view, but it would have been great if his expressions did some of the talking too.
That's it! There are no other characters!! I always wondered how Hindi cinema has very few 'pure' romance movies. There's always some family, career, some exterior factor weighing in on the dynamics of the relationship. So, here you go. You have a movie just about the twosome. And it doesn't turn out too well, mainly because what happens between them in the first 5 minutes is repeated for the next hour and a half, albeit with occasional witty dialogue. There's one idiosyncratic, a little over-the-top episode after the other. Then, suddenly there's a rush for an actual story and it shows in the writing almost as an afterthought.
The songs too seem like an afterthought. The songs are so out-of-tune with the rest of the movie that you can almost sense the director's awkwardness in having them in there. It saddens me to see an actor like Ranveer resorting to coordinating hands, legs and the "look-in-the-moving camera" in the name of dance. And this, just because the audience wants its heroes to dance.
Oh, by the way, can anyone inform Mr. Anu Malik that changing his name to "Aanuu" in the credits is not 'the' change needed. It’s the music that needs to change!
There are two things that I enjoyed though. One is the action sequences of the scripts that Kuhu writes. Although editing of the action doesn't let you actually get into the thick of things, just the stylization makes it worth watching. Especially because they are set around an otherwise low-budget movie. The other thing is the subtle tributes paid to movies of recent times, like Johnny Gaddar, Jaane tu..., Aamir, and I'm sure I must have missed a couple.
Sure, Ugly aur Pagli is amusing at times, establishes one character really well, and has a raw appeal to it. But, then it has not-so-funny slapstick at other times, has a confused other character, and ruins the raw feel in the last twenty minutes.
- meeta, a part of the audience
So-So, by Abhishek Mande, Buzz18 : ...One isn't sure how to watch an 'inspired' film with an open mind. But for those who can, Ugly Aur Pagli is the kind of movie that will totally work... full review
So-So, by Harshita Kohli, indya.com : ...However the (much needed) saving grace comes in the last thirty minutes of the film where everything ties in together and suddenly sitting through the first one and a half hour doesn’t seem such a waste.... full review
Thumbs down, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ... The fun and promise of the first half wanes away and is replaced by some sloppy (not slappy) drama that the director couldn’t handle with skill and conviction.... full review
Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...the writing was bad, the staging was flat, the timing was off, and the characters weren’t drawn with the depth they deserved... full review
Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...suppose the thing to admire here is that our sources have become more exotic - since we’ve extensively ripped off Hollywood, we are now cannibalizing other cinemas.... full review
Thumbs down, by Jahan Bakshi, Now Running.com : ...There isn't much the leads can do really, and one can't really blame them for the fact that neither of them really crackles on screen.... full review
Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...UAP starts proudly with shots of unlikely couples who are supposed to warm us with their bonding, but all you see is the clumsiness of this 'lifted' scene.... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Kabir (Ranveer Shorey) meets Kuhu (Mallika Sherawat). He saves her life. They become friends. Then they have to part ways, etc., etc., etc.