FUGLY: Short movie review

Written by Shubhra Gupta | Updated: Jun 14 2014, 16:05pm hrs
FuglyFour friends, one life-changing incident, in Jat-dominated Delhi
Director: Kabir Sadanand

Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Mohit Marwah, Vijender Singh, Arfi Lamba, Kiara Advani, Anshuman Jha

**1/2

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 isnt 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 (Marwah, Singh and Lamba, respectively) and Devi (Advani) are BFFs. Having a girl in the gang results in the films only true moment: after a run-in with a lecherous shopkeeper, she sinks into rage and helplessness, very familiar feelings for women who have been subjected to this kind of humiliation. And who hasnt 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 (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 unravelling. So does the film.

Its not like a Delhi cop cant squeeze a group of youngsters. It happens all the time, if we go by the sordid stories spilling out in our media. But F*UGLYs 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 heres this cop boxing in a Haryanvi heavyweights relative, played by Olympian Vijender Singh. How believable is that

Thats not the only stretch. The plot, especially in the second half, is full of improbabilities. And its Rang De Basanti layer doesnt help. My favourite is a TV reporter being allowed into the ICU to record a seriously ill patients statement. A doctor tells another, before jazzing off: its 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 Capitals 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.

shubhra.gupta@expressindia.com