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Ungli Movie Review

Ungli Movie Rating

Bollywood has witnessed many a theme (read 'genre') of films ever since its inception. Even though there have been many repeated themes that we get to see almost every week, only a few films remain fresh in our memories. There have been many elements that form the crux of any film. One such element is that of corruption which has 'evolved' over the years. This week's release UNGLI falls into this category, which mirrors the 'system of corruption' that is prevalent in today's time. Director Rensil D'Silva's UNGLI is an attempt to mirror the corrupt system which prevails in the society today. At a time when candle marches, protest and agitation are soon becoming passe', Rensil tries to showcase that 'ungli' is the new form of rebellion where you turn the tables in the system. Does it succeed in showing 'the middle finger' to the prevalent corruption? And if yes, how much does it succeed at it? Let's' analyze.

With the baseline as 'The system is so corrupt that you can only ridicule it', the film UNGLI starts off on a high. The film opens with an old man and his young daughter waiting at the Pension Office and being bullied by the 'babus' working in the office. The old man gets a stroke and lands up in a hospital where his poor daughter narrates her dilemma to the doctor, which is overheard by Maya (Kangna Ranaut), who is works in the same hospital. She informs her friends Abhay (Randeep Hooda), Goti (Neil Bhoopalam) and Kaleem (Angad Bedi) that they got their 'first case'. The team, then, covers their faces in masks and kidnap the 'babus' at night. As a part of their plan, they strap the 'babus' with 'time bombs' and make them run in an empty stadium. Not just that, they also inform the cops and media about the same. In no time, their antics are all over the media channels and they become famous as the 'UNGLI' gang. Slowly the gang starts expanding their operations and putting up the videos of punishing the corrupt on the internet and win the hearts of the masses. The cops, however, are not happy about this and the Police Commissioner (Raza Murad) gives the case to anhonest police officer Ashok Kale (Sanjay Dutt) to solve. But, when Kale fails to catch the gang, he realizes that he will need to use someone who thinks like them to work against them. That's when he decides to put a police officer Nikhil (Emraan Hashmi) on job. Emraan, who happens to be the son of a late cop and a close friend of Kale, is not interested in working with the police and hates the system and it's functioning. He is however notorious in his ways of operating and hence Kale hands him the responsibility of catching the UNGLI gang. Nikhil takes up the job and does his own tricks in punishing the corrupt and takes credit for it pretending to be an UNGLI gang member. The sudden entry of Nikhil wakes up and shakes up the original gang. With a few hints that Nikhil throws at them through the 'trademarked' video messages, the gang tracks him down and eventually he joins them. However, Nikhil soon realizes that the gang is not wrong in their approach towards cleaning up the society. But, due to a certain situation and circumstances, he gets torn between his duty (as a police officer) and his friendship with the UNGLI gang members. Kale, on the other hand, too waits to seek answers from Nikhil as the pressure keeps building on him to catch the notorious gang. Amidst all of this, a situation gets cropped up where all these characters are faced with a situation where they have to either accept the corrupt society for what is it or else fight back by risking their own lives.

Whether Nikhil will for go his duty as a police office and betray the trust of the UNGLI gang by having them arrested, will Kale manage to get his hands on these gang members, will the gang manage to achieve what it have set out to do... is what which forms the rest of the story.

UNGLI happens to Rensil D'Silva's second film as a director (the first being Saif Ali Khan- Kareena Kapoor starrer KURBAAN). Rensil, who also doubles up as the film's story and screenplay writer, seems to have let off all his vents against the system in one breath. One can understand the intentions behind him making the film, but there are moments that could have been handled better. The problem with this film is that it lacks certain level of freshness. Even though the subject chosen is an old one, the treatment could have been different. Even though the film has been totally shot at real locations in Mumbai, certain situations could've been made to look more convincing. The scene that the audiences will be able to relate to the most is of the rickshaw guy refusing to travel a short distance. While the film establishes itself and its characters well within the first fifteen minutes, it loses the grip as it progresses. The first half of the film is effective and crisp, unlike the film's second half, which is stretched, thus, making the film bereft of entertainment value. The end climax scene will be difficult for certain audiences to digest.

As far as the performances are concerned, one can't finger point at any one actor by calling him the captain of the ship. Rather, this is one film, wherein everyone contributes their bit effectively. It is really nice to see the comeback (by default) of Sanjay Dutt, who handles every shot and frame effectively with his ever-so-effective trademark performance. Emraan Hashmi, on the other hand, spares no efforts to match his performance with that of Sanjay Dutt. It is however Randeep Hooda who springs up a pleasant surprise in this film! As always, he exhibits a strong screen presence and is as usual, a delight to watch. Neil Bhoopalam and Angad Bedi perform well in their parts. Kangna Ranaut has done well in her role as part of the 'ungli' gang member. Neha Dhupia, on the other hand, seems to have got a good part to perform on the big screen after a long time in this film where she plays a TV reporter. Shraddha Kapoor sizzles and excels in her first everitem number ('Dance Basanti'). The other actors Mahesh Manjrekar, Shiv Subramaniyam, Raza Murad, Reema Lagoo and others do their bit in carrying the story forward.

While the background music (John Stewart) of the film is brilliant, the film's music (Salim-Sulaiman, Sachin-Jigar, Gulraj Singh) is not bad. Songs like 'Ungli Theme' and 'Dance Basanti' are peppy while 'Pakeezah' is melodious. The film's editing is very crisp, so much so that the film's run time is only 114 minutes. Dialogues by Milap Zaveri are very real and in today's lingo. The entire film is shot in Mumbai and the DoP has done a decent job of portraying the city.

All in all, if you want to watch a film about rebelling against the corrupt system then UNGLI is a decent watch for this weekend.

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