Fugly Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

Fugly Rating: 3

Till a few monsoons ago, the protagonists in a Hindi movie were pristine white, while the antagonists, expectedly, were jet-black. Nonetheless, Hindi cinema seems to be getting ‘real’ with each passing week, serving plots that one can relate to and presenting characters that are as credible and authentic as you witness in day-to-day life. FUGLY, directed by Kabir Sadanand, fits into the variety.

The very first theatrical trailer of FUGLY brought a sense of déjà vu, as cineastes started drawing parallels with Bejoy Nambiar’s SHAITAN… and for a legitimate reason. Bejoy’s film mapped out the lives of five youngsters who commit felony after felony to smokescreen the dreadful offense they had committed. A tough cop [Rajeev Khandelwal] was, hence, entrusted with the task of apprehending them… In FUGLY, the four youngsters are pitted against a cop [Jimmy Sheirgill] as well, but before you jump the gun, let’s correct you. The plotline is similar but only to a point and takes a diverse route when the youngsters have a run-in with the law.

FUGLY is set in the lanes of Delhi. A story of four friends — Dev [Mohit Marwah], Devi [Kiara Advani], Gaurav [Vijender Singh] and Aditya [Arfi Lamba]. Their dreams and expectations come to a crashing halt when, one night, they are faced with evil incarnate R.S. Chautala [Jimmy Sheirgill], a Police Officer. What unfolds from here is a series of events that will put to test their friendship and character.

FUGLY is not the standard Bollywoodish fare that looks at life through rose-tinted glasses. Unlike films of its ilk, which tend to get dark, gory and predictable after a point, Kabir Sadanand smartly uses sub-plots and characters so that the film doesn’t steer into the foreseeable zone. In addition, Kabir invests in drama and the emotional bond amongst friends to make the proceedings captivating, but at the same time, makes the road back from hell compelling and lifelike.

Although the initial portions focus on the bonding and the fun-and-amusement the youngsters seem to revel in, you’ve an inkling that there are curves ahead, the smooth sailing won’t last for too long. Your apprehensions come true when Sheirgill makes an entry.

Kabir takes time to warm up, but once he does, there’s no stopping him. He maintains his grip on the dramatic portions for most parts, expertly building up tension and handling a couple of episodes adroitly. Although it’s sacrilege to spill the beans and spoil the fun for the viewers, I’d like to state that the sequences featuring Sheirgill keep you most attentive.

Conversely, there are loopholes that are hard to ignore. Like I pointed out at the outset, the initial portions are not completely compelling. A few episodes in the second hour too appear implausible, more so because the film chooses to stay as real as possible and these sequences just don’t gel. Even the finale in the hospital — with a TV crew interviewing an almost-dead patient — appears far-fetched. Nonetheless, the conclusion brings the film back on tracks.

The film’s key weapon, besides drama, is its soundtrack and Kabir makes sure he places the songs neatly in the narrative. ‘Banjarey’ is easy on the ears and the spectacular visuals of Ladakh catch your eye, while ‘Dhuaan’ has a tinge of sadness that comes at a crucial point in the tale. Milind Jog’s cinematography is top notch, with the DoP capturing some wonderful frames on his lens.

The performances are strong, with Kiara Advani and Jimmy Sheirgill leading the pack. Mohit Marwah makes a confident debut, interpreting his character with insight and conviction. He has this amazing intensity which gels well with his character. Vijender Singh has screen presence and surprises you with an effective portrayal. Arfi Lamba underplays his part well and maintains the grip over his performance all through.

At first, Kiara Advani gives the impression of just adding to the glam quotient, but the pretty newcomer catches you completely unaware as she handles her part with rare understanding. She has the combination of looks and talent, both. The manic charisma that Jimmy Sheirgill brings to his character leaves you bewildered. His fury and wickedness makes you detest him, which clearly indicates how brilliantly he has portrayed his character. Sheirgill is indisputably one of the film’s biggest strengths. Mansha Bahl [cast opposite Arfi Lamba], Vidushi Mehra [associated with a news channel] and Anshuman Jha lend satisfactory support. Kunickaa Sadanand is perfect in a cameo.

On the whole, FUGLY is relatable that portrays several episodes that mirror the realities and the problems the youth encounter in the present times. A decent entertainer!


  1. Author
    sputnik 10 years ago

    Fugly Rediff Movie Review by Raja Sen – 0 Stars

    Fugly is a pathetic waste of time
    June 13, 2014 09:08 IST

    A scene from FuglyFugly is a trainwreck, says Raja Sen.

    Take a dash of Dil Chahta Hai.

    Throw in liberal doses of Shaitan, add several tablespoonfuls of Fukrey, with a climactic heap of Rang De Basanti on top.

    Meticulously take out all the actors, all the finesse, every smart and clever bone.

    Throw it in a blender and then water it down till it’s not just an offensively bad film but a defiantly tacky one, a truly, truly cheap concoction that exists only to make you sick.

    Fugly can’t, in all good conscience, be called an actual movie — but it is the most appropriately titled mess of all time.

    The kids in Fugly talk like… Nobody in the history of tongues.

    Young people don’t talk like that. Students don’t talk like that. Morons don’t talk like that.

    Coming to think of it, perhaps it takes a special talent to create four protagonists so constantly imbecilic that you want to whack the (Haryanvi) bejeezus out of them.

    Jimmy Shergill, playing a politically minded cop with an absurdly fake moustache, possibly signed on for this film simply because his character gets to slap these fools around a lot and bring them to their knees. Hurrah! The director might not have intended it, but Shergill is without question the hero we root for.

    Or we would — if we actually cared.

    This is a pathetic excuse for a film, with iPad-carrying sheikhs sitting on open-air toilets in the freezing cold; with vandals breaking into (conveniently open) shops wearing wigs that make them look like skunks, with desperate TV journalists noiselessly pawing the air as they stand in the background of an ICU; with farmhouse parties that net do-nothing organisers a lot of cash, with street-corner gigolos on Delhi streets who take a shine to commode-minded fools.. Yes, it’s all one big stinking mess that needs to be flushed away, double quick.

    Not least for making one of our country’s rare few sport champions look like crap.

    As the recipe I began with might have illustrated, the devastatingly unoriginal Fugly tries to bite off far too much, and, without knowing how to chew, chokes on its own stupidity.

    There are a couple of good scenes — a Haryanvi politician accidentally resigns, Shergill has one good line about charging VAT for a bribe, the casual warmth with which a wisened old uncle shoos his nephew out the room (so he can get it on with an unconscious girl) — but everything else is embarrassingly amateurish roadkill.

    Four friends go on drives, jump while they dance, flout the rules because one of ’em has a powerful dad, and then get screwed.

    But director Kabir Sadanand, who comes to us after having cut his teeth as an actor in the fantastically subtle world of the Hindi soap opera, persistently adds morality and preachy themes to this hacky mix. It’s enough to make you want to barf — or watch a Jaccky Bhagnani movie instead.

    Had there been actual actors playing the leads in Fugly I’d have spoken about them (and surely actors like Shergill and Anshuman Jha, who appears briefly as a boa-clad baddie, don’t want to be spoken much of in relation to this monstrosity) but evaluating or even discussing the four new leads in this production would be tantamount to blaming four clueless kids — sorry, three kids and a boxer — for being misled by the man showing them candy.

    Thus the blame for this trainwreck lies in Sadanand’s incapable hands, and were he a minister we’d be clamouring for his resignation. Tragically our filmmakers remain even less accountable.

    Contrary to popular belief, I posit this film’s producer Akshay Kumar hasn’t lost his mind.

    Fugly has a couple of tracks catchy enough to ensure airplay and, much more crucially, has clearly been made on a budget so tiny it couldn’t buy Salman Khan’s nosehair-clipper. Merely calling Fugly cheap is an unforgivable understatement: it looks like its been sloppily cut together from footage left over from bad cable TV shows.

    As a friend said, the Homeshop 18 infomercials have better production values — and better scripts.

    So Kumar, making this movie for next to nothing, won’t lose a thing and might even make some money (in a world where Gunday is a hit), but if you fork over your dough and actually spend time on this, well, you’ve Fuglied up bigtime.

    Rediff Rating: Zero stars


  2. Author
    sputnik 10 years ago

    Fugly Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 1.5

    June 13, 2014

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

    Director: Kabir Sadanand

    “Yeh Fugly Fugly kya hai?” goes the title song of director Kabir Sadanand’s muddled film. It’s also a question you ask yourself repeatedly as you leave the cinema after a viewing, still baffled by the wildly inconsistent narrative.

    Four friends on the cusp of adulthood live it up in their native Dilli, staying out till late, flouting the rules because one of them has an influential dad. The Dil Chahta Hai and Fukrey influences are hard to miss, but weighed down by bad acting, banal dialogue, and clumsy execution, there isn’t a hint of authenticity in these bonding scenes. The quartet – Dev (Mohit Marwah), Gaurav (Vijender Singh), Aadi (Arfi Lamba), and Devi (Kiara Advani) – finds themselves in a bind after locking horns with sadistic Jat thulla, Inspector Chautala (Jimmy Shergill), who threatens to frame them for murder unless they pay him an obscene amount of money.

    But this premise, not all bad, gets a Rang De Basanti-inspired twist as the story becomes one about fighting corruption, defending one’s honor, and inspiring a national awakening. Alas, none of it rings true because the writing’s so affected. There is no connective tissue between individual scenes, and Sadanand resorts to stereotyping of the most lazy order. We get flaming gay men who pounce at anything that moves, lecherous rich women with a taste for young men, fat ladies who send their daughters out to please clients, and oily politicians who can’t keep it in their pants.

    Of the cast, Jimmy Shergill is deliciously evil as the blackmailing cop, but watch how he hams as the character finally gets his just desserts. The four youngsters, sadly, leave no impression, particularly Olympic boxing champ Vijender Singh, who survives the comic bits but struggles in the dramatic scenes. The one character that stayed with me was a feisty old biddy who distracted an income tax officer while her grandson made off with wads of notes. Genuine comic moments like these are few and far between in this well-intentioned but sloppy film.

    I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for Fugly. In the end it’s neither thrilling nor stirring. Just an opportunity lost.


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