After showing a lot of promise in the first half, Rensil D’Silva’s Ungli fizzles out post interval
When Batman, a masked crusader who saves the city from villains at night, meets Rang De Basanti, a film about a bunch of kids becoming rebels by turn of events, we get Rensil D’Silva’s Ungli. Starring an ensemble cast of Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda, Kangana Ranaut, Sanjay Dutt, Neil Bhoopalam and Angad Bedi, Ungli is a film which shows sparks of brilliance here and there, but alas falters to rise above the Bollywood clichés. Without taking up more time, I will quickly take you through the review and let you know why Ungli disappointed me as I left the cinema hall.
What’s it about:
Four friends Abhay, Maya, Goti and Kalim may seem like normal people stuck in their boring jobs. But look closely as there is more than what meets the eye. At nightfall, these bunch of friends turn into masked social vigilantes, who teach lessons to corrupt officers and bureaucrats by unconventional ways. Lovingly called as Ungli gang by the masses, their growing popularity becomes a headache for police department as Inspector Kale is assigned to nab the notorious gang. Kale seeks help of Nikhil, an easy going street smart cop, to assist him in catching hold of Ungli gang. Nikhil manages to win the trust of the gang by becoming one of them, but later is caught confused as to where his loyalties lie – police or Ungli gang. Can Kale nab the rebellious gang? And which side will Nikhil choose to be faithful to?
The film kicks off to a bright start as the first hour of the film is brisk and entertaining. The unique ways of Ungli gang for punishing the corrupt officers is fun as it managed to keep me interested. If we talk about the performances, I feel the film just belongs two actors – Randeep Hooda and Emraan Hashmi. Randeep Hooda as a crime journalist cum Ungli gang leader manages to ooze charm and authority in equal measures. Emraan Hashmi has done full justice to his role as he manages to bring out the internal conflict of his character Nikhil with panache. It felt good to see Sanjay Dutt back on screen as the veteran actor gives an earnest performance as honest cop Kale. The screenplay is crisp as the film doesn’t fall prey to the usual practice of Bollywood films of dragging the film into an overly stretched second half. A special mention to the cheeky one liners spouted by Hashmi and Dutt as it brings a smile on your face. Though unnecessary, I did enjoy sexy Shraddha Kapoor’s Dance Basanti.
All the good work done in the first half is lost when film enters the familiar territory of crime thriller post interval. Not just the predictable plot, but the contrived back story behind the formation of Ungli gang was a huge turn off for me. I mean, common guys, do you think you can emotionally manipulate me by telling some sad story about injustice done to Arunoday Singh in coma? I would have preferred that the motive of this gang was hidden instead. Romantic track between Emraan and Kangana looks forced and sudden. The plot kicks in only at the second half, so you can spot the director rushing through the story not giving enough time for the characters to interact and react with conviction. The talented Kangana Ranaut gets a raw deal as she is stuck in a caricaturish role with limited screen time to make any impact. No wonder she has been missing from promotions of Ungli. Neil Bhoopalam and Angad Bedi are just there to fill the frame. In some of the tasks which the Ungli gang pulls off, especially in the climax, it is surprising to see that not all members of the gang are present, which inturn makes me wonder if Rensil D’Silva struggled in handling an ensemble starcast.
What to do?
Keeping aside all its flaws and shortcomings, Ungli is still a decent entertainer and warrants a one time watch as there is nothing much to munch on for movie goers at theatres this weekend. Go with zero expectations and chances are that you won’t show me your ‘ungli’ for recommending Ungli.