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Ugly Aur Pagli, not so lovely
Pyaar Ke Side Effects, Bheja Fry, Khosla Ka Ghosla; the common thread amongst them is that they were made with smaller 'stars', yet made good profits. The point is these films had good scripts. Ugly Aur Pagli has not been blessed with similar luck
THE MANTRA for success in today’s ’multiplex-model’ of cinema is, feel-good, light-hearted comedies. The problem starts here. How do you develop ideas and scenes that tickle the audiences’ funny bone. Mind you, comedies are the toughest to make!

This is precisely where Pritish Nandy Communication’s (PNC) earlier Pyaar Ke Side Effects worked; and where Ugly Aur Pagli falters. The individual scenes (mostly seen in the promos, work; but in between there are so many mundane moments or to put it in a cinematic correct form, lack of moments that you forget the good parts of Ugly Aur Pagli.

The film tells the story of a simpleton, Kabeer (Ranvir Shorey). It seems the chap is hard on luck. He has been failing class for last four years; hasn’t yet ’laid’ (sorry to use the term) and when he does get a hit (Payal Rohtagi); his stomach, rather ass, throws up - yup he farts.

His life is up for a toss when he saves a ’talli’ young woman (can’t call Mallika girl, eh!) Kuhu (Mallika Sherwat) from being run over by an approaching local.

This rather unusual encounter ends up in a rather usual place, a seedy hotel; albeit in a more unusual manner; the guy prefers floor rather than the ’bed’.

Next morning, a sober Mallika takes Kabeer to task. Thus, starts the acquaintance of Ugly Aur Pagli.

Some scenes are good, some scenes are not so good and some go listless. The point is, such popcorn-films, depend heavily on some real good writing with out-of-the box funny scenes; they are just missing over here (they were there in PKSE). Moreover, the music is also not very strong; except for a peppy Mein talli ho gayee....

From writing point of view; in the second half, once in Goa the film suddenly turns emotional, the protagonists grim and morose. It’s a huge jump in terms of characterisation. Such motivations for the characters (for Mallika it was still worked on a bit) ought to be set in the first half too.

The production design is good and the cinematography is in sync with the mood of the film. Though, the action sequences with Mallika as a superwoman are not ’super-heroic’. They ought to be. Mallika fits the role hand-in-glove. Shorey is fine, but is limited by his uni-dimensional role. Since the film is essentially a two-character plot; the supporting cast doesn’t get much scope.

What could have been a rip-roaring unusual prem kahani is reduced to just a mere passable fare, thanks to the writers, writers bloc, eh!
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