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Ugly Aur Pagli

  | March 07, 2014 09:48 IST
Ugly Aur Pagli
  • Genre:
  • Cast:
    Mallika Sherawat, Ranvir Shorey, Tinu Anand and Su
  • Director:
    Sachin Khot
  • Producer:
    Rangita Pritish Nandy/Pritish Nandy
  • Writer:
  • Music:
    Anu Malik
At one point in Ugly Aur Pagli, the hero Kabir, played by Ranvir Shorey, goes to sell his girlfriend’s script to a production house called Yashram. The peon rudely tells him to get in a long line, saying: "Yeh Bambai hai. Yahan par sabke paas script hai. Doodhwale se leker Bhansali tak". But debutant director Sachin Kamlakar Khot obviously didn’t have a script because this film is heavily inspired from the Korean romantic comedy My Sassy Girl. I haven’t seen Sassy Girl but detailed plot descriptions are available on the internet and Ugly Aur Pagli seems to be frame by frame copy. Incidentally, a few scenes from Sassy Girl were lifted earlier in Yashraj’s mind-numbing Neal N Nikki. I suppose the thing to admire here is that our sources have become more exotic - since we’ve extensively ripped off Hollywood, we are now cannibalizing other cinemas. But despite having a successful film as a blueprint, Khot only manages to create a serviceable copy. The romance between the submissive, geeky Kabir and the dominating, kooky, perpetually intoxicated Kuhu begins on a railway platform. She is drunk and leaning dangerously toward the train tracks. He saves her life and suffers seriously - he spends a night in jail, gets propositioned by a ‘pocket-maar’ and then beat up by his own mother for spending the night out. This pattern is repeated through the film but with every slap and indignity, Kabir falls more for Kuhu. Eventually, this odd couple discover love and happiness. What works for Ugly aur Pagli are its leads Ranvir and Mallika Sherawat. He is endearingly bumbling - even his dance movements are awkward. And she is nicely nutty - unafraid of throwing up in trains and making outrageous demands. They have an interesting chemistry. Though Khot pitches Mallika as the girl next door, he can’t resist cashing in on her sex symbol image and adding a random fantasy song, which has her gyrating in skimpy clothes. This, like the other songs, doesn’t do anything for her character or the film. Mallika handles the comedy well but teeters precariously in the more emotional scenes. The sad subtext of her character just doesn’t come through. Stretched beyond a point, this whimsical romance becomes pure tedium. Occasionally Ugly Aur Pagli will make you laugh - a special mention here for actress Sushmita Mukhejree, who is superbly effective in two and a half scenes. But it doesn’t engage the heart or mind enough to transcend being just average.
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