Sometimes, your conscience can drive you to do the most ridiculous of things.

After having missed the first few minutes of Fugly (a critic friend told me I should consider myself lucky if I managed to miss 30!) and then sitting through a film that seemed to have been made just so that its title could be at the butt of all obvious jokes about how bad it is, I decided to do the right thing. To book a ticket and catch the film again before I earned the right to criticise.

As the hero of the film, in its very first scene, drove towards India Gate and set himself on fire, I found myself empathising. More so, when a TV journalist asks him: Why did you do it? And he replies: Redemption.

This could be Mohit Marwah’s definitive career introduction shot too. Or how he thought he was setting his fledgling career on fire only to realise the makers were setting him up to be roasted.

You can’t help but feel bad for these kids in the lead. They were hoping for a Rang De Basanti meets Shaitaan kind of a film, but what they got is a film that has earned them the reputation of being the Fugly actors.

Even if you try ignoring how bad it is because the girl, Kiara Advani, is pretty, when she actually says something like: “Things are getting Fugly, guys,” in the middle of a serious rant just to justify it’s cool, funky-sounding title (that actually means it’s bad), you will stop taking the film seriously.

And things get uglier when the guys decide to take the law into their own hands and teach the guy who harassed their friend a lesson. They beat him up, put him in the boot of the car and drive rashly around the city — only to bump into Chautala (Jimmy Shergill having a blast bullying kids), the crooked cop they should not have messed with. And say exactly what they shouldn’t have dared: “Do you know who my dad is?”

Given this shameless abuse of power (one of the kids is the Minister’s son), the kids deserve to be spanked. Chautala then becomes the vigilante cop, you would think… but the moral epicentre of this film is so vacuous and muddled up that the makers themselves don’t understand character motivations. They are just doing it because they liked that bit from Shaitaan… but in Shaitaan, these kids were the bad guys.

If the intention was to break the type and explore grey, deeply flawed characters, why regress to the archetypical youth-bringing-change film? In political films, characters or types representing different ideologies face off, interact and make a point.

Here, four adventure-loving young people who want to teach their perverted grocer a lesson for messing with their friend, end up being taught a lesson in public behaviour by a crooked cop… who then strangely blackmails them into selling drugs and killing people and in some way, somehow influences them to do what is right to save the country from Sistem by using Midiya to awaken Publik.

I had done exactly the same thing. I had set myself up for this trial by fire, again, just so that I could use Midiya to awaken the paying public.

Sounds ridiculous? That’s Fugly.

Genre: Drama

Director: Kabir Sadanand

Cast: Jimmy Shergill, Mohit Marwah, Vijender Singh, Kiara Advani, Arif Lamba

Storyline: A bunch of friends decide to fight the system after they mess with the wrong cop

Bottomline: A silly, hackneyed rehash that lives up to the title