Reviews

Ungli: Get some life, guys!

A still from the film   | Photo Credit: 29dmcUngli1

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Director: Rensil D’Silva

Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Sanjay Dutt, Randeep Hooda, Kangna Ranaut, Neil Bhoopalam, Angad Bedi

Giving voice to the swelling debate on vigilantism in society, director Rensil D’Silva has come up with a film that does more harm than good. A kind of film where research is done by watching Hollywood’s comic book vigilantes that are then adapted with staple Indian situations drawn from television debates, it is a derivative, contrived attempt to provide Karan Johar a dark, socially aware film in his filmography as a producer. It neither seriously dissects the issue nor does it create a cool, fun film. For once Johar is trying to work in Emraan Hashmi’s space but doesn’t want to let go of his teenage audience. So the content is sanitised to suit the adolescents and as a result Emraan loses his charm and the theme its sting.

Forced by the inaction of law enforcing agencies, four friends decide to deliver justice by taking the law in their hands and call themselves the Ungli gang for obvious reasons. Abhay (Randeep Hooda), the leader, is a crime reporter who is never shown on his beat. Maya (Kangana Ranaut) is a medical intern, Goti (Neil Bhooplam) is a computer engineer and Angad Bedi plays a mechanic. The subject could have worked better with a fresh cast as here the players look overage for a game designed for city-bred, well-heeled teenagers who one day wake up to everyday reality through Facebook.

Anyway, driven by their passion to seek justice for their friend, the foursome gets an old man (S.M. Zaheer squeezes the melodrama out of a staple situation) his pension by strapping the corrupt officials with bombs and making them run in a stadium. There could have been easier, low-budget ways, but then it is a Dharma production so the scale has to be high. The character traits include a love for making graffiti and dancing in nightclubs. As they become popular, the commissioner (Raza Murad) ropes in an honest but aging ACP Kale (Sanjay Dutt) to crack the case. In turn, Kale ropes in a younger maverick inspector Nikhil (Emraan), because he thinks like a member of the gang. Nikhil makes hoax calls so that Emraan can show off his serial kisser image. So much for the character sketch of a police officer! Anyway, he goes undercover and as expected his loyalties are tested once he discovers the motive behind the gang.

Out of the four friends only Randeep sounds convincing. Dutt brings in his gravitas but it is not required. Emraan looks disinterested and Kangana hardly has anything to do. Like the situations, the dialogues are either stereotypical or puerile. At one point somebody tries to associate Gandhiji’s Dandi march with their danda. At another, Nikhil says you only dilute your whisky with your tears. Anything goes… The climax does give some hope but once again it ends with a whimper.

Bottomline: A sloppy display of corporate social responsibility by a production house that usually indulges in fluff

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Printable version | May 5, 2021 2:10:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/ungli-get-some-life-guys/article6643178.ece

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