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Anurag Kashyap, please don't make films like 'Ugly' any more: A passive-aggressive letter from a heart-broken viewer

Anurag Kashyap, please don't make films like 'Ugly' any more: A passive-aggressive letter from a heart-broken viewer

Real, honest, with no frills, or creative liberties...the Indian audience might find 'Ugly' too real for comfort.

New Delhi: One of the first things we noticed while watching the film 'Ugly' was how real it looked. What the actors wore, how they spoke and how they reacted was only too relatable. It was slightly disturbing, even.

We're aware that we sound like we enjoyed Anurag Kashyap's latest offering immensely; and that the tone of this article is not in line with its headline. But please allow us to give us our reasons why we think Kashyap doesn't fit in Bollywood.

Note: The following article may contain spoilers for the film 'Ugly'.

Casting: First of all, how dare Kashyap make a film without even one 'superstar' name in his film? Who's he to hire little-known, but great actors like Rahul Bhat, Girish Kulkarni and Tejaswini Kolhapure? Bhat was mind-blowing in the role of a slightly ignorant, but well-meaning parent; Kulkarni, a noted name in the Marathi film industry was wonderful as the typical Mumbai cop, and Kolhapure was convincing as the depressed, sad wife of a powerful man. But where are the big names? Kashyap thinks that all he needs in a good film is a powerful story, great directions and apt actors. How naive.

Dialogues: One of the most powerful scenes in 'Ugly' was where Bhat and his friend, portrayed by Vineet Kumar Singh, go to a police station in Mumbai to register the complaint of a missing child. The typical hilarious cop, portrayed by Kulkarni, puts the confused friends through a bunch of irrelevant, funny, exasperating questions before he gets to the point. Now why did Kashyap had to keep the scene so real? Couldn't he have added some 'filmi' lines and one-liners for audience to feel that what they're seeing on the big screen is merely a source of entertainment? Why did he have to trouble the film-goers by evoking their feelings and making them raise questions?

Background score: Every Bollywood fan knows that Hindi films are supposed to have songs. Item numbers, flash-back songs, poignant odes and even thrilling, chasing numbers. Why could Kashyap play by the Bollywood rule book and put in a few of these numbers? As a result 'Ugly' has a remarkable flow with the audience hooked on to the seat at every possible second. Even the hauntingly beautiful number 'Reckoning Song (One Day)' by Asaf Avidan (yes, we Shazam-ed) is used as a background score in a very apt, breath-taking manner. But where were the item numbers? They provide some much-valued time to the audience to make/receive phone calls, send out Tweets, use appropriate hashtags. Sigh.



Action: There's a scene in 'Ugly' where Ronit Roy's character Shoumik Bose beats up Bhat's character Rahul Varshney in a fit of vengeful outburst. Rather that Bhat fall over buildings and land precariously on top of aptly-placed trucks, this scene took place in an abandoned restaurant. They way Roy beats up Bhat -- in methodical, hurtful punches and kicks -- felt just too real.

Breaking the cardinal Bollywood rule of happy endings: Fine, Kashyap sir. You got us hooked. Intrigued, even. We were suffering throughout the film, trying to figure out who could have kidnapped the adorable little girl at the beginning of 'Ugly'. Our suspicion moved from her father, to her mother, to her step-father, her father's friend, his girlfriend, the little girl's careless uncle and back to her father and mother. But why oh why couldn't you have made the ending of 'Ugly' a little predictable? Why did you have to make it so confoundingly real, cruel and heart-breaking? How will the Hindi film audience, who's watched films like 'Action Jackson', 'Humshakals' 'Samrat & Co.' and 'Entertainment' be expected to digest something so...gruesome? You do realise that these viewers are the same people who flock to see films like 'Happy New Year' and 'Kick', right?


We're sure by now you must have realised that this is just our passive-aggressive way of saying that 'Ugly' is one of the finest films we've seen in Bollywood. And it is our job to watch films and write about them.

But we are still not sure how the audience will react to a film like this, though. Real, honest, no frills, no creative liberties...perhaps the Indian audience might find it too real for comfort. Or maybe, just maybe, the audience will realise that Kashayp's 'Ugly' is a direct reflection of our society, and that by watching it, we'll get to know something more about ourselves.

But one thing is for sure, Kashyap sir. If you continue on this cinematic path, you'll have a long, long walk to the 'coveted' Rs 100 crore club.