Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and half stars)
Star Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Angad Bedi, Randeep Hooda, Neil Bhoopalam
Director: Rensil D’Silva
What’s Good: An intelligently written, tightly constructed film which is fun, witty and relevant, all at the same time.
What’s Bad: The film does droop in its melodramatic parts and sometimes it tends to get repetitive.
Loo break: Don’t miss the Ungli show.
Watch or Not?: Coming from the writer of Rang De Basanti, Ungli has the same spark of brilliance. Rensil keeps the story moving fluidly towards a fantastic climax, which is nothing short of genius. The camaraderie between its actors is palpable and despite a few vital pitfalls, the film stays true to what it has set out to achieve. Ungli might not offer a solution to our day to day problems but does a darn good job at tapping the right chords and sentiments and translating it on screen and met out a hard befitting answer to the culprits. And lastly, the best thing about Ungli is it doesn’t get preachy; it asks you to rise up for your rights without hammering your head to it. Give this one a chance, you too will rise up, take charge and show the Ungli.
A bunch of four, Abhay (Randeep), Maya (Kangana), Goti (Neil) and Kalim (Angad) after an unfortunate incident create a vigilante gang called the Ungli gang. Plagued with corruption, in every faction, every strata of the system, the gang picks up momentum and people’s love by a series of action. But soon enough they find a fan replicating what they do and an application to join the gang. Everyone is skeptical of Nikhil (Emraan) who poses as a law student but is actually an undercover cop, on duty to expose the Ungli gang. Nikhil has their smarts and sharpness. But, Nikhil too believes in their ways. Will he take them to task or join their movement?
Ungli Review: Script Analysis
Coming from the writer of Rang De Basanti, 24 and Kurbaan, we surely know Rensil’s space is nothing like the Dharma framework. He is an intelligent writer who holds his script holy and with Ungli he has done the same. A group of four friends, are a social group who take up issues close to the common man and find apt solutions to it. Milap Zaveri’s lines tells us how candle marches doesn’t help and hunger strikes end them in jail. So what’s the solution – take charge and show the Ungli? That’s the motto of the vigilante gang who can’t be kind to misdeeds corrupt people commit. Sending a auto rickshaw guy on lamba bhaada to Delhi in a goods train, making corrupt traffic cops eat their bribe amount for real. If you think they are heartless, no they aren’t. They even serve pickle with those notes.
After a lamentable incident, a bunch of four regular friends comprising of a medical intern, a crime reporter, a computer engineer set out to change the system. But the system isn’t kind to the world so why use kind ways is the gang’s funda. Breaking the law to amend the law couldn’t go down well with the law makers who bring on board their sharpest officer, ACP Kaale. Kaale is quick to note that to get to the Ungli Gang, you’ll have to get under the skin of their thinking. Kaale gets in his team, his protégé Nikhil, who is more jealous and in awe of the Ungli Gang than a malicious cop.
There are a couple of great things about the story. It doesn’t meander at all. Even Maya and Nikhil’s love story doesn’t get much screen space because the story doesn’t call for it. The equation between Kaale and Nikhil is endearing and both Sanjay and Emraan have played it to the tee. The film’s humor is its wit and despite being laden with dollops of humor, the film doesn’t trivialize the issues it addresses. The humor is mostly in its dialogues and once again dialogue writer Milap Zaveri is at his best. In parts, it’s a dialogue feast that polishes its scenes. Rensil and Milap have previously worked on 24 and that Zaveri in his dialogues, shows the smoothness in understanding the undertones of each of his characters. Rensil renders flesh and blood to them and their realities seem so true that everytime they use their ‘shaitaani dimaag’ you can’t help but woot for them. It’s impossible to give out too much about the movie, especially the climax but like I said Rensil must be smoking some really good stuff when he wrote the climax. It’s nothing short of brilliant and the final act will be immensely satiating.
Ungli Review: Star Performances
Emraan Hashmi is great. Donning his wicked smile, he plays a lackadaisical cop who finds his real calling in changing the system when he associates with the Ungli Gang. He brings out Nikhil’s dilemma of being torn between what’s right and what’s not. There is a simmering intensity in Nikhil no one except Emraan could have brought out.
Following up close is Randeep Hooda, who is robust and never over the top in this film. He is great in every frame and with the same grit.
Sanjay Dutt shot his last scene with them and he still has his iconic punch to his persona. I miss watching mode of Munnabhai and such roles and the little stint in Ungli will make you crave for it.
Kangana Ranaut, Neil Bhopalan, Angad Bedi were all great in their parts. Kangana does not have a very meaty role in the film but she is radiant and great in the scenes she has.
Ungli Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Films like Ungli are never about its actors but about its director and its writing. Rensil makes a compelling film which doesn’t shy away from taking on the system, much like his dreaded gang. Ungli prides itself in being a cross between a formulaic entertainer and relevant cinema and it makes for an interesting watch. The only times Rensil loses tempo is when the film’s melodrama steps in. Luckily not enough time or energy is wasted on that. It’s a slow boiling thriller that doesn’t have the darkness of Kurbaan, which was again a fantastic watch, but tackles it all with intelligent humor. The punches in Ungli have a certain sincerity, that flows from the film’s goodness and novelty. I am so bored of watching potboilers that Ungli is a whiff of freshness that has an enticing narrative which will keep you interested all through. And when you try predicting, Rensil’s climax will brilliantly throw you off. What’s another sparkling part of Ungli is its theme songs and Neeti’s voice will resound everytime the gang accomplishes a mission.
Ungli Review: The Last Word
I think it’s putting too much of a responsibility on a film to instigate a social change. It’s job is to primarily entertain and make better cinema. Ungli’s novelty is its highlight point. Benefitting from sharp writing, lucid narrative and a few clapworthy zingy dialogues which have the punch, I do think Ungli is one of 2014’s most novel concepts. Well rendered and acted with zeal, don’t miss five people showing an entire system, the finger. I am going with 3.5 stars.
Ungli releases on 28th November, 2014.
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