Saturday, November 29, 2014


Masked Morons

It would take a particularly juvenile mind to believe that by punishing petty bureaucrats, a small time politician and bribe-demanding traffic cops, with comic-book vigilante antics, there is a great point being made about fighting a corrupt system. Still, if the tone was cheeky and the characters teens, Rensil D’Silva’s Ungli might have worked to some extent.

But a group of thirty-ish professionals deciding to become vigilantes with a raised middle finger (censors napping?) as their symbol, is neither funny nor disturbing. Only Rajkumar Hirani could pull off such a ‘clean-up-society’ plot with a sense of fun in his Munnabhai films; and if it’s rage one is looking for there’s Rang De Basanti or the older Aaj Ki Awaaz as effective vigilante films. Ungli is neither here nor there.

 A group of friends, decide they must right some random wrongs, because one of their friends was attacked while trying to help an old man against thugs, and his assailants walked away for lack of evidence. So crime reporter Abhay (Randeep Hooda), computer engineer Goti (Neil Bhoopalam), mechanic Kalim (Angad Bedi) and medical intern Maya (Kangana Ranaut) form the Ungli Gang and get the encouragement and sympathy of people who are fed-up of the shabby way the ordinary citizens are treated down the line—from nasty autowallas to politicians defacing walls with posters.

They are clever enough to leave no trace for the cops, so ACP Kale (Sanjay Dutt) gets a maverick  junior Nikhil (Emraan Hashmi) to nab the gang. He manages to join them and then realises that he is on their side... which leads to a ludicrous climax.

And the worst of all, a film with an incendiary (if unoriginal idea) is made in such bland style with zombie performances and brainless dialogue. The one that got a laugh was when Emraan Hashmi pouts at an unnamed extra. “Are you trying to kiss me?” she asks. “This is my speciality,” he replies.  Sad to see Sanjay Dutt as an aging cop, but also good to know that at least one fifty-plus actor is not afraid to show his age.


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