Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Nothing exciting about ‘Ugly Aur Pagli’
In retrospect, I should have just switched off the television. But I didn’t. I watched “Pyaar Ke Side Effects” in its entirety – barely 24 hours before I was treated to the wannabe version of the film – “Ugly Aur Pagli”.
Naturally, the whole thing was doomed from the start.This is not to say the two films have similar storylines, but the producers and lead actress are the same, and you can’t help get the feeling the second film is trying hard to measure up to the first.
Mallika Sherawat is Kuhu, a ranting, raving, dominating hottie aka Pagli while Ranvir Shorey is quite likeable as Kabir Achrekar, a middle-class Maharashtrian boy who falls head over heels in love with Kuhu.
The story moves along at a leisurely pace, and halfway through the film, you are wondering what the point is.
Kuhu makes Kabir do all kinds of slavish acts (riding saddle-less on a bicycle, wearing six-inch heels, and making the rounds of a film production company to sell her script) — all of which he does, without so much as a whimper.
Oh, and along the way, Kuhu also slaps him, in almost every scene, for seemingly no reason. Hence the tagline ‘99 slaps, 1 kiss’.
Kabir is hopelessly in love with this female terror but Kuhu can’t get over her dead boyfriend. Of course, you know how this one ends. I don’t even have to say it.
Mallika hams her way through most of the role but manages to look ravishing doing it. She should not cry on screen though (I cringed through all of her scenes).
And Shorey does a good job with the helpless boy act. But it’s still tough to believe both of them are supposed to be playing college students.
Watch out for some good performances from Bharti Achrekar and Sushmita Mukherjee who play Kabir’s and Kuhu’s mothers respectively. That was about the only refreshing part for me.