STORY: Four fun-loving friends find themselves in the grip of a vicious, blackmailing cop – how f*ugly will this get? REVIEW: There’s a line in F*ugly which mirrors the movie beautifully – “Apne aap ko bara James Bond samajhta hai.” All through its tight run-time, F*ugly struts around with the awareness of being edgy – but falls off the edge. F*ugly had sharp potential – a dramatic story, a fresh cast, a velveteen character actor and gritty city Delhi. But instead of weaving a tightlyknit drama, these become loose threads.

Dev (Marwah), Devi (Advani), Gaurav (Singh) and Aditya (Lamba) are fast friends living life, as Dev says, “on speed and loving it”. Foot-loose and fancy-free, the Delhi foursome drives around town, drinking, partying and cussing. They pop across to Leh where Dev starts a tourist camp, then return home where Devi helps her mother (Kunika) sell papads to the lecherous Nannu (Pravin Singh Sisodia in a strikingly creepy role), Gaurav trains as a boxer under the indulgent eye of his Haryanvi politician father and Aditya learns the family sanitary-ware trade.

Life rolls along in a swill of swearwords and vodka until the four collide with corrupt cop Chautala (Shergill) and a crime occurs. Can the friends survive? F*ugly’s determination to be off-the-wall makes it fall flat. The film gets overburdened trying to capture every Delhi cliche, from Parliament to Paharganj, and show how deep the city’s ugliness has seeped.

The story has its moments – Shergill’s menacing Chautala is etched in iron while Vijender Singh is funny and bright. Marwah’s Dev has soulful presence while Advani’s Devi alternates well between fiery and fragile. However, in trying to present an uber-cool tale, the acting is overlooked and inconsistent.

Similarly, there are striking side-stories here – Gaurav’s family’s internal politics – but the direction fails to fuse together a powerful, coherent film, the distracted screen efforts unaided by forgettable music. The result is like a soggy Delhi chaat where potentially spicy ingredients make a sorry mess. As F*ugly would phrase it, quite a f*waste.

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Volume 4 Issue 40 | Dallas | Oct 14

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