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Ugly Aur PagliUgly Aur Pagli : Movie Review
01st Aug 2008  23.30 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  

Ugly Aur Pagli is a wee bit slap-happy, a little bit slapstick, but overall it deserves a tight slap for being utterly lousy on many counts.

It's actually difficult to count the number of times poor Ranvir Shorey gets slapped by Mallika Sherawat in the film. He plays a meek geek (Kabir) and she plays a she-wolf (Kuhu). He's been a failure at studies, at girls, and many other important things of life. While she is a drunk, a loose canon waiting to claim her next victim.

A sober Kabir saves a sloshed Kuhu from getting knocked down by a local train and carries her to a hotel where he gets to sleep the night with her. Only he sleeps on the floor while she snores on a cushy bed.

Kabir falls for Kuhu whose normal way of interaction with him is more by hand than by mouth. Pun unintended, Kuhu instinctively keeps slapping the poor guy for minutest of reasons. He takes her mobile. Smack! He ogles at a girl. Smack! He asks a silly question. Smack! He asks the right question. Smack! He doesn't mind the slap. Smack!

And Kabir does every wacky thing she demands - like riding a bicycle in a petticoat or walking in stilettos.

The unique friendship of this odd couple hits a few bumps and the love between them largely remains unexpressed or unrealized until the very end when the poor hero is compensated for all the firm slaps with one fleeting kiss.

'Ugly Aur Pagli' begins well but loses its grip as the going gets longer. The gags become repetitive and after mid-point the movie takes a serious turn as the plot veers into an implausible triangle between Kuhu's prospective groom and Kabir and Kuhu. The fun and promise of the first half wanes away and is replaced by some sloppy (not slappy) drama that the director couldn't handle with skill and conviction.

On top of it there are songs aplenty to test your patience and your tolerance towards bad music.

For its most part, 'Ugly Aur Pagli' rides on the shoulders of Ranvir and Mallika, both totally suited to their roles. Ranvir is particularly impressive playing a loser, while Mallika looks natural as a girl who dominates her man. Pun unintended again.

And there's also a sweet little cameo by Zeenat Aman that makes sitting through this ugly and pagli trip a little worth while.

Rating: **

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