But this premise, not all bad, gets a Rang De Basanti-inspired twist as the story becomes one about fighting corruption, defending one’s honor, and inspiring a national awakening. Alas, none of it rings true because the writing’s so affected. There is no connective tissue between individual scenes, and Sadanand resorts to stereotyping of the most lazy order. We get flaming gay men who pounce at anything that moves, lecherous rich women with a taste for young men, fat ladies who send their daughters out to please clients, and oily politicians who can’t keep it in their pants.
Of the cast, Jimmy Shergill is deliciously evil as the blackmailing cop, but watch how he hams as the character finally gets his just desserts. The four youngsters, sadly, leave no impression, particularly Olympic boxing champ Vijender Singh, who survives the comic bits but struggles in the dramatic scenes. The one character that stayed with me was a feisty old biddy who distracted an income tax officer while her grandson made off with wads of notes. Genuine comic moments like these are few and far between in this well-intentioned but sloppy film.
I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for Fugly. In the end it’s neither thrilling nor stirring. Just a wasted opportunity.