Movies

'Ungli'…Fingered!

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MUMBAI: While the Indians may love a Robin Hood kind (he robbed for charity), vigilante films, which have been made by the dozens in Hollywood, they are not very popular genre in India because, this is a nation supressed by some or the other rulers and have got used to the idea. So what if their own people like Municipal head or RTO boss or traffic cop and others supress you and put a price on just about everything you need to survive, we take it in our stride. Why bother to fight for your right when you can buy it in anything between Rs 100 to a lakh and be done with it?

It is a common scene that in a city like Mumbai, traffic police don't stop you from doing wrong, they stand round the corner to let you do that and cash in on your crime! It is the same when one is unfortunate enough to need the help of the 'service' of one of the government agencies.

Randeep Hooda, Angad Bedi, Neil Bhoopalam and Kangana Ranaut are friends who are let down by the society and people in high places. Their gym instructor and brother of Kangana, Arunoday Singh, is lying in a coma with little chance of recovery; he is in this condition because he was hit brutally by a fixer's, Mahesh Manjrekar, son who handles bribe collection and distribution of the Mumbai police force. There is only one witness, senior citizen Arunoday who is trying to defend himself from Manjrekar's son.

Producers: Hiroo Johar, Karan Johar.

Director: Renzil D'Silva.

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Wmraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Neha Dhupia, Randeep Hooda, Angad Bedi, Neil Bhoolam.

The senior citizen is threatened not to identify the culprit in the court and, as a result, the culprit is set free. The foursome lose faith in the system and decide to mete out justice on their own. They turn vigilantes. They decide to take on the corrupt and punish them on the spot when and where found guilty of corruption. The electronic media, always at the end of the butt of joke in movies, make these vigilante gang famous from their very first exploit. Also, the way they give names lacking imagination like Coal Gate (inspired by Watergate!), Bollywood (inspired by Hollywood), they name the gang as Ungli Gang because that is the sign they left behind after their first episode of instant justice.

While every department takes its turn at being punished by the Ungli gang, the police is hot on its trail. The people in high places are uncomfortable with this gang fearing their turn someday and want its illegal activities to end and to put them in prison. So the corrupt police force selects the most honest cop, Sanjay Dutt, to capture the gang who in turn enrols the rebellious junior, Emraan Hashmi, to do the job. Emraan is a rebellious cop and generally anti-establishment.

Emraan Hashmi joins the Ungli gang to liquidate it. Instead, he sees the gang's point of view and becomes a part of it. As it progresses, the film strays.

The script is quite hackneyed and direction patchy. There is no eye for details in things like designations and stars worn are three for all ranks and there are many such glitches. Musically, Dance Basanti… and Pakeezah have appeal for youth. Dialogue is good at places. The film looks dated having taken its time in making.

Ungli has had a poor opening and has little chance of showing much improvement over the weekend.

                                        'Zed Plus'…Nothing plus about it

Zed Plus is supposed to be a satire on the security system of the Indian police protection branch locally and the National Security Guard nationally. Zed Plus is supposed to be a security cover provided to a VIP. Since the perception of who is a VIP and deserving of such a security is determined on threat perception, it is the cause for this film promoted as a satire. One day, a local puncture mender with his workshop on the highway, Adil Hussain, earns this Zed security. This is all about him.

This is a famous dargah town in Rajasthan which goes back 500 years. The originator of the Dargah had a family of 12 children which has now flourished into 400+ heirs but only one man runs the dargah and pockets all the takings. The others rebel and it is decided that all the heirs will get a chance to perform the rituals at the dargah one by one, each getting a turn every 15 months!

The film is all about this small town with a dargah as its claim to fame. While the film peers in to the lives of the townfolk, it returns to its main theme only much later.

Kulbhushan Kharbanda is the prime minister of India surviving on day to day basis with his blackmailing coalition partners. Just about every coalition partner is blackmailing him with threats of withdrawal of support everyday unless their demands are met.

When the PM, Kharbanda, is all at sea, some unidentified caller advises him to visit this famous Peepali Pir dargah in Rajasthan which would solve his problems. Of among the 400+ guys to take their turn to be the Khadim of the dargah, it happens to be the turn of Adil to conduct the rituals of the dargah on the day the PM is slated to visit.

The PM arrives, the town is cleared of all ugly sights including Adil's puncture shop and the front platform of his wife's (Mona Singh) footwear shop. Many are left jobless. The PM's dargah visit works for as soon as he enters the premises, the PM's problems are getting solved one after the other. He has only Adil to thank for all the favours of the dargah. He is happy with Adil and asks Adil to spell his problems if any and the PM would solve them for him. Adil says he is threatened by his neighbour, Mukesh Tiwari, only for the PM to understand as the national troublesome neighbour, neighbouring country (Pakistan).

The PM instantly orders a Zed Plus security for Adil, a victim of Pakistani threats! The rest is left to the media who make him into a national hero like it did a simple village man, Omkar Das, in Pipli Live.

Adil becomes a celebrity overnight. A local hero, he is chosen by the Rajasthan CM to contest for his party. His degeneration has started, he is taught to accept bribe. He is manipulated by his PM and his Rajasthan CM, both being anti each other.

Our hero, Adil, is right out of Raj Kapoor's Shri 420. He decides to return to his normal life. He realizes his follies and greed and confesses to them at an election meeting.

Zed Plus may be a satire but hardly worth any mirth. The only problem Adil faces due to the security is that he can't visit his paramour without the security guards following him. The PM's PA knows a gaff has been made by the PM but he has to stick to the story of threat from the neighbouring country so that the PM is not made to look like a fool. Hence, despite Adil's requests to withdraw his cover, it stays.

While the idea was worth exploring, it is stretched too much trying to pack in parallel stories. Direction is fair. Songs have purely thematic appeal. Editing is slack. Adil Hussain performs very well equally supported by Mukesh Tiwari.  Mona Singh is adequate. Sanjay Mishra is good as usual. K K Raina impresses.

Zed Plus has weak face value leading to its poor opening. It faces bleak prospects.

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