'Ugram', produced by Sahu Garapati and Harish Peddi of Shine Screens, was released in theatres today.
Inspector Shiva Kumar (Allari Naresh) ends up living every onscreen cop's nightmare when his wife Aparna (Mirnaa Menon) and daughter Lucky (Baby Uha Reddy) go missing after a terrible road accident. He is diagnosed with dementia by a doctor (Indraja).
Shiva Kumar's father-in-law (Sharath Lohithaswa) is impatient, now that his daughter and granddaughter are missing. Meanwhile, a police team must crack the mystery behind the missing mother-daughter duo. The hero leads it from the front with a vengeance despite his pitiable health condition.
Allari Naresh's most feral role would have worked even better with the accompaniment of more vehement writing. While there is enough energy and a frightful poise, his acting is let down by ordinary writing in many places. Despite the bottlenecks, Naresh comes into his own.
Mirnaa Menon's acting in a scene where she has to emote a diverse set of reactions is interesting. She is here to stay if she picks the right roles. Baby Uha Reddy is cute and she also acts. Sharath Lohithaswa, recently seen in 'Vinaro Bhagyamu Vishnu Katha', would have suited the role played by Shatru.
Music director Sri Charan Pakala's music for 'Naandhi' was striking. His second film with Naresh, 'Itlu Maredumilli Prajaneekam', lacked the zing. For 'Ugram', his BGM is good but not fine enough. By now, we have seen it all.
Editor Chota K Prasad brings to the table smooth transitions from one segment to another. Siddharth J shoots the action scenes with no splendid creativity. Brahma Kadali's production design is impressive.
Given the span of the film in terms of the number of years, Kilari Lakshmi Sree's costume design should have been better.
Toom Venkat's story draws from several real-life instances of missing persons. What happens to the thousands of people who go missing in broad daylight? The story conveniently builds an imagined plot to explain the colossal social tragedy. The film, as a result, is not as arresting and visceral as it ought to have been. The element of a fictional scam only strips the film of realism.
In the absence of neo-noir elements, the film doesn't rise above its basicness. The investigative procedural segment lacks smartness. After the hero starts retracing the footprints of his wife and daughter, the emotional beats take a beating. We don't feel for him, as the writing doesn't bring out his agony.
The clues are conveniently placed. It all ends, as expected, in an action scene - an ordinary one at that.
'Ugram' attempts to be moody. Despite the absence of pathbreaking elements, it is relatively involving. However, it fails to click as a whydunit.