Review: 'UT69' offers a deep perspective at 'life behind bars' with Raj Kundra's convincing act

Setting aside the film's underlying agenda and purpose, 'UT69' offers a decent attempt by filmmaker Shahnawaz Ali to depict life inside a prison, with Raj Kundra aptly cast to portray his own character.

UT69

UT69

Another image clearance gimmick or a validation from the audiences to remove his mask and roam around with his heads up or venturing into the unidentified zones like acting? What is Raj Kundra's purpose to get the film 'UT69' to the silver screens is something we won't be able to make out, but this is definitely a bold step and making an acting debut like this which can get the name of 'whitewashing your image' is quite courageous. Well whatever the agenda of the film is let us see what does it has to offer.

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Keeping the agenda aside, delving into filmmaking

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The film takes a straightforward approach, commencing with Raj Kundra's arrest in connection with his pornography case. The entire narrative unfolds within the confines of 'Arthur Road Jail.' It delves into his journey, starting from his initial quarantine cell experience and then delving into the cramped 6' X 4' cell he shares with 256 co-accused men, showcasing Raj's adaptation to the prison environment.

One notable aspect of the film, particularly in terms of its filmmaking, is the attention to detail within the prison setting. The movie provides insights into various aspects, such as the food service, washroom facilities, interactions with the jailer, and other procedural aspects that many may not be familiar with. These small details were meticulously addressed, and the fellow inmates played a significant role in building the narrative. Their connections with Raj, their personal backgrounds, and moments of camaraderie added depth to an otherwise straightforward storyline.

The cinematography deserves praise, particularly in capturing the dramatic sequences and offering different perspectives on the confined spaces, especially during scenes where everyone is shown sleeping in the cramped quarters.

Raj Kundra's debut

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It appears that Raj Kundra brought an added layer of authenticity and sincerity to the narrative by taking on the role himself. While his acting skills may not be top-tier, he managed to convey the emotions and capture a sense of what his character must have experienced during his time in prison. The scenes where he engages in introspective dialogues with himself were skillfully crafted and left a meaningful impression.

The monotonous zone

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The film's duration did become somewhat burdensome, and at a certain point, the prison routines started to feel repetitive. It seemed like we had a good understanding of Raj Kundra's daily life in jail, and we were ready for the narrative to progress further. The inclusion of some scenes before and after the prison experience might have added variety, although it could have shifted the focus more toward the dramatic aspect of the story.

The Verdict

Setting aside the film's underlying agenda and purpose, 'UT69' offers a decent attempt by filmmaker Shahnawaz Ali to depict life inside a prison, with Raj Kundra aptly cast to portray his own character.

Rating

***(3/5) stars

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