UT 69 Review: When Raj Kundra was arrested for allegedly producing pornographic movies while dressing like a web series star, it caused a great deal of controversy. Like most high-profile cases, the media trial started well before the police had a chance to look into the situation. After more than two months, he was brought to the Arthur Road jail and given anticipatory bail.
Almost two years after the incident, Kundra has now produced a movie about his incarceration. Known as “UT 69,” which doubles as his “kaidi number” in the movie, it records his incarceration at Arthur Road Jail.
The film shows the hopelessness
The problem with this two-hour story is that it is a litany of woes rather than delving into the specifics of the accusation. All we witness is the hopelessness and melancholy that engulfs our man, from the moment the immaculate Kundra walks into a big, empty quarantine cell where he is the only prisoner, to the packed pen where hundreds of under trials are made to live in appalling, unhygienic, and unclean conditions, and everything in between—dirty toilets, barely edible food, regimented days and nights.
The only relief he gets comes from the odd phone conversation with his spouse, the actor Shilpa Shetty, who appears on the screen swaying sensually or as a disembodied voice. At that point, he starts to smile. Along with the infrequent occasions when the undertrials are “allowed” to rejoice (Ganapati time), there are also the heartwarming moments when birthdays are commemorated with a homemade “sonpapdi” cake and the sequences when they exchange life tales.
UT 69 shows jokes with less humour
In the end, none of it is very fresh but for the fact that everything seems to be rather sanitized, with the crude cruelty and sexual exploitation just faintly mentioned. The one unexpected thing is how at ease Kundra looks on TV. Maybe there is a chance for him in the film industry. In addition, the abundance of crude humour in the movie seems superfluous. Every time, taking a poop turns into a problem.