Producer- SVS Studios
Director- Shahnawaz Ali
Cast- Raj Kundra, Kumar Saurabh, Ganesh Deokar and Mahesh Ghag
Platform of Release- Theatrical
By Jyothi Venkatesh
Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra plays himself in this dramatic retelling of the time he spent in jail as an under trial. Making his debut as an actor and narrating his unpleasant ordeal of spending 63 days in prison, Kundra sets out to trace his time spent in Arthur Road Jail after his alleged involvement in a pornography scandal in 2021.
The film commences with Raj’s arrest and subsequent incarceration at the Arthur Road jail, ultimately concluding with his release on bail after a gruelling 63 days. While anyone would automatically think that the intention behind the film is to clear Kundra’s image and prove his innocence, the film doesn’t touch upon the case at all, because the matter is subjudice. That somehow is quite a put off for a lot of people who wouldn’t see a point or purpose in watching a nearly 2-hour film based on a star’s husband’s life in prison.
Kundra is shown to have spent some terrible time sleeping on the floor with 245 other inmates in a barrack that has a capacity of 45 people, eating food that’s not only pathetic but also difficult to digest. And then making the most of ‘indigestion’, there are countless toilet scenes ingested in the script, and each making you want to throw up at the mere sight of it.
What UT69 lacks is a discernible plot and operates more as a patchwork of events that Kundra encountered or observed during his stay at the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai. The film sheds light on Kundra’s experiences, including living a cramped 6×4 barrack with over 200 male inmates, enduring deplorable sanitary conditions that would instantly curdle anyone’s stomach, surviving on watery dal, and witnessing his famous wife becoming the centre of attention among fellow inmates, all while dealing with the crazy star struck and unpleasant jail staff.
While Raj Kundra is reasonably good as an actor in his own role, Kumar Saurabh, Ganesh Deokar and Mahesh Ghag shine in their own characterisations and it is to the credit of Shahnawaz Ali that as a director, dialogue writer and editor, he has put in a commendable effort though as far as the plot of concerned, the film only tries to beat round the bush as it does not have a coherent plot to justify it. To sum up, it is worth watching at least once to know the pathetic state of truth as far as Indian jails are concerned, especially the Arthur Road jail