A handsome wealthy couple have their first baby. But when the baby is born the mother desperately opposes for her new born child to be introduced to his father. Why? Maybe she knows her husband’s hopes all to well. Humorously presented, Mickael Cohen’s story is as comic and full of irony as it is dramatic. The characters behind ‘Ugly’ are racing for ‘beauty’. By being handsome is how they understand to achieve anything in life. Good looks open doors.
Behind this simple and appealing theme, easy to relate with for the public, the director slips in a very scathing perspective over the issue in question. His two protagonists are actually the archetypes of the snob and the nouveau riche. The man makes use of his good looks – or so he thinks – to select his companionship and save appearances, while the woman accesses them ‘artificially’ – watch and see -, at any cost, both to be able to meet the ‘snob’’s expectations and to make a step up on the social scale, or maybe to appear in accordance with the one she already detains. ‘Save the appearances!’ shouts ‘Ugly’. Of course things will get accidentally unveiled and the two will have to face each their own ‘assumed’ condition.
The entire project is a sarcastic ‘philosophy’ of ugliness and beauty. These are the two main concepts modern people understand to guide their lives after. Run away from ugliness, embrace physical beauty and get socially included. Scratch things well on the surface and you might get away with everything else. But the only thing ‘beauty’ generates in ‘Ugly’ is even more ugliness. Unmet appearances dismiss any potential value or virtue annihilating them so far as to parental duty. The ultimate absurdity is that ugliness that resides in snobs is not only unaware of itself but it also cripples one’s reason and discernment blinding even justice.
Mickael Cohen’s short film is simply ‘mad’, and we say it with deep congeniality. It’s cynical, caustic and funny as hell.
TMFF has awarded ‘Ugly’ with the the 1st prize for Best Short Film Of December 2016 for its genuineness, boldness and straightforward approach and for its ability to design such a refined criticising parable addressed to social appearances.