Ugly (film)

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Movie Poster Ugly.jpg
Directed by Anurag Kashyap
Produced by Arun Rangachari
Vivek Rangachari
Madhu Mantena
Vikas Bahl
Vikramaditya Motwane
Starring Rahul Bhat
Ronit Roy
Girish Kulkarni
Siddhanth Kapoor
Tejaswini Kolhapure
Vineet Kumar Singh
Surveen Chawla
Music by G. V. Prakash Kumar
Brian McOmber (2 songs & Background Score)
Phantom Films
Distributed by DAR Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • 24 May 2013 (2013-05-24) (Cannes)
Running time
128 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 45 million (US$710,000)[1]
Box office 138 million (US$2.2 million)

Ugly is a 2014 Indian neo-noir psychological thriller film written and directed by Anurag Kashyap.[2] The film was screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[3] It also opened the 2014 New York Indian Film Festival. The film stars Girish Kulkarni, Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Vineet Kumar Singh and Surveen Chawla in pivotal roles. It also feature model turned TV actor Rahul Bhat in an important role and TV actor Abir Goswami in his last film appearance before his death in 2013. The circumstances that led to the birth of Kali, the little girl, was separately made as 'Kali Katha': the prologue, and was released on YouTube.[4] The film is produced by DAR Motion Pictures and Phantom Films. The digital poster of the film was released on 8 May 2013 and the film was released in India on 26 December 2014 after a delay about the inclusion of a warning about smoking.


The film opens with Shalini (Tejaswini Kolhapure) a lonely and troubled housewife addicted to alcohol, battling depression. She contemplates suicide, hoping to evoke some reaction from her stoic second husband, police chief Shoumik Bose (Ronit Roy), who behaves as if she doesn't exist. Shalini feels trapped in the marriage as Shoumik doesn't talk, taps her phone calls and treats her like a criminal. When she is about to shoot herself in the head with her husband's gun, she is interrupted by her 10-year-old daughter (from her first marriage) Kali (Anishika Shrivastava). Unaware of her mother's state of mind, Kali asks her to call her father, Shalini's estranged ex-husband, Rahul (Rahul Bhat). Rahul is a struggling actor. It is a Saturday, and Kali wishes to spend the day with her father, as decided in the custody agreement of the divorce.

Rahul takes Kali for a drive but is preoccupied by phone calls to further his career. He ends up taking Kali for a work assignment. This irritates her. She chooses to stay in the car while her father goes to see his agent Chaitanya (Vineet Kumar Singh) at his house. Whilst Rahul is waiting in the house for Chatainya to arrive, a street seller tries to catch Kali's attention with children's masks. Chatainya then arrives at the house and informs Rahul that his car door was open and Kali was not in the car. Rahul rushes down to the car and much to his horror, he sees that Kali is missing. Chaitanya and Rahul start looking for leads in the busy marketplace street where the car was parked. Chatainya asks the mask seller about Kali and notices that he has Kali's phone. Rahul and Chatainya try to stop the seller from running off but he runs into the road and is hit by a car and dies on the spot.

Rahul and Chatainya go to the police station to inform about what happened and that Kali is missing. The local police inspector Jadhav (Girish Kulkarni) makes jokes about the situation and does not take it seriously, until he realises that Kali is the step-daughter of his police-chief Bose. Things quickly turn mean and Jadhav accuses Rahul and his friend Chaitanya of orchestrating the kidnappping as this is Bose's opinion when Jadhav informs him of the kidnap. Rahul and Bose have known each other since College, where the popular Rahul had the studious Bose beaten up when Bose had approached Shalini. Bose suspects Rahul and plays a telephone call clip back to Rahul in which he stated to his ex-wife that he will kidnap Kali if she continues stopping Kali from seeing him.

Chaitainya is allowed to leave the station. Chatainya is then seen to be making a phone call to Bose in a disguised voice asking for a ransom. Rahul is released. What follows is a game of one-upmanship as Bose and Rahul search for Kali while simultaneously attempting to upstage the other. Both of them accuse each other at various times of orchestrating the kidnapping. Chatainya is also suspected at times but Bose cannot find any firm evidence.

Shalini's good-for-nothing brother Siddhant (Siddhant Kapoor) and B-grade-actress item-girl Rakhee (Surveen Chawla) seem involved too. Siddhant makes a ransom call for 50 Lacs rupees to Shalini on her parent's home telephone, and Shalini asks her dad for 65 Lac rupees of which she delivers the 50 Laca but hides the extra 15 Lacs for herself under the care of her friend Rakhee. Rakhee moves out of her shared flat stealing this money. Siddhant is later arrested with the money whilst Shalini later implies to Bose that she had kept some of the money for herself so she can leave him. Rakhee is seen to be forwarding Chatainya's ransom calls to Rahul. Every character seems like a culprit as they all have ulterior motives.

Rahul delivers the money for the ransom but the caller Chatainya evades police interception. Rahul is seen getting into the caller's car with the bag of money. Rahul, Chatainya and Rakhee are then seen together with the bag of money and Chatainya jokes around with Rakhee as they wait for a ferry. Rahul telephones Bose to taunt him that he thinks he is a really big police inspector but did not find Kali. Bose replies by asking Rahul if Kali is with him and reflects that the situation has not helped anyone. Rahul is despondent as he realises that Bose does not know where Kali is either and she is still missing, Rahul flies into a rage at Chatainya stating that Chatainya had reassured him that Bose had taken Kali. Rahul states he has been treated as a fool by Chatinaya and kills Chatainya in his rage whilst Rakhee quietly leaves the two of them taking the bag of money.

The Police revisit the marketplace and talk again to an Aunty of the mask seller who died. The two of them had a history of abducting children. A policewoman advises the Aunty that it would be better if she shows them where Kali is as the public will lynch her for what has happened. It has been at least six days that Kali has been missing and the cops finally discover Kali's dead body after being led to her by the Aunty. The police get to know that she was actually kidnapped by the mask seller, who hid her and then was unable to release her since he died in the chase. A harrowing image of the dead Kali is seen as the film ends.



Soundtrack cover
Soundtrack album by G. V. Prakash Kumar
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 19:56
Language Hindi
Label Zee Music Company
Producer G. V. Prakash Kumar
G. V. Prakash Kumar chronology

The film's soundtrack is composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar and Brian McOmber, with the latter composing two songs and the background score.

Track listing
No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
1. "Suraj Hai Kahan"   Gaurav Solanki G. V. Prakash Kumar 5:16
2. "Papa"   Gaurav Solanki Shilpa Rao 3:16
3. "Ni Chod De"   Gaurav Solanki Barkha Swaroop Saxena 4:03
4. "Money"   Gaurav Solanki Christopher Stanley 3:42
5. "Ugly"   Vineet Singh Ishq Bector, Vineet Singh, Shree D 3:39
Total length:

Delayed release over depiction of smoking[edit]

Anurag Kashyap had initially intended for Ugly to release in mid to late 2013. The Indian Censor Board required a "Smoking is Injurious to Health" sign to be posted in the lower right corner of the frame whenever a character in the film is shown smoking. Kashyap fought this regulation stating " it's the Health Ministry that should take the responsibility of curbing use of tobacco and work towards measures to control it and films should not be a medium to advertise non-smoking."[6] For a while Kashyap stated that he was not going to release the film until the Board decided to get rid of the rule, but after several months of negotiations, Kashyap decided that he would release the movie with the "Smoking is Injurious to Health" sign while continuing to challenge the rule.[7] It was released on 26 December 2014.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Bollywood Hungama 4.5/5 stars[8]
Bollywood Life 4.5/5 stars[9]
Cannes Favorable[10]
Deccan Chronicle 4/5 stars[11]
Economic Times 4/5 stars[12]
Hindustan Times 4.75/5 stars[13]
IMDb 8.3/10 stars[14]
IndiaGlitz 4/5 stars[15]
India Today 4/5 stars[16]
Koimoi 4/5 stars[17]
NDTV 3/5 stars[18]
Rediff 4.5/5 stars[19]
The Times of India 4/5 stars[20]
Zee News 4/5 stars

Upon release, Ugly received widespread critical acclaim. The film was premiered at the Cannes film festival and received what Filmfare called a "great response" as a result of standing ovation.[21] The film released in France in May 2014 with Business of Cinema stating that it had a "brilliant script and amazing performance."[22]

On 23 December 2014 a special screening was held in Mumbai. First Post said, "Ironically, Ugly looks beautiful. It's all dark, dank and disgusting, and yet impossible to look away from."[23]

Jogimara calculated score was 71, which means a recommended watch for all.[24] Koimoi gave 4/5 stars praising the direction and scripts.[17] Times of India gave 4/5 stars saying " Anurag Kashyap is in top form in this suspense thriller."[20] gave 4.5/5 star saying it is Kashyap's finest work.[19] Hindustan Times, Glamsham and Deccan Chronicle gave the film 4 to 4.75 stars out of 5.[11][25] Yahoo and Zee News gave the film 4/5 stars.[26]


  1. ^ "Ugly is a commercial film: Anurag Kashyap". Business Standard. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Anurag Kashyap: 'Ugly' is a strong yet emotional thriller". IBN Live. 29 November 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "List of films in Cannes Directors' Fortnight". Cannes. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Kali Katha". YouTube. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Rahul Bhatt's looks the surprise element of Anurag Kashyap's Ugly". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Anurag Kashyap's Files Petition". Times of India. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Anurag Kashyap's Ugly Will Release with Smoking Ads". Times of India. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Ugly". 26 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ugly movie review: Ronit Roy's stellar performance in this Anurag Kashyap film blows you away". 
  10. ^ "Ugly receives a standing ovation at Cannes". 
  11. ^ a b "Movie review 'Ugly': Ugly delivers a packed narrative, intentional violence and shock value". Deccan Chronicle. 
  12. ^ "Movie Review: 'Ugly' is lovely". The Economic Times. 
  13. ^ "Ugly review: A dark, gripping movie that is a must watch". Hindustan Times. 
  14. ^ Satvik Sharma (26 December 2014). "Ugly (2013)". IMDb. 
  15. ^ "Ugly review. Ugly Bollywood movie review, story, rating -". IndiaGlitz. 
  16. ^ "Movie review: Ugly should not be missed". 
  17. ^ a b "Ugly Movie Review – Ronit Roy, Rahul Bhat". Koimoi. 
  18. ^ "Ugly Movie Review". 
  19. ^ a b "Ugly is Anurag Kashyap's finest film". Rediff. 25 December 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Ugly Movie Review". The Times of India. 
  21. ^ "Ugly receives a standing ovation at Cannes". Film Fare. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  22. ^ Business of Cinema staff (29 May 2014). "Anurag Kashyap's Ugly: A Black Diamond That Should Not Go Unnoticed". Business of Cinema. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "Ugly review: Anurag Kashyap is back, with his best film since Black Friday". First Post. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "Ugly Movie Reviews – Jogimara". 
  25. ^ "Ugly review: A dark, gripping movie that is a must watch". Hindustan Times. 
  26. ^ "'Ugly' is lovely (IANS Movie Review, Rating: ****)". Yahoo Movies India. 25 December 2014. 

External links[edit]