Ugly - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ugly Reviews

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October 25, 2015
Dark tale on ego and human emotions. Path breaking movie that is very intense and deeply disturbing.
½ September 19, 2015
A police officer is walking along a corridor with a doctor. It is a police colony in the Mumbai suburb, we know. The suspect is kept in one of the rooms. The cop opens the locked door. In split second, we see the cop and the doc coming inside. As the cop opens another locked room, the doc looks straight at the camera (facing from the wall), his eyes revealing shock. I am taken aback. What is there? What did he see? We are not shown. They duo move to the next room where the suspect is kept, all battered and beaten up. After a couple of minutes, the suspect is moved. We return to the other room. This time the suspect looks straight at the camera, his expression the same as the doc! Now, we are shown what is there.... It was a boy, looking straight at them, his face expressionless. It took me a second to realize that the he was blind.

This was not the only scene in Anurag Kashyap's 2013 neo-noir psychological thriller Ugly, that gave me creeps, but this one stood out. The way Kashyap builds suspense over something so inconsequential, so unimportant is phenomenal. With a chilling background score and dark cinematography, Kashyap builds an eerie air around the film, giving you chills.

Ugly is exactly what it claims to be, UGLY. Centered around the kidnapping of a young girl Kali, the subsequent events and happenings form the crux of the story. Kali lives with her disenchanted mother, a lady who is obviously frustrated with her life, and her father- in-law, a tough,straight-faced cop. Her father, a struggling actor, has problems of his own, including having to face the ire of his ex wife's husband.

Seems like a simple drama, right? You are wrong. Kashyap, it seems, wasn't cowed down by the compulsion of making a commercial film. Ugly has an air of realism surrounding it, with real characters, and nothing black and white. There are no heroes in Kashyap's world. There are only normal humans with human flaws and human instincts. And as he inexplicably revolves a drama around them, there are many grey areas. We don't know whom to believe and whom to root for. Everyone has something to hide, and ultimately, we understand, nobody cares for the little girl. Everybody is moving around the cobweb of opportunism, with little care or concern for anybody else.

Kashyap creates a atmosphere so grotesquely different from contemporary Bollywood fare to the point where we feel we are not watching a film, as though Kashyap and his camera are following these peope in their real lives. Under the circumstances, it's horrifying. While centering the story around the kidnapping, Kashyap's taut screenplay manages to drag the film so far away from it, as if it is of miniscule importance. Excellent.

The cinematography is excellent. Nikos Andritsakis paints a picture of Bombay so dark and starkly real, that it begins to scare you. Add to it the chilling music, the movie won't leave you for a long time. Naturally, Kashyap manages to squeeze the best out a talented cast. Everybody including Tejaswini Kohlapure (Shalini, Kali's mother), Rahul (Rahul Bhat, Kali's father) and Ronit Roy (Kali's step-father) play their parts to perfection. But the star- performer is Vineet Kumar Singh as Chaitanya, Rahul's friend. He portrays a character so complex with such ease that we don't know whether to trust him or not. Definitely, one of the best performances of the year.

Ugly became news because of Anurag Kashyap's long legal battle against the CBFC order to include smoking warnings on the screen while the characters are shown smoking. He subsequently lost the case, but you see the reasoning behind his fight, when you see the last scene. It shocks you, and will leave you gasping for breadth. The harrowing song Papa, by Shilpa Rao, only compounds the emotion.

All in all, Ugly is a hauntingly satisfying cinematic experience, and for me, it is the year's best film. It is one of the few films that gave me sleepless nights. I was so emotionally shattered by the movie that I had to call home early morning, asking whether my sisters were fine. How many movies could manage to do that. It is up-there with classics like Se7en and Silence of the lambs as one the best psychological thrillers ever.

Ugly is that rare film which exposes the demons in our society and in ourselves. While not for the faint - hearted, the movie is a must watch for all cinephiles for the craft and the technical finesse. It is easily Anurag Kashyap's best work; the handiwork of a genius!
½ September 15, 2015
The film starts up calmly, then begins to pick up the pace, at first it lures you, then it tickles you, after that it amazes you, then it fascinates you, suddenly it totally grabs you, then it gives you the shock, in the end it leaves you disturbed, now it's going to haunt you.
Combination of excellent screenplay and realistic performances by actors. If you follow Anurag Kashyap's work [not just because it is cool to do so] you are going to love this film.
June 4, 2015
Nothing can take this brilliant thriller on the floor except for Anurag. Just for one time forgot that Bombay velvet was directed by this director only and just watch this and you will feel that it is a underrated piece of art.
April 13, 2015
One of Anurag Kashyap's best movies!!! One of those thriller movies from Bbollywood. Awesome job!! Not recommended for weak-hearted people.
½ March 21, 2015
Ugly, disturbing and dirty Indian thriller. Based on a true story, the film is totally incompatible with the Hollywood model. At first glance, the eccentric performances of Indian actors, the visual clutter of the country and the complex history confuse and generate some discomfort. However, with the unfolding of the plot, the story is gaining cohesion and the actors themselves grow with it.
If you are not a different film, Ugly, at least, can be eccentric and interesting ..
½ January 25, 2015
No matter what the plot apparently seems to be, Ugly is a brutal portrayal of our society. Gritty, claustrophobic and right on the money.

Anurag Kashyap is the filmmaker Bollywood seriously don't deserve, but boy do they need filmmakers like him to carry the flag of proper films from this nation. And hopefully sometimes soon our rather laughable, absolute ridiculous year ending award shows will acknowledge films like these.
If not, it's pretty much obvious whose loss will that be.
½ January 17, 2015
Anurag Kashyap, looks like you are the only one who has the onus to turn things around for the Hindi film industry. Right from the selection of cast to the details in the plot to the background scores you have just shown how important each of these aspects are. Star cast does not make good movies, good story with realistic acting skills makes a good movie. Kudos to Ugly [Probably first time ever someone would have ever said that] and Anurag Kashyap.
½ January 14, 2015
I watched Ugly almost 4 days back. It still haunts me. It disturbs me. It makes me feel throw up. It makes me look up to you in a way, I do at Nolan, Spielberg, Guy Ritchie, Scorcese, Polanski, Coppola and many others who I dont know are in a league of their own. I hate thinking that you as an Indian made a movie like Ugly but also admit that I will buy and keep it and perhaps never watch it again. I wont keep it to proudly show it to my ignorant foreign friends, or to teach my son the scale with which cinema should be compared, or to confess to my wife of the awe am in with it still. I will keep it to remember the peak Indian cinema reached in my time of youth, to remember that there indeed was a person who went beyond what is rarely understood in life, and to remember the only Indian movie to surprise, disturb and eventually proud for the rest of my life. You know, it stays with you. Hope that was your intention.
January 12, 2015
Disturbingly Beautiful!
½ January 8, 2015
The movie beautifully shows the truth about us,our daily life,our natural behavior,our reaction to any incident,our system,our locality..It shows how in our day-to-day life we all behave as sick person on each and every matter related to us..Hats off to Anurag kashyap, Ronit Roy and the whole team for making such dark intense suspense movie..Its really one of the most thought provoking story on deeper and darker side of urban India and Human psychology..
½ January 4, 2015
Isn't Kashyap's best but definitely worth a watch.
January 2, 2015
The movie is not that Ugly , but scores a lot through its cast. Anurag has shown enough that he doesnt need the big stars to make his movie a success, but he can mend the low fame guys to give a wonderful performance. The movie is dragged a little bit, but has its element. The conversation of the cops to the suspects is one best scene. Worth watching.
January 2, 2015
Ugly [2013] ** Released in 2014
Rating: 4/5
!! Strictly for Anurag Kashyap Bhakts only !!
From my end,.. I think he has reached the height of International fame. His movies are "Fine Art" now.
I have seen a lot of International art movies, AK stands right along with them (Y)
About the movie -- First thing you will notice while watching the film is that, was how real it looks. From the Actor's attire, how they spoke and how they reacted was too realistic.
Things to watch:
1. Story - Inter connected , suspense, thriller
2. Cinematography
3. Run time... its 2hrs only. Guess, it's the shortest movie made by AK so far.
4. Dialogues
5. Dark Humor
** Not a typical 100cr in 1 week Bollywood flick. In fact, if AK makes these type of movies, it will take a long time to reach the 100cr. But, his fans will be HIGH !!
½ December 31, 2014
waited for this long time since the release got stalled for some reason and was worth every bit. Glad someone made a thriller genre movie which is almost dead in bollywood. The movie is both dark and at the same time satisfying. It's sad such movies have hard time releasing but crappy srk-salman movies rule at box office. Glad to see movie makers like anurag/motwane still exist in bollywood.
½ December 31, 2014
onek beshi porimane underrated ekta film...
December 29, 2014
Ties with Haider for best bollywood film this year.
Can't wait for Anurag's next, Bombay Velvet.
December 28, 2014
Great work once again by Anurag Kashyap.
December 27, 2014
A well acted and directed thriller.
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