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Film / Ugly

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Ugly is a 2014 Indian drama thriller film written and directed by Anurag Kashyap. The film stars model turned TV actor Rahul Bhat, Girish Kulkarni, Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Vineet Kumar Singh and Surveen Chawla in pivotal roles.

The film portrays the kidnapping of Kali, a little girl of 10, who is out with her father Rahul for the day. Her parents are divorced and the ex-wife Shalini is literally cloistered by her new husband Shoumik Bose.A game of one-upmanship follows as Rahul and Bose search for Kali while simultaneously attempting to upstage the other. After a period of time they sideline the investigation of her abduction and all of them accuse each other of kidnapping her for their personal benefits. An ugly tale of corruption, indifference and systemic violence.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and received what Filmfare called a "great response".


This film provides examples of:

  • Ate His Gun: Shalini attemps suicide this way in the beginning.
  • The Butler Did It: Double subverted. In the end it turns out that the street vendor indeed kidnapped Kali, but the investigation regarding him was dropped too early due to Rahul and Bose being busy trying to outwit one another.
  • Cue the Rain: When Kali is found dead at the end, rain sets in, symbolizing the crying over her.
  • Double Standard: Only men seem to work, except for one cop woman who seem to be very competent and submissive. Shalini is unhappy about having no money but never considers working.
  • Downer Ending: In the end it is revealed that Kali died shortly after her kidnapping. All the efforts to find her alive were in vain.
  • Driven to Suicide: Shalini is tired of her caged life at home and her loveless relationship with Bose, who apparently has no feelings for her and only married her to get back at Rahul. She turns to alcohol and even attempt suicide.
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  • Engineered Public Confession: Bose talks Rahul into getting a confession out of his pal Chaitanya while being bugged. It doesn't work because Chaitanya said the truth all along.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: As a cop treats a suspect very harshly, an other one is suddenly very nice. It is however never made clear wether this is honest or part of a good cop/bad cop routine.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Everybody is shown to be quite corrupt and be driven by their own personal agendas.
  • I Have Your Wife: Three different characters pretend to be Kali's kidnapper at some point — for different reasons — and demand ransom.
  • Improv: The actors, supposedly, weren't given a hard script. They were given dialogues and a scene was described to them and were made to act accordingly, on spot.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Rahul gets suspicious of Chaitanya, because when they first met the latter asked why Kali was not in the car without even knowing that she was with Rahul at the time. However, Chaitanya manages to convince Rahul that he had good reasons to suspect this.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Shalini considers suicide, and is about to shoot herself in the head with her husband’s gun when she is interrupted by her daughter Kali.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The Police really get their hands dirty when trying to get a confession out of Rahul and Chaitanya.
  • Look Both Ways: When chased by Rahul and Chaitanya, the mask vendor gets killed trying to cross a busy street without looking right or left.
  • Police Are Useless: If your kid is taken, it may be unwise to talk to the police: they will suspect you instead of doing their job. Averted in the second half, but they are still super corrupt.
  • Ransom Drop: Downplayed, when Shalini is told by the kidnapper to drive to some remote place and drop the bag with the money from her car and drive off.
  • Seeking the Missing Finding the Dead: The search for Kali takes the majority of the film. By the end we learn that she was dead all along.
  • Title Card:
    • Each new day of the week is titled on the screen.
    • We also get an "Intermission" card half-way through and a "Two days later card" at the end.
  • Vomiting Cop: One of the men at the crime scene at the end is shown vomiting, induced by the stench and sight of the corpse.