Ungli has almost everything that is wrong with Indian movies these days, writes J K Wali

tft-44-p-24-iUngli is another one of those movies that provide a simplistic solution to India’s endemic problem of corruption, a solution that would magically revamp the police and other law enforcing authorities. Only that it doesn’t have a Singham or a Shivaji Rao to save a run of the mill script.

Ungli can be dubbed a poor man’s Rang De Basanti. Incidentally both movies have the same script writer. But the products fall miles apart.

The ‘Ungli’ gang, featuring four young masked vigilantes with a common goal of rectifying the ‘system’, unveils various corrupt officers in a multitude of sectors ranging from pension offices to traffic police. Their popularity soars with every successful unravelling, with the police clueless about their identity and the masses grateful to Mumbai’s newfound superheroes.

The Ungli gang is led by Abhay (Randeep Hooda) and Maya (Kangana Ranaut), with Kalim (Angad Bedi) and Goti (Neil Bhoopalam) making up the numbers. All four are your average youths, with regular jobs, who come together in this mission to cleanse society of the menace of corruption after a common friend gets undone by the same system. Yes, too many deja vus for one script.

ACP Kale (Sanjay Dutt), ‘notorious’ for his honesty is summoned to bust the gang. Kale entrusts the case to Nikhil, his young protégé who is well-known for not really caring much about the law, despite being a police officer and the son of a reputed cop, who ‘gave his life for the sanctity of the law’.
What happens next, singlehandedly solves most of India's governance problems, and irons all creases in Mumbai's police

Nikhil, a vigilante at heart himself, finds his way into the Ungli gang and is then caught up between following the footsteps of his father and busting his ‘friends’ or going with his instinct. What happens next, singlehandedly solves most of India’s governance problems, and irons all creases in Mumbai’s police.

The script, screenplay, and dialogue run the gamut from sloppy to mundane. There is an impressive array of actors on display, but the writer and the director don’t give them enough resources to construct anything notable.

If you’re going for a simplistic critique on society that offers a quixotic solution to a national menace, you would need an abundance of humour and a memorable sound track to take the film any way close to being worth watching. Unfortunately, Ungli fails abysmally on all those fronts. Even the song ‘Dance Basanti’ that has hogged music charts on television shows over the past month, features an ominously out of place Shraddha Kapoor, who makes a meal of the rather simple dance moves in an untidily choreographed song.


All the actors do their jobs just fine. The script doesn’t demand too much from them and none of the characters are given any time to develop. Watching Sanjay Dutt and Mahesh Manjrekar – who have collectively given us memorable movies like Vaastav, Pitaah, Kante, Zinda in the director/actor or actor/actor combos – playing an integral part in the most humdrum of climaxes is particularly painful. Not to mention the fact that the female actresses Kangana Ranaut – fresh from powerful roles in Queen and Revolver Rani – and Neha Dhupia are only factored in to fuel unnecessary romances, in a film that is crammed with more than can handle, resulting in a hotchpotch of mediocrity.

Ungli has almost everything that is wrong with Indian movies these days, minus the superstar factor, the newly refurbished action sequences or the foot-tapping music that saves Bollywood blushes at the Box Office. ‘Amateurish’ would be the word to sum up the entire movie. And that should not have been the case considering the people associated with Ungli, both in front of the camera and behind it.

Ungli just points too many fingers. And most of them end up being in the wrong direction.