Movie review: Ungli

A group of masked vigilantes calls itself the “Ungli Gang”, because its objective is to ungal karo (a colloquialism for “fingering”)…

Director: Rensil d’Silva
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda, Kangana Ranaut, Neha Dhupia, Sanjay Dutt, Mahesh Manjrekar, Neil Bhoopalam, Arunoday Singh, Angad Bedi
Rating: 1/2

A group of masked vigilantes calls itself the “Ungli Gang”, because its objective is to ungal karo (a colloquialism for “fingering”) the corrupt. Fixing the bad guys can be so much fun, and so cathartic if the right buttons are pressed. Ungli is empty, and left me collecting my jaw from the floor, where it lay throughout the film.

The “gang” has diverse day jobs. Hooda is a TV journalist with a soft spot for a colleague (Dhupia). Said colleague is told to “uncover” the gang, because, you know, that’s what she does all the time. No one knows what Ranaut does: clearly, she is equally clueless, as she flits about minus direction. Oh, sometimes, she has a mask on. So do Bhoopalam and Bedi. And when they are not busting crooks, they are lifting weights and pressing benches.

Hashmi is a rebellious cop who lives with his hard-working mother. He also has a father-like figure in his ramrod-straight senior Sanjay Dutt (irony much) who goes by the name of Kale, primarily so that his name can figure in a cheesy line. Speaking of cheese, the film has cringe-worthy dialogue bursting with it.

One of the bad guys is a greedy corporator (Manjrekar) who lives in a house which has a room stuffed with ill-gotten cash, stacked in cupboards minus locks. This detail would have been a spoiler in a better film, but here it is just another unbelievable piece of plotting. The point, presumably, is to show up the rich and the powerful, and make them realize the error of their ways. It is worthy, but is completely lost in this ludicrous story. Is this really a Karan Johar production?

The opening credits are animated, and Ungli would have been better off if all of it had been an animation film, aimed primarily at children. As live action for grown-ups, it is the most amateurish piece of work I’ve seen in a while, all fingers and thumbs.

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