Ugly is a 2014 Indian Hindi-language thriller film written, co-produced and directed by Anurag Kashyap. Jointly produced by Phantom Films and DAR Motion Pictures, the film stars Rahul Bhat, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Vineet Kumar Singh, Girish Kulkarni, Ronit Roy, Surveen Chawla and Anshika Shrivastava in the lead roles. It also features TV actor Abir Goswami in his last film appearance before his death in 2013. Told in the course of a week, Ugly follows the story of a struggling actor Rahul Varshney (Bhat), whose daughter Kali (Shrivastava) disappears, and the events that follow.
The film’s background score and music were composed by Brian McOmber and G. V. Prakash Kumar respectively, while Gaurav Solanki wrote the lyrics. Nikos Andritsakis served as the film’s cinematographer and Aarti Bajaj was its editor. Kashyap had the idea for the film since 2006 and started writing the script after talking to one of his friends, who was in the Special Task Force, Lucknow, about kidnapping cases. He chose actors who could connect with the characters in the film.
Ugly premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. It was also screened at the 2014 New York Indian Film Festival, the third Ladakh International Film Festival and the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. The digital poster of the film was released on 8 May 2013. The circumstances that led to the birth of Kali were separately made as short film, titled Kali Katha, and was released in YouTube on 23 December 2014. The film was theatrically released on 26 December 2014 after a two-year delay due to Kashyap’s refusal to carry static anti-smoking warnings in the film. He had filed a case in court, but ultimately lost it. Upon release, the film received critical acclaim and was a commercial success, grossing over ₹62.4 million (US$870,000) worldwide.