At the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, India has a much better presence this year compared to last few years. So we are back with our regular post to track all the Cannes buzz that the desi films are creating there.

Anurag Kashyap’s film Ugly had its screening in the Directors’ Fortnight section. Some of the early reviews are out.

– The Holly Reporter review is here

Kashyap’s nasty point is that, between violence, greed and corruption, just about no one is innocent in the end. Certainly all the characters are selfish beyond belief. This existential cynicism hits home in the horrific crime revealed in the last shot, But by that time, the emotions feel light years away.

– Translated text of French review on Telerama is here.

Heavy, unbearable. Surprising to the end, vitriolic portrait of contemporary India…

– Twitchfilm review is here

Really, the more divisive issue of the film will be the content itself, and audiences willingness to spend so much time watching greedy, ruthless and often idiotic people going from bad to bottom of the barrel. The ending may be a potential deal-breaker for some too, and while I can’t argue in detail without spoiling it, my sleep-deprived Cannes impression is that the haunting final shot effectively hammers home the moral center of the movie rather than functioning as the cheap, shock-value alternative. In fact, reflecting on the way Kashyap handled the rest of the film, specifically spurts of intentional violence, I do feel that there was a sympathetic voice in the film — it was just behind the camera instead of in front of it.

– The Hindu’s report on the film is here.

“The first 10 minutes of the film have to do with my own life when I depict the relations between the divorced father and his little girl. But the rest of the film came about after I read about the disappearance of children in India.

– Screendaily review is here.

After the five-and-a-bit-hour gangland epic Gangs Of Wasseypur, the godfather of the Indian commercial arthouse sector, Anurag Kashyap, serves up a slimline two-hour hard-boiled crime thriller with Ugly. But the running time is the only thing that’s restrained about this lazy kidnap caper, whose hints of Fargo, echoes of Old Boy and touches of Tarantino are compromised by the story’s sprawling lack of discipline.

Mubi’s short review is here.

The dissonance between the tone of the highly mobile plotting with its harsh and justified moral judgement of everyone in the film and the unconscious, conventionally acted characters break the film’s sinister, society-flailing vision. Thus Ugly‘s interest is more academic than actual—perhaps a failed experiment—and while its disappointing inconsistency instills dullness, it also provokes a strange and blistering series of events, each unfolding in shocking succession.

Directors Fortnight videos

Interview of AK

Q & A after the screening

The Hollywood Reporter on Kashyap getting the French honour Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et Lettres honour (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters)

– Cast and Credit list from THR

DAR Motion Pictures presents a Phantom Films production

Cast: Ronit Roy, Rahul Bhat, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Anshika Shrivastava, Vineet Kumar Singh, Girish Kulkarni, Surveen Chawla, Siddhant Kapoor

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Screenwriter: Anurag Kashyap

Producers: Madhu Mantena, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Arun Rangachari, Vivek Rangachari

Co-producers: Vivek Agrawal, Shahnaab Alam

Director of photography: Nikos Andritsakis

Production designer: Mayur Sharma

Costumes: Divya Gambhir, Nidhi Gambhir

Editor: Aarti Bajaj

Music: Brian McOmber, G V Prakash Kumar

Sales Agent: DAR Motion Pictures, Mumbai

124 minutes.

(Pics – from social media/DF Facebook page)

  1. Anonymous says:

    why can’t these french translate these interviews into english

  2. abhishek says:

    Reading that Ugly has used Asaf Avidan’s One day somewhere in the movie. If that’s true and considering AK’s unique style of using music in the narrative, I am quite excited.

  3. Ken Jones says:

    QT+Coen Brothers+Park Chan-wook = Anurag Kashyap.

  4. rahulandrd says:

    Why some reviewers are comparing Ugly with GoW?
    Reviewers are same all the over the globe, I guess

  5. Santino says:


  6. Sumit Singh says:

    after a freak success in gangs of wasseypur (for which the credit must go to zeishan qadri for coming up with such an interesting story based on factual events) our very own so called renaissance man of indie cinema…returns to doing what he does best….that is…..’sucking big time.’
    …gaiis anurag bhitraampur ke dakkhin…

  7. Rohitash says:

    Movie got mixes reviews it will be interesting one, as expected from anurag something out of the league…

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