Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd.’s Ungli (UA) is the story of a common man’s fight against the deep-rooted corruption in society. Abhay Kashyap (Randeep Hooda), Maya (Kangana Ranaut), Gautam alias Goti (Neil Bhoopalam) and Kaleem (Angad Bedi) are four fast friends who decide to take law into their own hands when they realise that the rich, powerful and influential people can easily commit crimes and yet go scot-free. The four form an Ungli gang, the name being representative of showing the corrupt system the middle finger in a bid to defy it and make fun of it. The Ungli gang takes on corrupt public servants and other corrupt people and metes out justice to those at the mercy of such corrupt people. The gang members, wearing masks to conceal their identities, then send the recorded video footages of their actions to television channels which play them for the public. Quite understandably, the frustrated members of the public laud the gang but the police is out to nab the gang members for taking law into their hands. However, with no clue in sight, the police draw a blank. Honest and upright police inspector Ashok Kale (Sanjay Dutt) is assigned the task of bringing the Ungli gang to book.
Kale takes police officer Nikhil (Emraan Hashmi) in his team. Nikhil emulates the actions of Ungli gang, thereby prompting the gang members to meet him. He convinces them that he is a commoner who is inspired by the gang’s actions and thereby gains entry into the gang. The aim, of course, is to leak the information to his senior, inspector Ashok Kale. However, police officer Nikhil has a change of heart at the eleventh hour.
There comes a stage when police inspector Akhok Kale has to himself pay bribe money to secure his posting in a coveted area. At first reluctant, he agrees to bend his principles but seeks the help of the Ungli gang to expose the corrupt placement system in the police force. Dayal (Mahesh Manjrekar) is the middleman whom inspector Kale has to pay the bribe money to.
Does the Ungli gang help inspector Kale? Is the corrupt placement system exposed? Who are the police officers who get exposed in the process? What happens to the Ungli gang? What does the future hold for inspector Kale? What happens to police officer Nikhil?
Rensil D’Silva’s story has noble intentions and is topical as corruption affects every single man in every walk of life today. However, the well-intentioned story is too simplistic which makes it unpalatable. Rensil D’Silva’s screenplay is one of complete convenience. Everything seems to be so easy for the Ungli gang that it almost makes it appear that all of us, who have endured corrupt public servants for all these years, are idiots. The Ungli gang, which should have been a source of inspiration for the common man, fails to become inspirational due to the laidback attitude of the gang members. Every time the gang’s new feat is shown on television, a few random commoners, who are interviewed briefly on the channel, are shown praising the gang. This is the writer’s idea of inspiration which, of course, is far from it. Resultantly, the drama absolutely fails to instil a sense of pride and patriotism in the minds of the audience. The screenplay is actually full of defects. For instance, the principled police inspector Kale, who, like the members of the public, should actually be secretly admiring the actions of the Ungli gang, is shown refusing to shake hands with its members after calling them criminals! Criminals?!? It would’ve been understandable if a corrupt police officer referred to the Ungli gang members as criminals but an upright police inspector doing so is just not palatable. And this, when the audience – like members of the public in the film – considers the gang members as nothing short of heroes! Moreover, although the gang gets its name from the act of showing the middle finger, not a single person – repeat, not a single person – is shown pointing the middle finger at anybody or even at the system. This, therefore, completely negates the impact of the title. This anomaly becomes a joke when viewed in its entirety. Imagine, such a bold title not being relevant at all!! Inspector Kale succumbing to pressure and agreeing to pay bribe money does not go down well with the audience. Again, Dayal allowing every Tom, Dick and Harry, who comes to pay him bribe money, into the room where such money is kept for final disbursement among all the corrupt police officers, appears to be a very, very convenient link to enable the Ungli gang to create havoc. All in all, the screenplay is shockingly childish and patently foolish. Furthermore, the screenplay does not give any character in the drama scenes to make him/her appear heroic. Milap Zaveri’s dialogues are excellent at places but contrived at others.
Emraan Hashmi does a fair job in a role which hardly projects him as a hero. Kangana Ranaut is okay in a shockingly insignificant role. Randeep Hooda probably has the meatiest role. He does well. Angad Bedi has a few entertaining moments and is alright. Neil Bhoopalam does a fair job. Neha Dhupia is earnest in a brief role. Sanjay Dutt is average in a role which, unfortunately, doesn’t suit him, given the timing of the film’s release when he is serving his jail sentence in real life. Mahesh Manjrekar is mechanical. Reema lends able support. Arunoday Singh (as Maya’s brother, Ricky), Raza Murad (as the commissioner of police), Shiv Subramaniam (as DCP Shivraman), Rajat Kaul (as Anshuman Dayal), Avijit Dutt (as Joshi), Bharat Ganeshpure (as the traffic cop), Sharad Ponkshe (as Gaikwad) and Shishir Sharma (as Mishra) lend fair support.
Rensil D’Silva’s direction is ordinary. The drama fails to inspire the audience, which was a must for a film like this. Music (Sachin-Jigar, Salim-Sulaiman, Gulraj Singh and Aslam Keyi) is alright but the absence of even one hit song is sorely felt. Songs appear to have been forced into the narrative, which is another minus point. Lyrics (Kumaar, Manoj Yadav and Amitabh Bhattacharya) are ordinary. Song picturisations (choreography by Bosco-Caesar and Remo D’Souza) are fair. The last song, in the end credit rolling titles, does not have visuals, which looks strange. John Stewart Eduri’s background music is of a fine standard. Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography is appropriate. Parvez-Feroz’s action and stunts are exciting. Indrani Pillai’s art direction is fair. Deepa Bhatia’s editing could’ve been sharper.
On the whole, Ungli lacks entertainment as well as inspirational value and will, therefore, flop miserably at the box-office.