Film Review - Cuttputlli
by Ferry Bhatia
(Amritsar, Punjab, India)
The film is a faithful remake of Tamil thriller Ratsasan directed by Ram Kumar.
Arjan Sethi (Akshay Kumar) is a budding filmmaker based in Chandigarh who is obsessed with the horror genre. He wants to make a film on real-life serial killers but fails to find any takers in the Punjabi industry for such a subject. Since his father was a policeman killed during the course of action, he gets a chance to sit in the police exam and passes out as a police sub-inspector. His brother-in-law Narinder Singh (Chandrachur Singh) and sister Seema (Hrishitaa Bhatt) live in Kasauli along with their young daughter. Narinder helps him get a posting to his own station, where initially the station in-charge, Gudiya Parmar (Sargun Mehta) is unimpressed by him but later takes note of his deduction skills. A chance meeting with Divya (Rakul Preet Singh) leads to blossoming of romance between the two. Divya is a teacher at Arjan's niece school and is taking care of her own niece, who is a hearing impaired kid. A deranged killer starts targeting teenage girls in Kasauli and that's when Arjan's seven year research into serial killers comes in handy…
Barring a few scenes, the film reads like a police procedural. The investigation takes logical turns, what with the police using both forensic science, door-to-door canvassing, as well as third degree to get hold of the killer. The police are shown to be flesh and blood people who bleed when hit and cry under emotional stress. Akshay Kumar isn't in his supercop avatar here, as he has always been every time he has donned a police uniform before on screen. He's rightfully depicted as a raw rookie who initially doesn't like violence but gets hardened as time passes by. He only shoots once, and that too reluctantly.
The film is a taut thriller which keeps you on your toes throughout. The climax is a little far-fetched and is needlessly stretched but till then you remain glued to your seats. Cinematography by Rajeev Ravi and editing by Chandan Arora is top class and add to the film. The crisp frames keep the pulse going.
Director Ranjit M Tewari, who reunites with Akshay Kumar after BellBottom, has gotten lucky with his casting. Hrishitaa Bhatt and Chandrachur Singh are the picture of loving relatives initially and look every inch the bereaved parents later. Sargun Mehta shines as a hard-boiled cop and we wish she had more to do here. Rakul Preet Singh plays a sassy school teacher having progressive views on parenting and isn't just the romantic interest of the hero. Akshay Kumar, who is 55 years of age, manages to look 36, thanks to being super fit. As said earlier, he's much more restrained here as a cop, making you believe he's a rookie who has bitten off more than he can chew. He doesn't showcase vulnerability often and that he's been able to do so convincingly is a delight. It's a memorable performance indeed from the superstar Akshay's recent releases like Prithviraj and Rakshabandhan haven't done well over the box office and this may have prompted the makers to go for an OTT release for Cuttputlli. It's an engaging thriller and all we can say is that perhaps they should have gambled and released it in theatres…*****