Cuttputlli review: Akshay Kumar as raw and real cop is refreshing even in a predictable story
Cuttputlli review: The Ranjit Tewari directorial, which is a frame-by-frame remake of 2018 Tamil film Ratsasan, features Akshay Kumar as a cop and presents an intriguing murder mystery.
A south film remake with Akshay Kumar playing an aspiring filmmaker who ends up becoming a cop, a serial killer on the prowl abducting teenage school girls and brutally murdering them, a creepy doll face with abrasions on the face and hair ripped left in a gift box before each murder, a perverted maths teacher in school becoming the obvious suspect, a love story that could have been well avoided, a female SHO leading the case but never explained why she is the way she is with her male counterparts. That's pretty much sums up Akshay's latest OTT outing, Cuttputlli, which is a frame-by-frame remake of 2018 Tamil film Ratsasan. But, it does tick most of the check boxes of an intriguing murder mystery or a serial killer story. Also Read| Raksha Bandhan review: Akshay Kumar film moves you to tears with strong message on dowry
Directed by Ranjit Tewari, Cuttputlli is set in a small hill station of Kasauli where cases of missing teenage girls are on the rise. Police is clueless about finding any trace of these kidnappings. And right at this point, Arjan Sethi (Akshay Kumar) who is obsessed with stories of serial killers and has written a script, too, to be made into a film, coincidently lets go of his dream and joins the police force on insistence from Arjan's sister Seema (Hrishitaa Bhatt), whose husband Narinder Singh (Chandrachur Singh) is also a cop. And no prize for guessing, Arjan is instantly drawn to this case of missing students when it reaches the police station. Here we are introduced to a no nonsense SHO Parmar (Sargun Mehta), who doesn't believe in Arjan's conspiracy theories initially, but eventually gives in when he actually leads them to finding the truth. Oh, we forgot the heroine of the film. There's also Divya, (Rakul Preet Singh) playing a school teacher and Arjan's love interest.
At 120 minutes, Cuttputlli is a tight, edge-of-the-seat thriller that doesn't let you blink an eye. No, it actually does when the lead pair breaks into a dreamy song-and-dance sequence. Nevertheless, I still am trying to understand why that song was needed more so because it comes right after Arjan's niece has been rescued from the trap of her pervert teacher who just tried to force himself on her. Too soon to let go of a traumatic memory.
Cuttputlli's story is quite predictable and it's the screenplay and the way the narrative unfolds that makes for an interesting watch. At places, it does lose focus and digresses to not-so-great subplots, but thankfully, it comes back on track just in time. Here, I could not comprehend why was a love story even needed.
Rakul has a pleasant screen presence and looks comfortable in her role, but she was nothing more than a prop. Akshay, on the other hand, comes across as a breath of fresh air, especially after his last three consecutive performances in Bachchhan Paandey, Samrat Prithviraj and Raksha Bandhan didn't really impress audiences. In Cuttputlli, Akshay is far more restrained, understated and watchful. Not that we haven't see Akshay in in police uniform earlier, but for this thriller, he brings that sense of urgency and helplessness that makes his act look pretty effortless.
Among supporting parts, Chandrachur and Hrishitaa don't have too much to do. In fact, I found them trying too hard in some of the scenes. Sargun Mehta is quite convincing in the shoes of a senior cop. Her expressions, body language and command on her territory impress overall. Gurpeeet Ghuggi and Shahid Lateef as cops are decent while Sujith Shanker as the school teacher Purushottam Tomar makes his character just as hatable as it gets.
In murder mysteries, climax is most crucial, but in Cuttputlli, the last sequence involving the serial killer is so rushed and doesn't give any breathing space for the villain to explain his actions. I mean, there's a backstory which is told to us through a quick flashback, but it needed some time to sink in and be explained with a little more detail and reasoning. Alas! The director wanted us to see more of his hero fighting it out with the killer than let us understand his psyche. After all, nobody turns into a brutal serial killer overnight.
Watch this thriller for its sheer intrigue and the nail-biting screenplay that keeps you hooked wondering what's next. Even if the story gets sloppy at places, Akshay Kumar doesn't disappoint. Cuttputlli is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Cast- Akshay Kumar, Rakul Preet Singh, Sargun Mehta, Chandrachur Singh, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Gurpeeet Ghuggi
Director: Ranjit Tewari