Cuttputlli Rating 2.5/5 & Rating
CUTTPUTLLI is the story of a police officer trying to catch a serial killer. Arjan Sethi (Akshaykumar), 36, lives in Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh. He has passionately researched serial killers and wants to make a film on the subject. He is reaching out to several Punjabi filmmakers in Chandigarh. However, everyone rejects his idea and instead advises him to make a comedy. Then he goes to Kasuali to meet his sister Seema (Hrishitaa Bhatt), brother-in-law Narinder Singh (Chandrachu Singh) and niece Payal (Renaye Tejani) on Raksha Bandhan. Narinder is a police officer and insists that Arjan give up his filmmaking dreams and join the police force.
Arjan and Seema’s father is a deceased police officer and hence he will easily get a chance to become one. When Arjan realizes that his goal of making a serial killer film isn’t going to be fulfilled, he agrees. He becomes sub-inspector and joins a police station where the SHO is Gudiya Parmar (Sargun Mehta). A few days later, the police receive information that a schoolgirl named Amrita Rana (Saina Anarose) has disappeared. She was probably kidnapped in front of her house. The killer leaves a gift box with a doll’s mutilated head. Arjan realizes that the way the doll’s head is mutilated is very similar to how a girl named Samiksha Bharti’s face was mutilated. This girl was found murdered in Parwanoo and Arjan had collected information about her out of habit. He tells SHO Parmar that Parwanoo’s schoolgirl killer kidnapped Amrita. Parmar rejects his theory.
A few minutes later, the cops get a call that Amrita’s body has been found near a train track. The cops take Arjan seriously when they discover a serial killer is on the loose and looking for his next target. A few days later, a third girl, Komal (Laaibah Ali), goes missing. Thanks to Divya (Rakul Preet Singh), a teacher at Komal’s school, Arjan finds out that Komal was seen phoning a car. Arjan chases the auto rickshaw. The driver blurts out that he didn’t kill Komal and that he took her to the home of Purshottam Tomar (Sujith Shanker), who happens to be the math teacher at Payal’s school. Pushottam is caught and it is revealed that he is sexually harassing his students. However, Purshottam denies killing Komal despite the evidence against him. While Purshottam is in custody, the killer strikes again. This time he kidnaps none other than Payal. And as always, he leaves behind the box with the mutilated doll’s head. The killer usually kills the victim two days after the kidnapping. Arjan now has 48 hours to find the serial killer before he fatally damages Payal. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
CUTTPUTLLI is the official remake of the Tamil film RATSASAN . The story is gripping and has all the elements of a thriller. The script, written by Aseem Arrora and Tushar Trivedi, is captivating for the most part. The writers peppered the script with some subtle, exciting, and even lighthearted moments. Aseem Arrora’s dialogues are chatty and have several humorous scenes.
Cuttputlli: Official Trailer | Akshay Kumar, Rakul Preet Singh | 2 Sept | DisneyPlus Hotstar
Ranjit M Tewari’s direction is fair, at least until the pre-climax. He manages to captivate the audience with his execution. The way Arjan tries to get close to the killer and the investigative process makes for a great watch. A few scenes stand out like Divya’s appearance, SHO Parmar admonishing Arjan and Arjan nabbing Purshottam Tomar. The scene where Payal disappears is chilling and so is the scene where Arjan opens the trunk of his car. The sequence in which Arjan, Parmar and others follow Ayesha Khan (Divvya Wadhwa) to catch the killer in the act is quite nerve wracking. From here the film unfortunately falls away. Unlike the original film, the killer’s revelation comes as no surprise. Also, the backstory of the murder was established in the original film and the cat-and-mouth chase between the cop and the villain went on for some time, adding to the scare factor. Here the finale is very hasty. The way the killer’s flashback is performed is very childish. The other big problem is that in many scenes the UK was passed as Himachal Pradesh and it doesn’t work. Thanks to the different topography and architecture of the buildings, it is easy to tell the difference.
Speaking of performances, Akshay Kumar is decent and plays down his role pretty well. He shines in some scenes like the scene where he has an outburst and where he catches the math teacher in the act. Rakul Preet Singh looks stunning and is doing great. Unfortunately, her character doesn’t have much to do. Sargun Mehta appears confident. Chandrachur Singh leaves a trail but disappears after a point. The same goes for Hrishitaa Bhatt. Renaye Tejani, Seher Bhowmik (Iti; Divya’s niece) and Divvya Wadhwa are fair. Sujith Shanker plays the role with aplomb. Joshua Leclair (Christopher), Suhani Dhanki (RJ Roshni), Saina Anarose and Laaibah Ali are passable.
There’s only one song in the film, “Saathiya,” and you can forget it. The background music by Julius Packiam has a commercial flair. Rajeev Ravi’s cinematography is stunning and beautifully captures the settings of the UK and Himachal Pradesh. The production design by Amit Ray and Subrata Chakraborty is rich. Rushi Sharma and Manoshi Nath’s costumes are appealing, especially Rakul’s. Parvez Shaikh’s action is realistic. Famulus Media and Entertainment, Number9 VFX, Asolve and Redefine’s VFX are suitable. Chandan Arora’s cut is too fast in the last act.
Overall, CUTTPUTLLI has its share of exciting moments, but turns out to be average fare thanks to its weak climax.