Director: Ranjit M Tewari
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Rakul Preet Singh, Sargun Mehta, Chandrachur Singh, Hrishita Bhatt, Sujith Shankar
New Delhi: In the peaceful town of Kasauli, a psychopath serial killer is lurking, making the picturesque hill station creepy and chaotic with gory killings. The police is on the run for the inhuman killer but unable to find any clue. Will the Himachal Pradesh Police succeed in nabbing the serial killer who is on an incessant look out for teenage school girls and kills them in the most brutal way possible? All this mystery unravels in Akshay Kumar’s ‘Cuttputlli’.
The story begins with the dead body of a teenage girl discovered by the dog of a gentleman who goes for a morning walk, in the hill station of Parwanoo. When the body is taken out of the plastic bag that it was wrapped in, the audience is bound to shudder with the ghastly appearance of a dead teenage girl, with a mutilated face, broken teeth and one eye gouged out. While the police begins its chase for the killer, another dead body is discovered in a similar manner, this time in Kasauli. Arjan Sethi (Akshay Kumar), who has been a struggling director and has been researching on serial killers for past 7 years for his script, joins Himachal Pradesh Police as SI after facing rejection at the hands of several producers. Putting his knowledge of several years to use to understand the mind of the killer, Akshay begins his hunt to catch hold of the psychopath.
‘Cuttputli’ is the remake of the Tamil Classic ‘Ratsasan’. The 2 hour 5 mins long film has a fast paced narrative, that well engages the audience till the end. The first half of the film builds the base of the narrative, heightening the audience’s excitement with every sequence. The second half also delivers well, keeping the narrative on-track by avoiding any distractions. However, the hurried screenplay has its own disadvantage as the film fails to develop the anticipation of the audience towards the climax of the film, when the killer’s background is revealed. A little more time allotted to that segment could have made the ending sharper and clearer. The cinematography plays a key role in setting up the eerie and creepy atmosphere for this thrilling whodunit. The background score in a thriller plays a pivotal role and ‘Cuttputlli’ has the perfect music to match pace with the amping excitement. However, the song ‘Saathiya’ could have been avoided as it comes at a juncture when a highly important scene takes place right after it, making the audience switch from fantasy to thrill and panic, within seconds.
Taking a look at the performances, it’s good to see Akshay Kumar back in action, after a long time. The actor does justice to his role as a cop and delivers earnestly. He deals maturely with his situation and brings to fore the nitty gritties of the serial killer’s psychology in a convincing manner. After delivering a series of box office duds this year, Akshay Kumar finally gives a performance to reckon with. Rakul Preet Singh makes her presence count as a simple school teacher, who also lends help to Akshay in gathering information about the killer. Sargun Mehta is convincing as a senior cop who has her own way of dealing with things. Chandrachur Singh is cast as a doting father, husband and brother-in-law who perfectly fits the hat of a family man. The teenage girls play their parts well. One actor that stands out is Sujith Shankar, who lends a creepy feel with his words and actions. While the main narrative of ‘Cuttputlli’ is focused on the serial killer, its underlying tone also brings to fore the abuse and harassment that several students face in schools at the hands of their teachers, classmates or seniors. While many are able to cope with it over time, some develop mental issues and disorders as they continue to live in the limbo of denial.
If you are planning for a good watch this weekend, ‘Cuttputlli’ aptly fills the slot with its engaging and thrilling narrative and good performances by its star cast. The film is streaming on Disney+Hotstar.
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