You know to pay close attention when two characters in a movie—a thriller, no less—discuss a hearing aid with a recording feature because that is what will make the thriller compelling. If this “hint” seems too plain or direct, don’t blame Akshay Kumar’s Cuttputlli, which is currently available on Disney+ Hotstar. It is merely an exact replica of the 2018 film Ratsasan, which was launched. This is Akshay’s second OTT blockbuster and third remake in recent years. Are these statistics making you wonder if Bollywood still has anything new to offer? You are not alone, though.
Arjan Sethi, played by Akshay, is a 36-year-old wannabe thriller filmmaker who reluctantly joins the Himachal Police and brings with him a solid understanding of psychopaths and serial murderers. A probable serial murderer suddenly appears in the sleepy town of Kasauli, kidnapping and killing adolescent schoolgirls without any apparent rhyme or reason, according to the police. Of course, his superiors in the force do not consider his opinions. One bit of advice from his brother-in-law, Narinder (Chandrachur Singh): put your head down and work, say yes, and don’t attempt to be a “hero.” A piece of advice that quickly becomes obsolete and not simply because Akshay Kumar stars in the movie and should take the lead role.
The horrendously dismembered body of a teenage schoolgirl is discovered on a bench in Parwanoo, a tiny village in Himachal Pradesh. Soon later, a young woman of the same age goes missing in Kasauli, a nearby town. Her equally brutalised bones are discovered under a bridge two days later. Arjan Sethi, a rookie police officer, says that a serial murderer is on the street; he should know because, before joining the force, he was working on a movie on serial killers that was never released.
Akshay’s Cuttputlli is followed by Ratsasan’s faults. A thriller’s weakest link is its contrived story aspects, and both Ratsasan and Cuttputlli exhibit that. Despite this, it is often a pleasant watch due to how closely it adheres to the original. Ratsasan and Cuttputlli grabbed your attention despite their forced moments. The passages when Narinder, a senior officer himself, begs Arjan to help him recover his daughter are quickly forgotten. You convince yourself that he is acting in this way not because the movie wants to highlight Arjan’s bravery but because he is now a sad parent. Instead, you concentrate on the horrifying murders, mutilations, and images it conjures. Ratsasan and Cuttputlli both offer you enough of it.
Cuttputlli, a film by Ranjit Tewari, is set in the sleepy mountain town of Kasauli, where there are an increasing number of reports of adolescent females going missing. The police have no idea where to look for evidence of these kidnappings. And just then, Arjan Sethi (Akshay Kumar), who is fascinated by serial killer tales and has written a script for a movie, decides to give up his dream and join the police force at the urging of Arjan’s sister Seema (Hrishitaa Bhatt), whose husband Narinder Singh (Chandrachur Singh) is also a police officer.
No prizes for guessing that when this case of missing pupils enters the police station, Arjan is immediately drawn to it. Sargun Mehta’s no-nonsense SHO Parmar is introduced. Initially sceptical of Arjan’s thoughts about conspiracies, Parmar finally changes his mind after Arjan successfully guides the group toward the truth. Oh, we almost forgot the movie’s protagonist. Additionally, Divya (Rakul Preet Singh), who portrays a teacher and Arjan’s love interest, is present.
With a running time of 120 minutes, Cuttputlli is a fast-paced, gripping thriller that won’t let you flinch. No, it does when the main couple enters into an ethereal song and dance routine. Nevertheless, I’m still perplexed as to why that song was required, especially given that it occurs immediately after Arjan’s niece has been delivered from the clutches of her perverted instructor, who has just tried to compel herself onto her. It’s too soon to move past a horrible experience.
Although Cuttputlli’s plot is fairly obvious, the screenplay and the way the story develops make for an engaging viewing experience. It does occasionally lose concentration and go off into uninteresting side stories, but luckily it quickly gets back on course.
Therefore, Chandrachur and Hrishitaa just play minor supporting roles, so they don’t have much to do. In some of the instances, I even thought they were trying a little too hard. Sargun Mehta does a good job of portraying a senior police officer. Her whole body language, facial gestures, and authority over her domain are impressive. While Sujith Shanker’s portrayal of Purushottam Tomar, a teacher, makes his character as despicable as they come, Gurpeet Ghuggi and Shahid Lateef perform well as police officers.
Rakul appeared at ease on television and had a good screen presence, yet she was really a prop. While Bachchhan Paandey, Samrat Prithviraj, and Raksha Bandhan were not very well received by audiences, Akshay’s performance here seems like a breath of fresh air. Akshay is much more subdued, careful, and constrained in Cuttputlli. Even though we’ve seen Akshay in police gear before, for this thriller, he exudes a feeling of urgency and helplessness that makes his acting seem rather natural.
The climax is one of the most important parts of murder mysteries, but in Cuttputlli, the last scene featuring the serial murderer is hurried and doesn’t allow the antagonist any time to justify his actions. Although the past is briefly shown to us in a flashback, it takes some time to sink in and be described in greater detail and with more logic. Alas! The filmmaker didn’t want us to learn much about the hero’s mind; instead, he wanted to show us more of him battling the murderer. Nobody becomes a vicious serial killer over night, after all.
Akshay Kumar’s Cutputlli Streaming on Hotstar.
For pure curiosity and a storyline that will keep you guessing until the very end, watch this thriller. Despite some shoddy writing in the story, Akshay Kumar is a standout. Disney+ Hotstar is currently streaming Cuttputlli.
The movie Cuttputlli is currently available to view on Disney+ Hotstar. But if you already have Ratsasan and a number of other Hindi thrillers like Vikrant Massey’s Forensic and Raveena Tandon’s Aranyak, would you still watch this one? The solution is more obvious than Cuttputlli’s murderer.