Film Name: Cuttputtli
Director: Ranjit M Tewari
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Rakul Preet Singh, Chandrachur Singh
Rating: 3 Stars
The peaceful town of Kasauli is taken aback by a series of murders and cops are racing against time to end the act of crime by this serial killer and bring back the peace to this town. The mission is spearheaded by SI Arjan Sethi (Akshay Kumar). Will Arjan and his team be able to stop the crime? Who is the killer and what is the motive behind all the murders? All of this unfolds in Cuttputtli.
Cuttputtli is an official remake of a Tamil Classic, Ratsasan, however, the makers have got the runtime of the original film down from 2 hour 50 minutes to 2 hour 14 minutes. Ranjit M Tewari’s ensures a fast-paced narrative, not giving much of the breathing space to divulge from the core conflict. In doing so, he does manage to hold attention however, some of the essence in terms of back stories of all the characters as also the motive of murders is a diluted. It's one of those films, which might have left a better impact with a longer run time.
The first half is invested in setting up the base for all the thrills and chills in the following portions. While there is an element of shock in the final 30 minutes, the aspect doesn’t explode as well as one expected due to a crisper run time. Comparisons are bound to happen on this front, as the original film gave enough time to establish the evilness of the negative lead, which is in a way missing in the Hindi remake = thanks to hurried screenplay in 2nd half. But yet some credit to the makers as its faithful adaptation and sticks to the world of the original. The production values are fine, the same can be said for the cinematography. The locations and shot taking play a big role in setting up the vibe of mystery through the narrative.
The background is fine, and the makers could have got done with a song in the second half, as that’s one of the few distractions in the narrative, taking us away from the world of thrills to the fantasy space. The dialogues are good for the OTT space, but there isn’t any memorable one-liner or a moment that stays even after turning off the TV screens.
Talking about the performances, Akshay Kumar is in his element. This can be termed his better performances of all the films released in 2022. He aces the cop avatar, and brings in the much-needed maturity to the character. While investigative sequences come to him naturally, he does well in emotional portions too. We get to see some glimpse of his comic side in the first half in the initial interactions with Rakul Preet Singh. The actress is dependable in her brief role. She gets a couple of moments to rise in the narrative in the second half and she doesn’t let down in the aforementioned character. Chandrachur Singh and Sargun Mehta are fine in their respective characters of a cop. The actor who rises above all odds and makes his presence felt is Sujith Shankar. His character is easily among the most menacing in the film, and he elevates the fear with his body language and expressions.
Overall, Cuttputtli is a faithful remake of Ratsasan that has some pros and some cons, but won’t let down the audience of suspense thrillers as also the fans of Akshay Kumar. It’s not a classic.. far off... but a worthy OTT watch for some who have not seen the original.