A few years ago, Cuttputlli may have felt novel. But right now, it feels like the nth serial killer/murder mystery story set in a sleepy hill station in recent times. There seems to have been a barrage of stories set in the places like Kasauli since the advent of the OTT era. But that is not what ails this yet-another-Hindi-remake of a Tamil film.
Disclaimer: I have not watched Ratsasan. I understand that might make me almost an outcast considering everyone on social media platforms seems to be busy comparing the two films. I would not be putting up any comparisons here.
Cuttputlli suffers from the foreign-location subsidy syndrome. We all understand how countries around the world want Indian tourists. They provide subsidies to producers to shoot films in their countries, which could work as showreels for their locations and get people interested in booking vacations. Cuttputlli clearly is one of these films, which found it beneficial to shoot in the United Kingdom. That’s not an issue though, as long as it does not impact the story. But in this instance, it does… That brings us to one of the most glaring errors in Cuttputlli.
Early in the story, we are introduced to the lead Arjan Sethi, a 36-year-old struggling filmmaker who is trying to make a film in Punjab. His core area of interest is serial killers. We are shown he has diplomas in clinical psychology from reputed institutes in the UK. And hold your breath… lying right beside his certificates in his passport – a red-cover passport clearly reading “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. In due course, we are also told that our protagonist is “London-born”. Of course, the overzealous makers possibly did not factor in that a citizen of the United Kingdom could not be appointed a police official in any Indian state. Which is what Arjan Sethi does! Dejected after repeated failures in his filmmaking pursuit, he decides to join the police force at the age of 36. It’s fiction after all!
If unlike me, you manage to get past the loophole, you will be led into some unnecessary romance and songs… in the middle of what is supposed to be a story of a serial killer on the loose, killing young school girls.
Everything is not bad. Cuttputlli manages to create suspense around the killings. The locations aid the story. Akshay Kumar as a performer does not falter. But that’s about it.
As the film moves towards the climax the screenplay unravels to a point that things get bewildering. The big revelation comes with no punches and fails to keep the viewer hooked. For a premise as intelligent, it leads to an end where it becomes all about our heroic protagonist fighting it out, fist to fist, with the culprit. Might have as well watch Sooryavanshi for that.
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