Starcast : Akshay Kumar, Rakul Preet Singh, Gulpreet Ghuggi, Sargun Mehta, Chandrachur Singh
Director : Ranjit Tewari
Rating : 2 ⭐️⭐️
The lead actor in Ranjit Tewari’s new film Cuttputli—which stars Akshay Kumar as the country’s James Bond—is Akshay Kumar. The basic narrative of the film, a remake of the Tamil-language film Ratsasan from 2018, centres on a brand-new police investigator who also happens to be an authority on serial killers as he, well, tracks down a serial killer. Cuttputli, which translates to “puppet” in Hindi, alludes to the killer’s distinctive practise of leaving dolls behind after each abduction.
In the opening moments of the film, two guys are talking about how there is hardly any crime in their city, just before they discover a teenager who has been brutally murdered. Arjan Sethi, our primary character, who is a fan of serial killers and scriptwriting, is next presented to us. Arjan must accept his brother-in-invitation law’s to join a tiny town’s police department because filmmakers are unwilling to make a movie out of his gory serial killer story.
In the first part of the scene, Cuttputli appears frequently on screen. We’re not sure if we required a complete montage of our hero training for the police. It is clear he is uncomfortable in his new environment as soon as he begins working. Arjan befriends the suspect after a superior orders him to beat up a suspect (a side note: there is an astounding amount of police violence in this film).
In a subsequent endearing moment, Arjan meets his teacher love interest (Rakul Preet Singh), who he meets by feigning to be his niece’s parents. Between the discovery of the first body and the kidnapping of the second victim, there are so many funny and family-friendly scenes that I had to double-check that I was still in the right movie.
After the body of the second victim is found and Arjan finally persuades his superiors that a serial murderer is on the loose, things start to pick up a little. But each time the love interest shows up, it feels like we’ve left the world of crime thrillers and joined that of a lighthearted romantic comedy. It occasionally felt like we were watching two different movies, and we aren’t convinced the wholesome sequences belonged in a movie that simultaneously included a lot of gloom.
And when we use the phrase “extreme darkness,” we don’t just mean the serial murderer storyline. No, the film managed to make it worse by introducing a horrifying math instructor (Sujith Shankar delivered such a terrific portrayal, it will undoubtedly give you nightmares) who spends his spare time torturing children. And for some reason, the filmmakers also decided to include a full-on music video in the Bollywood manner.
Overall, Cuttputli attempts to multitask too much. Too many characters, plot points, and genres are combined in this work. It tells an interesting story and the actors gave really strong performances. But if they had kept the emphasis on the core plot, it would have been far more engaging.