‘Cuttputlli’ movie review: Akshay Kumar is both the strength and weakness of this thriller with loose strings 

The Hindi remake of Vishnu Vishal’s ‘Rathasan’ looks like a generic thriller that fails to create any emotional connection with the characters.

The Hindi remake of Vishnu Vishal’s ‘Rathasan’ looks like a generic thriller that fails to create any emotional connection with the characters.

The Hindi cinema universe has been flooded with thrillers, remakes and Akshay Kumar this monsoon. This week we have a three-in-one situation: it’s a thriller that’s a remake of a Tamil hit, and Akshay Kumar’s third film in three months. Overkill, anyone?

Aspiring to be described as a slow-burn, Katputlli is an air-popped thriller that feels like one of those episodes CID. It keeps you interested without aiming to be the best. This is a movie where the officer doesn’t see any obvious details until the hero points it out. No editing tricks or disturbing noises; The saving grace is that it makes no overt attempt to pull us to the edge of our seats.

Faithful to the source, Tamil cinema Rathsasan (2018), pursues a serial killer who brutally targets teenage schoolgirls in the picturesque town of Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, leaving his signature cynical face of Cinderella dolls. Arjan Sethi (Akshay Kumar), a sub-inspector specializing in stories of serial killers, once an aspiring filmmaker, pursues him.

Rejected by the producers, Arjan joins the police on the advice of his brother-in-law Narinder (Chandrachur Singh) and uses his research on psychopaths to crack the case. Initially, his methods are mocked by his official SHO Parmar (Sargun Mehta), but as the murders don’t go down, Arjan emerges as the best bet to solve the mystery.

Halfway through, the needle of suspicion moves to a perverted school teacher. But with an hour to go, we can sense that director Ranjit Tiwari wants to negotiate with the red herrings in the hills. However, the journey between turns isn’t compelling enough, and the low climax is a tiring one. There is only one sequence of such a tragic story that makes us choke. For the most part, it comes across as a newspaper crime story with facts, but little to read between the lines. After the initial spark, the romance between Arjan and school teacher Divya (Rakul Preet Singh) also follows a predictable arc.

Good thing, for a change, the action sequences don’t ask Akshay to engage in unbelievable stunts, keeping Arjan relatable. There are times when the actor’s inherent simplicity comes to the fore, providing breathing space between chases.

However, casting Akshay in a suspense-thriller has its limitations, as no amount of airbrushing can turn the 36-year-old star and his indomitable film comes in the way of the suspense the makers try to create. Vishnu Vishal did not get much fame Rathsasan. So, when he surpasses his supercilious seniors, it gives momentum to the narrative. There is no such emotion here; He may not be a one-man army in this particular outing, but it remains an Akshay Kumar performance. Starr deserves praise for trying different variations of the same template, but he plays them with the intensity of a well-oiled machine that’s more efficient than exciting.

The underrated Chandrachur once again excels in a small part. Cast in an interesting role, Sargun is a bit more conscious of portraying the role of a cop who leads a team and some more layers to her character help. Talented Rakul Preet Singh uses small parts with big stars as an investment for future. With very little character arc, her performances are like this generic thriller… which lacks the writer’s signature.

Cutputli is currently airing on Disney+Hotstar

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Written by filmysector

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