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Cuttputlli

Farhad Dalal
By-
Farhad Dalal
Rating
2 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

Another day another Hindi adaptation of a popular South film! With that I finished watching the new Akshay Kumar starrer Cuttputlli streaming on Hotstar which is the official adaptation of the Tamil film Ratsasan. And I was quite amazed at how brave the makers were here considering that Ratsasan is a bit of a cult film whose Hindi dub is also available on youtube. For me personally, this was a bit of a brain fade considering how popular Ratsasan is which I believe is the best serial killer film coming out of India.

I was earlier introduced to Ratsasan years ago on Sadiq Suleman’s youtube channel(we weren’t friends back then), where he had heaped praises for the film making me instantly watch the film(I wasn’t watching much of the South content back then). And I was absolutely blown away by the construction of this twisted thriller which did leave a lasting impression. So when the Ratsasan Hindi remake Cinderella was announced, I already had my red flags up. Credit where due to the marketing team for renaming the film to Cuttputlli and trying sincerely to generate a buzz and a rather wise decision to release it directly on OTT. Now that I have finished watching Cuttputlli, here are my two cents on it.

Story & Screenplay

An official Hindi adaptation of the cult Tamil film Ratsasan, Cuttputlli follows the story of a writer turned cop investigating the brutal murders in the valley of Kasaul. For all those who have watched Ratsasan would know how good the story is. But to witness a screenplay of 2 hours and 15 minutes as opposed to an original screenplay of 2 hours and 50 minutes meant that this was a rushed film in every aspect of the word.

The first thing that I did notice about the drama was that the writing itself was rushed. If you have watched the original Ratsasan, you would know how organic the transition of the protagonist was from being a budding writer to a cop. There was a sense of calmness in his journey but here the mad rush is on full display quickly transitioning from a writer to a cop.

The elements of humour in the screenplay just did not work initially. While the killings did make the story interesting, the rushed screenplay assured that the treatment was that of a regular thriller. If you remember the original, there were several moments which were created with an eye on amping the tension by focusing on the ambience. There were several slow-mos wherein each character was reacting to the situation which made for a lingering tension wherein the audience was thoroughly invested. But the investment quotient here was missing as the scenes did transition from point A to point B at a mad pace.

The twists and turns are good for people who haven’t watched the original but for those who have, this becomes a predictable affair. The events leading up to the final act again are borderline laughable but the final act just takes the cake in being so rushed that the final punch is lacking. The tension which was again created in a layered setup is missing here, thereby summing up the screenplay which is haphazard and rushed. Even if this was a direct frame to frame copy, this may have worked but alas this wasn’t the case here.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are just cringe worthy and miss the mark in creating an impact. The original Ratsasan did not have any songs thereby keeping the audience on tenterhooks throughout. But here a birthday party sequence transports the main protagonists on a runway dancing in front of airplanes with air hostesses, making it a ridiculously funny sequence. The BGM too is a hit and a miss and fails to create that ambience of fear. The cinematography is one of the strongest aspects here, capturing the cloudy valley of Kasaul beautifully which does add to the ambience of the drama. The editing again is choppy here as opposed to the original which had a lingering tension attached to every scene with its clever cuts. Director Ranjit Tiwari fails the replicate the tension of the original which was an acid test in itself. His direction is simplistic but there are bound to be comparisons with the original wherein he is found wanting.

Performances

The performances are just about decent. Hrishita Bhatt and Chandrachur Singh are just about decent but the latter fails in a major emotional scene which did fail to resonate with me. Rakul Preet Singh is decent but majorly wasted. Sargun Mehta does a good job as the cop and contributes to several no nonsense moments. Akshay Kumar as Arjan also does a good job barring the one emotional scene which was pretty laughable. These roles are suited for Akshay who can just be himself without really having to do a lot of heavy lifting.

Conclusion

Cuttputlli is a rushed and a rather needless remake of Ratsasan which makes it a whydunnit! Available on Hotstar.

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