The hills make a perfect backdrop in Cuttputlli and cinematographer Rajeev Ravi’s lens captures it beautifully: The Tribune India

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Thrillers and remakes seem to be the flavor of the season; Ranjit M. Tewari’s director Cuttputlli checks both boxes and delivers a gripping crime drama. The most prolific actor of the era, Akshay Kumar, dons the uniform of SI Arjan Sethi in this remake of the 2018 Tamil thriller Ratsasan.

The son of a deceased cop, Arjan Sethi, rents a room in Parwanoo and wants to make a movie about a serial killer. He devoted seven years of his life to researching and perfecting his screenplay. Despite several trips to Chandigarh, his attempt to find a producer was unsuccessful. Frustrated, he finds a job in the Himachal Pradesh police. His first posting is in Kasauli, where he shares his home with his sister Seema Singh (Hrishitaa Bhatt), his brother-in-law Narinder Singh (Chandrachur Singh) and his niece Payal (Renaye Tejani).

Call it the universe listening to its deep desire; the region is rocked by a series of murders of schoolgirls. The killer leaves a mutilated face of a doll in the gift box as a signature. Too new to investigate, he finds his way into SHO Gudia Parmar’s (Sargun Mehta) team while other girls go missing, including his niece Payal.

The hills provide the perfect backdrop for this crime drama, and cinematographer Rajeev Ravi’s lens captures it beautifully. The storyline is tense, engaging, and entertaining in bits. One thing leading to another, we get involved in the story through these two hours and 14 minutes. Background music by Julius Packiam suits this cat-and-mouse chase story.

Ranjit M Tewari and Akshay Kumar team up again after Bell Bottom. Akshay delivers a heartfelt performance. He’s been rocking yellow since the 90s and continues to do so even though he’s calling a rather inappropriate party number. Rakul Preet Singh as his beloved fits the role. Sargun Mehta as superior delivers a great performance. Gurpreet Ghuggi, Chandrachur Singh, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Joshua LeClair are living the game that comes their way. It’s NSD alumnus Sujith Shankar making you cringe, a win for portraying a negative character coming his way. While the climax keeps you hooked, especially thanks to its background score, the serial killer’s story is rather rushed. Not massive or pacy, but Cuttputlli unfolds page by page among the pristine hills. If you can overlook some cinematic freedom and haven’t seen Ratsasan, that makes for a good unique watch.

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