Director: Ranjit M Tewari
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Rakul Preet Singh, Chandrachur Singh, Sargun Mehta, Hrishita Bhatt, and others
Where: Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar
Rating: 3 stars
'Cuttputlli', earlier titled as 'Mission Cinderella' is the second association of director Ranjit M Tewari with Akshay Kumar after 'Bellbottom' (2021), which was touted as the first feature to be wrapped up during the pandemic. 'Cuttputlli' is inspired by 2018 Tamil thriller 'Ratsasan', helmed by Ram Kumar.
Set in Kasauli, Arjan Sethi (Akshay Kumar) gives up on his dream of becoming a filmmaker and takes up the job of a sub-inspector after his father's death. He then attempts to track down a psychotic killer, who targets schoolgirls. Will he succeed?
Bullying has been an ignorant subject in our Hindi films. Kunal Kapoor starrer 'Nobleman' (2018) dealt with the subject of bullying and inner conflict of sexual orientation during adolescence but filmmakers never attempted anything in that space. 'Cuttputlli' is one of its kind thriller, that is narrated well but with the jarring climax, still surpasses as a one-time home viewing experience.
With the most cliché narrative in the first 20-minutes and obvious slo-mo entries of the leads, Ranjit M Tewari tries hard to play with the genre but he makes a subdued canny film of 2 hours 14 minutes. After 'Bellbottom', 'Cuttputlli' is his second offering in a thriller zone. However, 'Lucknow Central' (2017) also had a good subject but too scattered screenplay made it an avoidable watch.
Last three films that the superstar promoted excessively— 'Bachchhan Paandey', 'Samrat Prithviraj' and 'Raksha Bandhan' turned out to be duds at the box office, 'Cuttputlli' is a smart move by the actor to have a straight to OTT release.
Akshay has played a cop umpteenth number of times earlier, his character Arjan in this is no different. He should stick to play a cop, at least he gets noticed. Rakul Preet Singh, who plays a school teacher does nothing to the film rather her romantic track derails an intriguing story. Chandrachur Singh and Hrishita Bhatt are honest to their respective parts.
Sargun Mehta is a surprise. She is brilliant, sincere and of high quality as SHO and even hijacked Akshay’s scenes. She is perhaps the best out of the whole ensemble. Antagonist Joshua McLaire, originally a magician, is average and contributes a bit in unravelling the truth.
To come out of the bad hangover of recent Akshay Kumar films, 'Cuttputlli' is a perfect binge-watch.