Cuttputli is a laughably witless remake of a good film – Entertainment News , Firstpost – Firstpost

Cuttputlli movie still
Ratsasan in Tamil, was a well-made serial-killer procedural which worked not for its brilliance but common sense. Set aside brilliance, which seems like a distant dream for Bollywood mainstream cinema these days, Cuttputlli, the Hindi remake of Ratsasan, is not even sold on common sense. In fact, it lacks sense, common or otherwise, and at times, plain logic.
For example, the serial killer thriller (with as much thrills as a monkey  performing roadside tricks without the guarantee of any rewards), is supposed to be set in Himachal Pradesh. However, chunks of the pulpy police procedural are very clearly and visibly shot in a foreign country, probably London. I wonder which of the two should feel more insulted about the territorial travesty.
This hoot of a  whodunit is geographically challenged bigtime. The editor (the wonderful Chandan Arora), has not even tried to merge the two extremely  disparate locations; so in one scene, we are in Himachal, in the next, we are in London, just like Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal playing the same character in  Sharmaji Namkeen, but far less confusing here: no matter where Cuttputlli (why is the title spelt so weirdly?) is shot, it misses the point by a wide margin.
In Ratsasan, the hero was a young (stress on young), aspiring filmmaker with a deep interest in serial killers across the world, especially India. No, we are not talking about the practice of refusing extensions to Ekta Kapoor’s serials. This is  the other kind of serial killing.
Nowhere does Akshay Kumar look like he gives a flying duck for the gruesome murder victims, young girls who are picked up in a mysterious van by an unknown man (or woman, no spoilers ahead) and then mutilated beyond recognition…much in the same way that Ratsasan is mutilated by the makers of this film.
Director Ranjit Tewari once made a very watchable prison drama Lucknow  Central with Farhan Akhtar. This one could have been called London Kasauli Central, though, for some strange reason, it was earlier titled Cinderella Man. Could it be that they had forgotten the apostrophe and the film was named  after the film’s leading lady (Rakul Preet Singh), who has nothing much to do, but is the Cinderella in the film’s producer’s life? Hold on to that thought.
Coming back to Cuttputlli, there are several reasons why the remake falls flat on its face. It is way too eager to punctuate the plot at precisely the same procedural points as the original. This makes the dramatic highpoints from the original look like mimicry in the remake.
There is one significant alteration, actually a rebuke to the original, in the remake. In Ratsasan, the hero Vishnu Vishal’s senior at the police station, a bullheaded, myopic, arrogant woman, played by Suzane George, keeps opposing the hero’s crime investigation right till end. In Cuttputlli, that obdurate cop (played here by Sargun Mehta), has a change of heart in the  climax and decides that there is sense in the hero’s investigative intelligence.
A concession to Akshay Kumar’s stardom? Or a snub to the original  character’s arrogant shortsightedness? Speaking of the concession to Akshay’s stardom, he gets to sing a ‘happy birthday’ song, which was not there in the original. Oh yes: he also gets to hit a pedophile where it hurts the most, a few times extra. Ouch.
The climax is particularly a damper. All the thrill of pursuit in the original is pared down to a listless chase sequence shot so badly, it looks  like home video blown out of all proportion. There is only one way the serial-killer thriller can go. And it’s far cry from the original.
More than the motive for the murderer’s mayhem, I am bothered with the motive behind mauling Ratsasan in this risible remake. Why this shoddy, unimaginative adaptation, which doesn’t seem to shed a single sincere tear for  the underage victims?
Thankfully, Cuttputlli was not released in movie theatres. It would have gone the same way as Akshay Kumar’s last three releases. It’s time for some serious  career re-think. At one point, when a schoolteacher, played by Rakul Preet Singh, makes a comment on Akshay looking too young to be a teenager’s father (a most inappropriate comment, especially coming from a female academician), he deadpans, “Chyawanprash.”
So now we know.

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has been writing about Bollywood for long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.
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