CAST: Arjun Kapoor, Kumud Mishra, Tabu, Naseeruddin Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma
DIRECTOR: Aasmaan Bhardwaj
Kuttey is now playing in theaters
Mild Spoiler Alert Below, Brief Mentions of Graphic Themes, Sexual Content, Violence
Talk about screwing the pooch.
A clumsy, self-aggrandizing homage to his own hubris, Aasmaan Bhardwaj’s Kuttey was a film not even the dogs could appreciate.
The film, in an unclever and extremely unsuccessful homage to Tarantino-style non-linear storytelling, attempts to weave together the stories of four criminal underlings all after the same prize: an armored car full of four crores in cold hard cash. Split into three arcs, or “chapters,” the story was an almost unintelligible mess that instead of tying everything together at the end, created such a chaotic knot of a plot that even a boy scout couldn’t untangle it. What could have been a poignant and original commentary on police corruption in Bombay was instead a uselessly violent, very confusing hodge-podge of plot points that were surprising only in their nonsensical delivery.
I mean, what was this film about? Gun violence? Inspector-saab corruption? The awful objectification of women? A scene in which a young revolutionary woman is violently sexually assaulted was sickening. The bloodshed throughout the film was gratuitous and overdone. Everything in a film has a purpose: every shot, every choice, every word has thought and meaning behind it in order to carry the plot forward. There was no purpose to be found here. There was no thought behind this script, which read like the first draft of a film school thesis in which the student didn’t pass. How is it considered “edgy” or “cool” for a gross old man in a pool to literally point at some young women and tell his male guests that they’re meat for consumption? News flash, that doesn’t make you cool. It makes you a dog.
Arjun Kapoor’s performance as a young, corrupt police officer was stagnant at best. The only way you could root for his man was if you rooted for his character to die first, and what a disappointment it was every time he got shot and somehow survived. Kumud Mishra’s Paaji was much more enjoyable to watch, but whose motivations for his drug dealings in the first place were never explained. It was a pleasure to see Naseeruddin Shah as Bombay drug lord Narayan Khobre, and Tabu’s performance as Poonam Sandhu was a masterclass in both acting and grace.
There was no resolution to anyone’s story. There was no purpose in character death, or plot, or quite literally anything in this film. I spent more than half of it trying to figure out who to root for (answer: Tabu. Always root for Tabu). I spent the next half wishing it was over.
Just because you can give a dog a bone, doesn’t mean you should. Hard pass on Kuttey.