The title of the film is intriguing indeed, and viewers like myself have more inquisitiveness about the content in the narrative, more so when someone like a Vishal Bhardwaj’s name is involved. Like father like son; with the helmer being his son, it is more than apparent that the genre of the film must be dark. ‘Kuttey’ is Vishal’s son Aasmaan Bhardwaj’s directorial debut.
It appears that Aasmaan has been religiously following his fathers’ footsteps and learnt the craft like an obedient mentee. For a debut film with amazing actors, Kuttey is a very cunning & crafty crime thriller. It also showcases the vision of the first timer from the shots, lighting and the atmosphere designed for the narrative. It is not usual that one would find the subject in front of the camera not in the centre of the frame and is not ‘obviously speaking to the camera’. The initial reel showing Konkona Sen Sharma venting out her anger in the dark confinement followed up with a scene of silhouettes in blood red background easily communicates about ‘Lal Salam’ and sets tone of the narrative.
Kuttey’s plotline is non-linear, one has to be alert about the goings on. It is grossly about a van carrying crores in cash. One rainy night in the outskirts of Mumbai. Unaware of each other, three stray gangs cross paths on the hunt for the booty. Unfortunately, all of them have the same plan. Bullets… Blood… Betrayal… It’s every man for himself… All the dogs after one bone. Will these dogs bite the bone, or will they lose to greed? Revealing the plot in story format might spoil the thrill of watching this wily crime thriller. Don’t miss the last scene to get a clear picture.
Why Kuttey? Vishal Bhardwaj had earlier made ‘Kaminey’ and now son Aasmaan’s ‘Kuttey’, two seemingly cuss references in generic country language. A very interesting but subtle scene narrates a story about a tiger, a goat and a dog. Probably the crux of the story is what the title is all about.
The Bhardwaj Legacy
The helmer of the film – Aasmaan Bhardwaj is in complete control of the plot line and does not get confused in how it is to be unravelled to the audience. He is smart in placing various episodes at different intervals and later connecting them separately through interesting dialogues and follow-ups. His mature and confident filmmaking style makes him look like a pro; seems to be influenced by his father’s work and also that of some of the other great filmmakers of the genre.
Tabu steals the show with her presence. With Bhool Bhulaiyaa and Drishyam, Tabu is rocking in Kuttey with a street-smart performance. Similarly, watching Kumud Mishra perform with his histrionics is entertaining itself. Kumud Mishra is in a familiar zone. He is seen in characters with similar tonality on either side of law, though.
Arjun Kapoor gets the meatiest part. Though he has worked hard, it still has scope of improvisation for the part he plays. It could have been a catalyst, a game changer for Arjun. Radhika Madaan gets an opportunity in the form of an unusual narrative sans any dance or romance mouthing cuss words and get her hands on a gun too. Konkona Sen Sharma as usual is in her elements and gets into the skin of a revolutionary in the greens. Naseeruddin Shah is seen in a very small cameo so is Shardul Bhardwaj seen along with Radhika. And not to forget Anurag Kashyap in a very very special cameo.
The settings where the story or episodes unfold play an important element of the narrative. The background score also adds to the temperament of the scenes and helps engage the viewers’ mind. The music of the Kuttey is composed by Vishal Bhardwaj with lyrics penned by Gulzar & Faiz Ahmad Faiz.
Occasionally do the film buffs get to see stuff that is not your staple diet. Kuttey is an intelligent film that could have been a family entertainer had it mellowed down with the characteristic use of cuss words. A must watch for lovers of crime thrillers.
Director: Aasmaan Bhardwaj
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Tabu, Kumud Mishra, Radhika Madan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Shardul Bhardwaj, Naseeruddin Shah, Anurag Kashyap.
Duration: 112 Mins