Welcome to the school of the Bhardwajs. From being deviously twisted to absolutely wicked and deliciously dark and profanity infused - this world has masterfully been presented in so many iconic films from the legendary Vishal Bhardwaj. Now, a generation later, his son, Aasman Bhardwaj makes his directorial debut with Kuttey, whose trailer gave the same impression that all these above factors are very much a part of this film. Does he live up to his father's legacy and yet stand his own with a dream ensemble cast? Having had the chance to see the film before hand, here is what I thought about it-
A Dream Ensemble
The most obvious factor to look forward to in Kuttey from the onset was the alluring ensemble cast that junior Bhardwaj managed to assemble. The blend of having legends like Naseeruddin Shah, Tabu, Kumud Mishra and Konkona Sen Sharma along with young blood in the form of Arjun Kapoor, Shardul Bhardwaj and Radhika Madan - on paper, one couldn't have asked for more. And when it comes to on-screen as well, it delivers. The fine acting chops that every actor possesses is at full display and they manage to suck you into this world of guns, goons and mayhem in the best way possible. I did feel that a fine and budding actor like Shardul Bhardwaj was rather underutilised but to be seeing Arjun Kapoor prove that he is indeed a good actor when the material given to him is justified -that was a treat. Radhika Madan also reminded everyone that she is still one of the finest young talents not many are still noticing enough. In her brief appearance, Konkona Sen Sharma shines just like you would expect her to.
However, one cannot deny that Kuttey belongs to Kumud Mishra and Tabu. Mishra might be one of the finest actors who actually follows the school of reacting efficiently as opposed to 'acting.' And Tabu just continues to give one banger of a performance after another. What makes her act even better is that she seems to having an absolute ball playing this delicious character. The job is more than half-done owing to this fine set of actors displaying their acting abilities with excellence.
The Twists, Thrills & Topplers
To be carving out a screenplay like this that deals with an array of subplots is always an arduous task any writer takes up. Right away, you are preparing yourself to either become too indulgent or deal with loopholes and missed opportunities which is almost inevitable. To his credit, Bhardwaj manages to be articulate as he weaves all the parallel stories he has included that somehow tie ends towards the climax. More often than not, he succeeds as well where almost all parallel plotlines equally engage you and that is a feat.
However and while the twists are insane fun along with thrills, there are several loopholes and undercooked plot points between the many stories. A few questions remain unanswered and not because they are meant to but because they feel unresolved. There are a few instances where the jumps between characters seem unsatisfying but as mentioned above, that is a prerequisite when you are dealing with so many plots and so many characters.
The Humor & Music
If you are a Bhardwaj, you got to be equipped with a knack for dark humor and musical sensibilities. And boy is that an absolute treat here as well. The background score for every situation is masterful, the reworked 'Phir Dhan Te Nan', melodious 'Tere Saath' and climatic 'Kuttey' title track are brilliantly sung, composed and picturised justifying the situation to its fullest and still being impactful. But the highlight of the film in terms of the song and also a sequence has to be the song 'Vaat Lagli'. I can promise you will be laughing your guts off in that sequence.
The humor in the second half especially is so on point that even in the minimalist of moments, you will be laughing and clapping almost constantly. Even when the plot falters at a few instances, the music and humor coupled with some indulgent execution manages to keep you engaged constantly.
At its core, Kuttey serves up to being a caper that entertains you in every possible emotion - right from the deliciousness of the twists and turns to the deviousness of the characters, the subtleties and underlying commentary about multiple things and finally, just kickass music, action and a lot of fun. Inspite of its loopholes, Kuttey doesn't skim out to give an entertaining experience and a bright spark that is director Aasman Bhardwaj.
Rating - **** (4/5)