Tabu doggedly leads this wild and entertaining pack of hounds

Story: A bunch of corrupt cops hatch a plan to rob a van carrying crores of hard cash, meant to refill the ATMs across the city. But as more crooks join the party, it turns into a bloody free for all.

Review: Divided across three quirkily titled chapters, debutant director Aasman Bharadwaj’s ‘Kuttey’ starts off with a bang and keeps powering its screenplay with interestingly dark, sharp and self-centred characters. In them are unscrupulous police officers, drug dealers and even Naxalites. Each one has an ulterior motive and their rule is simple — shoot first, ask questions later. The narrative is stuffed with a battery of characters and their stories and a mildly unpredictable premise of a dog-eat-dog world.

‘Kuttey’ justifies its title. Sometimes even trying too hard, Aasman and his co-writer and filmmaker father Vishal Bharadwaj, give us a relentlessly twisted thriller, throwing in every trick in the book to confuse and engage the audience with a convoluted and chaotic narrative. It’s thrilling and entertaining, but not without loopholes and flaws in the writing that clearly struggles with the problem of plenty. With so many stories and subplots running concurrently, some get side-lined.

In its ensemble cast, it’s easy to pick your favourite. Tabu tops the list. The talented actress lives Pammi’s many eccentricities and makes the character extremely likeable. Surrounded by treacherous and bloodthirsty men, she’s the only badass boss lady, mouthing expletive-laden dialogues and bringing some much-needed comic relief as well. As always, her pitch is perfect and appears effortless. Naseeruddin Shah, Konkana Sen Sharma, Radhika Madan, Shardul Bharadwaj and Kumud Mishra make their limited time on screen count. Arjun Kapoor has more to do, as the unabashedly amoral Gopal and the actor delivers an honest performance, but he can do with a few more variations in his expressions.

What lifts ‘Kuttey’s constantly dark and gritty narrative is the catchy tune of Vishal Bharadwaj’s iconic composition ‘Dhan te nan’ that lingers in the background. The film’s original score by Vishal, infused with Gulzar’s unique lyrics, blend well with the screenplay without stalling the pace of the film.

As a debutant director, Aasman Bharadwaj proves his mettle by juggling an overstuffed plot and a bunch of talented actors. ‘Kuttey’ isn’t exactly a deep, dark satire made to perfection, yet it is a wildly entertaining mishmash of guns, goons and gaalis.

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