The trend of remaking South Indian films has been around since the 1970s in Bollywood. Great scripts and meaty roles have always inspired many directors in the Hindi film industry to pursue these projects from the south. In the same league, Akshay Kumar’s leading man Cuttputlli (what a strange way to spell the word for puppet) is a remake of the 2018 Tamil film Ratsasan, which means Demon.
Audiences like a good police thriller. It’s an added bonus if the story maintains some sort of suspense throughout. However, a lack of originality and an unclear vision of how to approach these stories has mostly resulted in a complete failure of such movies in 2022. Of course, some notable movies might have turned heads, but I wouldn’t call them great movies. work that caters to enthusiasts of the genre.
Going back to Cuttputlli, the film could have achieved so much if the creators had given their best in retelling the story of a serial killer out for revenge. Instead, what we get is a bland portrayal of a possibly good crime story, one that will only suit less casual movie-watching audiences.
In the next piece, I talk about what happens in Cuttputlli, looking at its plot and ending in detail. Article contains spoilerstherefore, read it at your discretion.
Cuttputlli Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis:
Cuttputlli begins with a tongue-in-cheek conversation in which two men on a morning walk talk about the drop in crime rate due to the upcoming elections in Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh. However, they soon find the corpse of a dead girl when her dog detects her bad smell. The news spreads like wildfire and the townspeople gradually become frightened by the presence of a potential serial killer who is on a spree of killing schoolgirls.
We are soon introduced to Arjan Sethi (Akshay Kumar), who has always had a penchant for studying the psychology of serial killers. Being the son of a police officer, he often had access to different cases involving his father. Therefore, after graduating, Arjan started working on a script involving them, but he is turned down by several movie producers, mostly complaining about the lack of comedy scenes that can shock their desired audiences.
During a visit home to celebrate Rakhi, his sister and brother-in-law force him to take a job with the police. Disappointed by his constant rejections, he agrees to accept the offered position in exchange for compensation. After a written exam and extensive training, Arjan Sethi joins as a Junior Superintendent at the same Kasauli branch where his brother-in-law is stationed. However, no one takes him seriously and he is assigned strange assignments to buy stationery for the police station. instead.
On his first day on the job, Arjan comes across a case that drives him into nothingness. He notices the pattern of a gift box left at the crime scene and instantly links this teen’s murder to the one in the opening shot. When he tries to explain the similarity of the two cases to the SHO – Gudia Parmar (known for her short temper and fierceness), she refuses to consider her theory because in the first case they did not find any gifts.
However, Arjan is confident that a serial killer is involved and is determined to find the truth. Therefore, he visits the Parwanoo Police Station to ask about the gift box. From there, he finds the answer from him at the school where the girl from the first case was kidnapped. He finds out that the killer left a gift box, but since he left it at the school gate, the school guard had put it in the lost and found section after no one claimed it.
While the SHO fails to understand the clues, Arjan catches the attention of the DSP with his detailed analysis of both cases. On the other hand, post-mortem detail suggests striking similarities in both corpses. Seeing that this could lead them somewhere, the DSP assigns Arjan to the case and orders him to track down the killer before he looks for the next victim.
What follows somewhat twists Cuttputlli’s narrative as we are introduced to a strict math teacher at a school attended by Arjan’s niece, Payal. The film at this point establishes this character as a pedophile who sexually abuses vulnerable and academically weak girls.
As the entire class is being dismissed for the school’s scheduled magic show, Purushottam Tomar (the math teacher) asks Payal to stay behind. He mentally tortures her into believing that she deserves the punishment he is about to give her. At the same time, a girl who had previously been a victim of the teacher’s horrendous act realizes that Arjan and his police force are on the school premises. She exposes everything to him, helping Arjan catch the culprit while he tries to abuse Payal.
Is Purushottam Tomar the killer?
Arjan loses his temper and constantly kicks Purshottam in his groin, which lands him in the hospital. Arjan and his brother-in-law try to get the culprit to admit his shameful wrongdoing, but he denies being the serial killer and admits that he actually sexually abused young girls and groomed them for sexual favors.
Since Payal had just turned 16, her family decided to throw her a big party in the hope that it would help her escape the trauma of the earlier incidents. Things take a turn for the worse once Arjan receives a panicked call from the hospital that the suspect is trying to escape. Arjan arrives at the hospital to witness that Pursushottam has held the SHO captive at gunpoint and is trying to escape. Somehow Arjan is able to intertwine while he shoots Purushottam to save the boss from him.
On the other hand, Payal disappears from the house, indicating that the serial killer is still quite active and is definitely not Purushottam Tomar. A quick turn of events leads us to delve into the investigation with no end result. The victims’ family is completely devastated by the killer’s motive, and now the entire police force is deployed to the case. While trying to leave for the police station, Arjan notices a piece of blood-stained plastic sticking out of the trunk of his car. As much as he wants to believe that he has nothing to do with his niece, he opens the trunk only to find his dead body.
Payal’s murder triggers and deeply disturbs Arjan as he is now determined to find the killer despite being suspended for discharging a firearm inside the school premises. While spending time with Divya (Rakul Preet Singh, previously introduced as Payal’s English teacher and potential love interest), he discovers that the hearing aid his niece wears can record sound. Connecting the dots from there, he goes to the hospital, where he finds a hearing aid similar to one one of the victims used to wear.
After listening to the recording of the victim screaming in excruciating pain, Arjan notices a piano piece. He takes it to the radio station hoping someone can help him recognize it. After several attempts, a student calls and reports that she heard this at a magic show previously held at her school. With that clue in hand and after putting the pieces together, he heads straight to the police station where he tries to convince the SHO to help him find the killer.
Cuttputlli Movie Ending Explained: Who Is The Real Killer?
Having lowered the cursor to the possible suspect who is the magician who has performed in all the kidnapping and murder schools, the police point to the school where the magician had his last performance.
Arjan’s team soon realizes that the suspect often attacks volunteers during magic shows. So, they narrow down their next target to Aisha Khan. Arjan holds a security drill at the same school Aisha Khan attends, to prepare the girls in the event of a kidnapping.
While demonstrating the various defensive strategies, Arjan obtains Aisha’s phone number so he can track her via GPS. As they follow Aisha on her way back home, the strategic plan fails when they learn that they have been following her twin sister.
Arjan and SHO Parmar stake everything out and follow Aisha’s GPS movement. Meanwhile, the wizard kidnapped the girl, drugged her and tied her up, hoping that she would regain consciousness of herself. When the girl realizes that she is kidnapped, she carefully remembers all the escape techniques that Arjan had taught her. She asks the wizard if she can use the bathroom. Left alone, she calls Arjan and informs him of her whereabouts.
Arjan tells her to use the bathroom window to get out; however, when he follows his instructions, he finds himself in a room identical to the one he was in before. Arjan tracks his GPS location and enters the wizard’s house. Since all the rooms in the house look the same, it became a challenge for them to find each other. When the magician realizes that the girl is trying to escape, he follows her. Arjan follows the screaming girl’s voice and discovers that she is coming from an underground room, only to find the wizard trying to kill her. When he attacks the suspect, the latter flees.
After running from the police, the serial killer breaks into Divya’s house. At the same time, forensics and another investigative team search the entire house for more evidence. And that’s when the film’s twist reveals the truth about the killer.
The police find two passports in the house with the names of Agnes Fernando and Christopher. Arjan quickly reviews her memories and remembers that Agnes Fernando was arrested for killing girls and was sentenced for her crimes. So, he presumes that the serial killer they are looking for is Agnes. While the police look for more evidence, Arjan, on the other hand, decides to go to Divya’s house to see how she is doing. When he arrives at her house, he hears Divya scream.
When Arjan tries to catch Agnes, she uses magic tricks and takes Divya’s niece Iti with her. Arjan follows Agnes but is injured while he saves Iti from the killer. However, as she struggles to escape Arjan’s grasp, Agnes’s wig falls off, signaling yet another layer of twisting.
Cuttputlli’s reality bubbles to the surface as Arjan realizes that he is just the serial killer’s puppet. The killer introduces himself as Christopher (Agnes’s son), telling her that his face had a deformity due to a rare disease, and that his classmates always bullied him because of it. That is until a girl showed him kindness and became his friend. He soon fell in love with her, but she rejected him because of her skin condition.
Enraged by the harassment and denial, her mother invited the girl to her home. The girl apologized for bullying her at school, but Christopher killed her and marked her face the same way he did. Later, her mother took the blame for her and she went to jail for him.
Twelve years later, his mother dies in an accident on the way home. After that accident, she used the identity of her mother and started murdering girls just for the pleasure of butchering her beautiful and innocent faces.
After telling his story, Christopher attempts to harm Iti, but Arjan manages to lure the assassin towards him, ultimately managing to kill him.