Vishal Bhardwaj over the years with his collaboration with Gulzar Sahab has become a genre in Indian Cinema. His idea of setting his stories in land politically charged and shaping a world that speaks of freedom has been a liberating escape.
Decades into the business, he now fuels his heir to take the legacy ahead and rightly so. Enters, Aasmaan Bhardwaj. With a team that is no less than a tall-order dream, he ventures out to tell a quirky yet rooted story and like his father does what he knows best, serving top-notch content. Written by Aasmaan with Vishal being credited for additional screenplay and dialogues, Kuttey is a movie that is a game of Ludo where every section of the board has pawns working together to beat the pawns from the other boxes. In his writing, the filmmaker shapes the movie as a maze.
No one cares about others, you never know who will double cross and kill someone, and the mystery continues. It is not an easy genre, but Aasmaan does an amazing job of sticking to a modified three-act structure yet doesn’t let it ever feel like a structured mess. There is chaos in every scene that Aasmaan shapes. Like Vishal Bhardwaj’s superpower is his poetry and the presence of it in the frame, his son holds a quirky sense of humour and the darkest way to execute it. He makes you laugh at the most traumatic scenes and never lets it sound illogical.
It is Tabu’s world and we are just living in it rent-free. The actor is out on cinema domination and how. She plays Poonam aka Pami, a police officer who has climbed the stairs of misogyny to now rule the same men who subjected her to it. The place she is in, she calls encountering people ‘masti’ and doesn’t think twice before she kills someone. Tabu is as effortless as an actor can be. No one can even come close to how skillfully she makes every character hers. Arjun Kapoor plays a corrupt police officer who is also religious and observes fast on Tuesdays. He breaks that fast and worships the god before he takes a gun and butchers an entire party for money. I have been saying this for years, the actor has a range and deserves so much more. After the amazing Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar here he plays the part where he doesn’t overdo anything. He finds his comfort spot and plays there. Radhika Madan deserves to be seen and appreciated more. For a character that is privileged yet has nothing, she brings out the dilemma well. Accompanied by Shardul who is seasoned in his own way, they do manage to bring out the emotions in their storyline with ease. Kumud Mishra is a beast and one that doesn’t make noise but lets his action speak. If there is an award for the most controlled performer, it has to go to him. Konkona Sen Sharma knows what creates magic and does just that. Though she deserved much more screen time, she does an intriguing job.
Aasmaan Bhardwaj in his debut is a firebrand. The filmmaker understands what consequence means. Every character in his story is evil, no one is sane and neither are their intentions. So he doesn’t let them walk away without facing the consequences of their evil. A trait almost every filmmaker forgets to add. I am amazed by how clear he is with what he wants. Nothing in his translation of his script to screen feels like captured by fluke. Each frame is thought about and the chaos is composed with everything considered.