Vishal Bharadwaj is known for shelling out good dark comedies. His movies will have a sinister backdrop, but the humor is never far away. Following in his footsteps is his son, Aasmaan Bharadwaj, who, just like his father, has ventured into similar territory, hoping to leave his mark and begin his journey as a storyteller and director. “Kuttey,” which means “dogs,” is all about people who know each other and the fact of how much loyalty they showcase for the people with whom they work. Will they remain loyal like a dog or betray each other like Judas or Brutus?
Gopal Tiwari, a police officer with the Mumbai Police, is in a shady hotel having a gala time with a woman, and his colleague and friend Paaji is at the same hotel waiting for Gopal. They are confronted by Narayan Khobre, a local politician and gang leader who is also a drug mafia kingpin, for giving away time to his rival drug supplier. Initially, Paaji and Gopal deny making any deal with the rival man, but Narayan has his ways of knowing and making people tell the truth. Narayan is not alone; he has brought his full force to make sure Gopal reveals what exactly he is doing to gain extra money from Narayan’s rival gang. Gopal and Paaji are corrupt police officers. They are taking a percentage of the profit that drug suppliers like Narayan and his rival gang, Surti, make to make sure no police officer of their rank or working with them would dare arrest these two people. Narayan threatens to kill Gopal and Paaji when Gopal reveals that he has taken a hefty amount from Surti as well to make their business run smoothly without any police bothering him. Because Surti entered the market, Narayan’s business has gone into the red, and to make sure it does not fall further, he forces Gopal and Paaji, as a punishment, to kill Surti. Gopal and Paaji work around Surti’s circle of friends and acquaintances, it won’t be that difficult to infiltrate and assassinate him. Though they are seemingly successful in assassinating the said man, unfortunately, Surti is in a coma and has not died due to the gunshot wounds. Gopal, out of sheer cockiness, ends up stealing the drugs worth two crores from Surti’s place. Unfortunately for the duo, they are arrested for the possession of drugs and taking bribes from Narayan and Surti. Paaji and Gopal are suspended, but they are looking for a way to make sure their suspension is revoked. Gopal comes from a corrupt background and makes sure he will get the money he is seeking; he has no plans to do the right thing. He would have no problem pursuing whichever course of action would serve his purpose, one of which was taking money from the drug mafia to live a lavish life. Paaji, though, is a conflicted man.
Thirteen years ago, he was a police officer at a police station in a Naxal-dominated area. Laxmi Sharma, a Naxal leader, was arrested and sexually assaulted by Paaji’s colleagues inside the jail when her comrades attacked the station and rescued her. Paaji, who tried to help and make sure she was not harmed, was not killed in the ambush. She offered him a grenade in case he ever wants freedom from the life he is leading. Her words stayed with her because ever since then, all he has done is make sure he listens to his superiors without understating the consequences of their actions. Gopal is his senior at work, and Paaji still feels suffocated to be doing the same corrupt work for years. Paaji was not keen on picking up the drugs from Surti, but he was forced by Gopal to do so. This shows Paaji is forever conflicted about whether to do the right thing or not. In the hope of getting their suspension revoked, they approach Pammi Sandhu, Paaji’s old friend, to help them sort out the mess. Pammi agrees to help, but she, being a corrupt cop, wants money out of this arrangement. She demands one crore, which is beyond Gopal and Paaji’s reach, but not before she meets Pammi’s friend, who works with a private security agency that deposits money at ATMs around the city. This sparks an idea in Gopal, and he now knows how to make sure to get himself the money required to get him back to work with Pammi’s help. Gopal only knows how to talk about money, and he thinks this is the only way to sort out the matter he’s got himself into. There is no other way he is aware of that will get him out of this bad situation. Money talks, and he is now making a plan to get himself enough money to get himself out of this mess.
Lovely Khobre is the only daughter of drug mafia kingpin Narayan Khobre, and she is engaged to marry a local real estate magnet’s son. Coming from a mafia family that is extremely protective of her, she is raised with plenty of restrictions, and that continues even after she becomes an adult. Lovely is an educated girl, but she is given no freedom to live the life she wants. She was protected and sheltered from the world outside the walls of her home. This time she is heading to her would-be husband’s home after marriage. Enjoying her last few days of freedom, she is headed to meet her friend in another part of the city. Her brother and father make sure she is accompanied by their henchman, Danny. Danny is supposed to take care of and safeguard Lovely and make sure she never gets into trouble because of her family. Keeping in mind the family she belongs to, Lovely tends to be surrounded by security, which again restricts her freedom of movement.
On the way to Vashi, it is revealed that Danny and Lovely are in love with each other. The amount of time they have spent together, especially Danny protecting Lovely all the time, and their proximity have led to the love they have for each other. Lovely also feels like the entitled daughter of an influential father, but she also feels that all her life, she has been stopped from having a life on her own, which includes her being unable to choose a life partner for herself. That is why she fell in love with Danny, because this will help her get control of her life. Danny, on the other hand, is not financially capable of taking care of her, and he knows her family would kill them for thinking of living together for years to come. Lovely proposes the idea of moving to Canada, claiming to know someone who can help them. All they must do is deposit the money with the person, and then Lovely and Danny can smoothly shift to Canada. With no money in their hands, Lovely had noticed Gopal at her home asking for weapons from her father, claiming he had a way of getting the money.
Paaji is in a weird headspace after hearing Gopal Tiwari threaten to throw him under the bus if Paaji ever tries to become a witness for the police. At the nick of time, he is again contacted by Pammi because of the three weapons makers she arrested, as they are taking his name to make sure they are released. Paaji’s discovery upon reaching Pammi’s office reveals that these weapon makers were the makers and suppliers of guns and ammunition to the police to tackle the Naxals. Paaji is not keen on speaking on behalf of the weapon makers, but Pammi has already filed an FIR alleging that an Uttar Pradesh minister’s murder weapon was designed by them. Since he gets involuntarily involved in this, Paami forces him to be part of the case. The weapon makers offer the money they have made from the business they have created for themselves. Pammi is not keen on that meager amount, but soon one of the culprits claims to know someone who is the driver for a security company that drops money at the ATMs around the city. Pammi and Paaji force the driver to come along with them with the promise that the money in the van will be equally divided amongst all the conspirators. Since Pammi is helping him get the suspension revoked, Paaji is forced to help her sort this matter out. Paaji is keen on getting his suspension revoked, and they form a plan to get him out of the van to get the money. Paaji has no option but to help Pammi get hold of the money. The money will help him get his job back, and Pammi will regain the trust she has in him from now on. Paaji always wanted to do the right thing, but all he has done so far has been against the system and the law. He is hoping that after this mission, he will be a clean cop.
‘Kuttey’ Ending Explained – Did Gopal Tiwari Get The Entire Money? Who End Up Becoming Collateral?
Gopal Tiwari forms a gang of policemen who are willing to help get hold of the cash from the van. As they hijack the said vehicle, they are faced with gunfire from the security team assigned to protect the money. The gunfire turns brutal when Gopal is injured, and all the policemen helping him die too. The other security officials are also killed, and only one or two remain injured and alive. Gopal uses them to get the vehicle going to his endpoint, and from there, he can carry the money for himself. Gopal is happy to see his plan working because with the persons who joined him in the mission dead, he will be keeping all the money for himself, and with that, he will get his job back and improve his lifestyle. Gopal has no plans of becoming a clean person. If his plans succeed, the money will make all the more greedy.
Gopal’s contentment is short-lived when their vehicle is rammed by Lovely and Danny’s car. The collision with their car renders Gopal unconscious. Gopal is moved out of the vehicle along with the dead security personnel. Danny and Lovely take charge of the vehicle, and they go off, hoping they can now utilize the money for their purposes from here on. Danny and Lovely desperately want to get out of the country, hoping her family will never bother them if they move to Canada. This was their only way to get money. Lovely cannot ask for a huge sum from her father, and Danny has no means to get hold of a chunk of money this big. They are now on the way to making their dreams come true once they have the money.
Danny and Lovely are attacked by a sniper when the vehicle again goes off the road. They are now attacked by Pammi, Paaji, and their mates, with whom they plan to loot the money in the vehicle. Paaji, being an expert sniper, helps them nab Danny and Lovely. Both Pammi and Paaji recognize Lovely, and they wonder why she is involved in this mess of a game. As an injured Gopal Towari also reaches the spot, they all come to recognize each other and the fact that they all need money to save themselves from the problems. They have their guns pointed at each other, and there is no discussion on who will get what amount. A multitude faces off with no solution ahead, which makes them drop their weapons and find shelter at a dilapidated bungalow where they can sort out how the money will be divided. All of them need the money at this point, but since they are all armed, there is no way any of them will go out alone if they try to attack anyone else. Here, the police are the thieves. The irony is that the police are supposed to help people nab thieves, but here they’re the ones in dire need of cash and are breaking the law. They are sure they will not be caught committing the crime.
They reach a deadlock when they hear a movement happening close to them. They hide in the dilapidated bungalow, and Paaji recognises Naxal Laxmi Sharma leading the group towards the bungalow. Paaji hopes he will be able to rescue them by making Laxmi understand their dilemma. Laxmi plans to rescue Paaji and the gang hiding on his request, when Gopal takes a detour and finds machine guns stored at the same place. Laxmi and her group of comrades had come by this place only to get hold of them. Gopal hopes the machine gun will help him get rid of everybody and begins laying down indiscriminate gunfire on all of them. The gun battle kills everybody. Gopal murders Pammi, and before that, Pammi kills Lovely. Danny ends up killing the Naxals, and in retaliation, Laxmi kills Danny, and he kills her, too, in the ensuing gunfire. The only survivor is Gopal Tiwari because he wanted to make sure one of them survived to walk away with the money they stole. Gopal is the survivor because he wanted the money. He made sure to stay away from the gun onslaught, and he witnessed the death of Paaji when a large cement block fell on him. The death of Paaji was reminiscent of Super Deluxe, where the entire tension ceases when the villain is suddenly killed by a big plasma television that falls on him.
Paaji’s death happened suddenly, and it was something that Gopal did not want. But Paaji would have killed Gopal if not for the cement block that descended on him. Gopal is sad that it ended the way it did, but he is glad the money is just for himself; all the witnesses to the robbery that just happened are dead. Gopal hides the money boxes and concocts an elaborate story of how he, Pammi, and Paaji were ambushed on the way to Khandala for a celebration, and the money was subsequently stolen. Gopal gets his job back, Pammi and Paaji are declared martyrs for dying in the line of fire, and Gopal is subsequently given multiple awards from the police force and monetary rewards by several institutions. Gopal also gets the money back from the spot where he had hidden it. Unfortunately for him, since it is November 2016, demonization is announced when all the money he stole and gathered is now rendered useless. Gopal can’t believe his luck is rotten again, for the crime he committed was perfect, and he ends up getting punished not by his police force but by his luck and destiny. He is now helpless because there is no way he can get rid of this money legally. Gopal is stuck forever with the cash he cannot use for himself and his family.
“Kuttey” becomes interesting in the second half when other players get involved in the game. However, the running time of the film was just two hours, the narrative was pacey enough to keep the audience hooked on the story and wanting to know who would get hold of the money. Even with the inevitable showdown, the face-off sequence is executed perfectly. There were characters introduced but not explored, like Narayan Khobre and Surti. Though Paaji’s life as a conflicted policeman was explored, there was not much character development given to Pammi and Gopal. It was established from the beginning that they are corrupt police officials, but not much was explored of their personal lives. These two were the only out-and-out black characters who had no redemption arc. Meanwhile, the rest of them—Lovely, Danny, and Paaji—carried shades of gray because they had reasons behind why they needed the money. Paaji wanted to be a better person, while Danny and Lovely wanted to move far away from her toxic family to start their own family. There is also a tale of the scorpion and the toad narrated by Tabu at the beginning of the film. Though Tabu was the one who considered herself to be the scorpion who would bite out of its nature, Gopal is the one who should be considered the scorpion here, for he was the one that put forward the idea of having a negotiation on how the money should be divided, but Gopal turned out to be the one who showed his real nature under the guise of helping people find a solution.
The screenplay seemed messy in the beginning, and the film took time to establish the actual plot; along with that, there was no explanation of how or why Laxmi Sharma’s character even existed in the later part of the film. The middle portion of the film helped in forming a good impression, but the climax face-off and shoot-out became out of place because its screenplay forgot to establish what the Naxals were doing this close to the city of Mumbai. Aasman Bharadwaj did pick up his father’s nuances of adding humor in the bleakest possible scenario, but he has a long way to go to establish himself as a good storyteller. The direction was excellent, though; it is the screenplay that derails the film. There was no shortage of good performances in the film. Be it Tabu, Kumud Mishra, Arjun Kapoor, Radhika Madan, or Naseeruddin Shah, all of them brought their A-game to the table. “Kuttey ” is a dark comedy that falters in between but somehow does not manage to completely derail the film. An interesting watch and Aasmaan Bharadwaj is an interesting director to look out for.