Bombay Showcase

Kerry on Kutton: More quirky than dramatic

For all its merits, it ultimately feels like an empty film.  

In the bizarrely named Kerry on Kutton , a clandestine meeting between Jyoti (Aradhana Jagota) and Kerry (Satyajeet Dubey) takes place in an aloo ka gudaam – a potato godown. Before we know it, they are making out. While they are at it, they make fart jokes and Jyoti remarks on Kerry’s pan-stained teeth, “Itna masala kyun khaate ho?” before engaging in a long smooch.

This scene from the film stands out as it bends the rules of the standard lovemaking scene in Hindi cinema. It is more carnal desire than genteel lovemaking. And the embracing of the inappropriateness, albeit done in a comical way, is a welcome change. In Kerry on Kutton , there are many such moments, dialogues that border on the profane: a heart-to-heart about men’s urinal problems or a tooth found in a gulab jamun, most probably the halwai’s. But most of them are used for effect. It becomes a problem for the film when the quirks overpower dramatic tension.

Kerry on Kutton belongs to the breed of post- Gangs of Wasseypur Hindi films that is so enamoured by the mofussil cool of its subject that it ends up nowhere: much like last year’s Meerutiya Gangsters . The film isn’t even artful in the way it draws inspiration from Anurag Kashyap’s two-part gangster saga. There is Piyush Mishra’s raspy voice as the sutradhar in the trailers and it casts Aditya Kumar, who played the hugely enjoyable Perpendicular, as an important character here.

Set in Baliya district of Uttar Pradesh, Kerry on Kutton banks on colourful, rustic characters to tell a story of a new generation of youngsters. All Kerry wants in life is to get laid, Kadambri (Kumar) wants to break out of his family profession of running a brass band and start the seemingly lucrative business of dog-breeding. Tunnu (Prashant Tiwari) is possessive and aggressive about a girl who seems to be getting away from him. Kerry and he develop a rivalry over the materialistic Jyoti who uses her sexuality to exploit the two men.

Our Hindi heartland films have echoes of Westerns, and the seemingly lawless countryside seem to lend a landscape to it. In Kerry on Kutton , the theme of violence propagated by the gun-culture in the region runs through. All the main three male characters are looking to break out from their father’s shadows and the only answer to their problems seem to be a tamancha (gun). The women of Baliya wear their desire on their sleeves (or salwar kameezes or saris). The film does well to show us how much more bold and frank people from small towns can seem to be compared to the urban blandness we see in films set in cities.

The acting isn’t bad. Dubey has an easy charm: a little too genial perhaps. But he makes use of his tall, athletic body to play the strapping man-boy who seems to have a way with the womenfolk. I was beginning to get fidgety about Jagota being too glamorous for the role, but as I spent more time with the character – it did make sense.

But all these elements never come together in Kerry on Kutton . For all its merits, it ultimately feels like an empty film that depends more on the quirks of the characters than the characters themselves. As a film that describes its protagonists as wannabe gangsters, it almost ends up being a victim of its own joke.

Kerry on Kutton

Director: Ashok Yadav

Starring: Satyajeet Dubey, Aradhana Jagota, Aditya Kumar, Prashant Tiwari

Runtime: 125 mins

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 9:47:22 PM |

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