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Kuldip Patwal: I Didn't Do It  : Whodunnit That’s Weary
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Friday, February 2, 2018
Remy Kohli
Deepak Dobriyal, Raima Sen, Parvin Dabas, Priyanka Sethia, Gulshan Devaiah

When a common man is thrown into jail for the assassination of powerful local politician Varun Chaddha, he pleads neither innocence nor guilt. All Kuldip Patwal repeats is that he doesn't remember anything.


Is he a pawn in the hands of a terror group or a puppet of the opposition?


Flashbacks reveal that he had much to simmer about. A victim of ruthless politics, he has lost all he ever had due to a new reservation policy and a law against hawkers. At every step, it was Varun Chaddha whose policies led to Kuldip Patwal’s downfall and ultimate grief. It’s more than enough reason for Kuldip to assassinate the minister. But did he?


Director Remy Kohli keeps the mystery alive in this rather interesting crime and social story. It seems to find closure when the defence lawyer starts his investigations. But in an interesting twist, the prosecution is led by none other than the wife of the slain minister.


The claim of the filmmakers is that this is inspired by true life events. The premise is intriguing but… This is a big but that the screenplay moves at the speed of a bullock cart out for a stroll. With flashbacks that hark back to a few months and then to a few years, it almost becomes comic instead of highlighting the tragic.


The climax is a shocker but a bit farfetched which takes away the grounded feeling that has thus far been built up.


It’s ultimately a classic case of a promising plot that goes wrong in its telling.


Where the film scores is in its performances. Deepak Dobriyal gets into the character of Kuldip Patwal completely with an amazingly natural body language. Gulshan Devaiah as the defence lawyer gets the Punjabi accent perfect. Raima Sen as the minister’s wife, Priyanka Sethia as Kuldip's wife, in fact every side player is also cast accurately.


However, it’s a test of one’s patience to await the unravelling of the assassin.


For a good take-off which loses steam mid-air, Kuldip Patwal I Didn’t Do It gets a 2* rating. 


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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