Gripping crime thrillers are becoming the strongholds of Indian creators, as proven by the recently released Khakee: The Bihar Chapter.
It all started with Anurag Kashyap’s Sacred Games, taken forward by Mirzapur and Asur. These shows have set the bar extremely high for the genre.
A new Indian series, CAT, has started streaming on Netflix. It is originally a Punjabi language show, dubbed into Hindi and other speeches.
However, I didn’t find any issue in understanding Punjabi in CAT. The series has eight episodes with a runtime of nearly six hours.
According to the Netflix description of CAT, it is a gritty and ominous crime thriller.
Does it deliver or not? Here’s my CAT review, where I discuss the positive and negative aspects of the series.
What is the story of CAT?
CAT, in the series, is used as a term for a police informer.
Gurnam Singh, a former CAT, is forced by circumstances to infiltrate a drug empire. But his mission takes a drastic turn when a tragic connection to his past pops up.
Directed by multiple individuals, CAT stars Randeep Hooda (Gurnam), Abhishant Rana (Young Gurnam), Suvinder Vicky (Sehtab), Hasleen Kaur (Babita), Gurinder Makna (Rajpuria), Geeta Agarwal Sharma (Madam Aulakh), and Pramod Pathak (Chandan), among others.
What works well for CAT?
The first thing you’ll like about CAT is Punjab, a state that is serene, lovable, and chaotic at the same time. It begins with the rising militancy in Punjab during the 1980s.
From there, an interesting tale is crafted following Gurnam Singh. How the story is set up initially evokes you and forces you to continue streaming.
Drugs, crime, and improper policing are some of the factors CAT highlights. It is not a commoner’s fight against crime, and neither is it a story of fantasies.
CAT is about a man willingly falling into a dangerous borehole and finding his way through.
Furthermore, satisfying twists and turns are integrated almost regularly to ensure your complete attention. One of the show’s downfalls also originates from this factor, which I will discuss in the latter part of my CAT review.
Suspense is a regular in CAT from the word go. The makers don’t unravel them hastily and always keep something for the near future.
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CAT is also aided by a stirring screenplay. Each of the events, cuts, and flashbacks is enlivening. You might not be outrightly satisfied, but you won’t feel dejected either.
As for the performances, CAT is mostly about Randeep Hooda, who is undoubtedly the heartbeat of CAT. He not only shines but impeccably dazzles as Gurnam.
Hooda’s brilliance as an actor is known to the world, and he blends it with his Punjabi nuances to serve a delectable display.
His onscreen calmness, shades of fiery intensity, and ability to launch at the stroke of a finger are phenomenal.
The emotionally quiet personality of Hooda in CAT will win you over, hands down. Add to it his natural Punjabi demeanor, and you are in for a treat.
Abhishant Rana, as the young Gurnam, does an excellent job. His dynamic innocence as a whole will impress you.
Suvinder Vicky plays a tricky cop in CAT. His underhand expressions propel the show’s plot. His outing is honest and commendable.
Hasleen Kaur, as Babita, gives it her all. She gets to play a highly restrained character and one we are used to watching in shows like these. However, Kaur sails through, making her own aura in CAT.
Geeta Agarwal Sharma is Madam Aulakh in this Netflix series. Her responsible presentation is a significant boost for CAT. It doesn’t matter whether she is on the right side of things. What’s essential is the stature of Sharma’s character.
Pramod Pathak plays second fiddle to Suvinder Vicky. He is mainly used for humor, which even makes serious situations seem laughable. However, Pathak’s cheeky display shows his continuing capability since Mirzapur and Maharani.
Is there anything off about CAT?
In the fifth episode, the intro clip of CAT appears after seventeen minutes of runtime. That’s almost half the length of that particular episode.
The flashback should have been placed in a better manner. It just doesn’t make sense to insert the intro at the halfway mark.
Moreover, some twists in CAT felt awkward. They appeared out of nowhere and probably resulted due to the writing of convenience.
Another contesting point is the ease with which the protagonist is able to achieve his tasks. There had to be more hurdles in his way, but that’s how stories sometimes work.
There is a character in CAT who utters couplets at irregular intervals. It doesn’t come out good at all and instead feels odd.
Should you stream or skip CAT?
By all means, despite the flaws, CAT is a watchable show. You will like most of the stimulations it offers, which are also its prominent advantages.
The following section contains spoilers.
CAT ending explained.
Toward the show’s end, we see Gurnam Singh hatching his fake death in an accident. Then the scene shifts to an unknown guy traveling through the underground tunnel to cross into Pakistan.
The face of the man is kept a secret till the very last second. Most of you might have guessed him to be Randeep Hooda. However, the makers surprise us with the actor’s wholly changed appearance.
He doesn’t have a beard or a mustache. The turban has gone as well. Moreover, he looks younger than before. Is he really Gurnam Singh?
While only the writers of CAT know the genuine answer to the question, all I can say is: yes, he is Gurnam. However, since he had staged a fake death, he had to change his look.
Therefore, he must have got another alias or a fake identity.
Why did Gurnam Singh (Randeep Hooda) go to Pakistan at CAT’s ending?
Gurnam goes to Pakistan to find a way to travel to Canada. The second season of CAT may be set partly in Canada and Punjab. This is because Gurnam’s family, including his brother and sister, is also in Canada.
And most importantly, Sehtab has also left for Canada. Gurnam would want to avenge his parents’ death and also safeguard his siblings.
Who is Arshad Butt in CAT?
In my opinion, Arshad Butt could be the guy who will arrange Gurnam’s travel to Canada.