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Court Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, April 17, 2015 • Hindi ]

Passing the judgment completely in favour of art house afficandos and critics. Chaitanya Tamhane’s debut multilingual ‘Court’ is an outstanding piece of art. Chaitanya has created a realistic, arty and observed take on ‘Court’ and its people.. where the title plays the protagonist in an atmospheric metaphoric ground.. A truly deserved National award winner of the year as the best films.. ‘Court’ stands in the league of ‘Salam Bombay’, in its atmosphere, ‘Chakra’ in its realism ,and ‘Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho’ in its tease and niggle.

The film and the filmmaker is destined to win new Indian fans after its world recognition and national award caps - not for everyone but not be missed by its arty and out of box audience.

Dalit activist Narayan Kamble (Vira Sathidar) is arrested during his street performance for being responsible for the suicide of a sewage cleaner under contract from the state corporation. Defense lawyer Vinay Vora (Vivek Gomber) who is known for taking such cases appeals for bail and the matter is promoted from lower court to sessions court and we are introduced to the rigid, probing, provoking, mirror to the judiciary and the society we live in.. where a simple protest by a ‘common’ activist can turn into an arrest while the privileged can go scot free with murders..

Chaitanya Tamhane in his film adapts a docudrama style in showing us the reality through Narayan Kamble’s case while it questions the true responsibility of the judiciary and the public in general leading to the mess we are in.. and it’s dirty with no sewage cleaner around it stinks of discrimination, caste, gender, religion all kind of barriers..

The judge, the lawyers be it the public prosecutor Nutan played by Geetanjali Kulkarni or Pradeep Josh who plays the Judge Sadavarte or the defense lawyer Vinay.. all become muppets in the court.. in one striking scene the Judge refuses to hear a case as the complainant - a woman comes wearing sleeveless... Making you cringe at the rigid pre colonial mindset we are still in..

Chaitanya Tamhane’s shows us ‘Court’ as a government institution rather than a temple of justice where lawyers, judges, culprits perform their assigned duties as professionals in any office and lead a care free life outside .. a brilliant metaphor to establish the fact - ‘who is bothered’..

The natural acting by the actors Vira (superb), Vinay (fantastic), Geetanjali (excellent), Pradeep (wonderful) adds weight to Chaitanya’s case punching it to perfection.

Mrinal Desai’s camera is ‘fixed’ in the courtrooms giving us the insight we cannot ignore.. ironically as the session court closes for a vacation and we see the judge going on a family holiday, advising people to wear stones and peruse a top management course to earn a six figure monthly pay... a question arises in the minds of a thinking viewer - things have changed so much but our judiciary still remains the same stuck in the pre colonial raj.. who will ‘order’ the change..

Watch it for the love of art

Rating: 4.00 / 5.0

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