Criminal Justice Season 2 :Behind Closed Doors

This gripping slow burn legal drama revolves around a woman convicted of murder. With its layered narrative and ace performances, it makes some hard hitting punches about uncomfortable reality.

Cast – Kirti Kulhari, Pankaj Tripathi, Anupriya Goenka, Jisshu Sengupta, Deepti Naval, Mita Vashisht, Kalyanee Mulay, Ajeet Singh Palawat, Khushboo Atre,Pankaj Saraswat, Adrija Sinha, Shilpa Shukla, Ashish Vidyarthi

Director – Rohan Sippy, Arjun Mukherjee

Writer – Apurva Asrani

Plot

Top Notch Lawyer Bikram Chandra, his wife Anu (Kirti) and daughter Rhea (Adrija) are a picture perfect well heeled family… till Bikram is stabbed and his wife Anu accused of the crime.

While a distraught and traumatised Anu refuses to defend herself, defence lawyers Madhav Mishra (Tripathi) and Nikhat (Goenka) must do all they can to get to the ugly truth.

Analysis

If you have seen the trailer, you would have an inkling of what’s around the corner as the story unfolds. In bits and pieces, they gradually give us a peep into Anu and Bikram’s life and it isn’t too difficult to interpret what lies beneath the surface. The narrative keeps its own pace and a puzzle like pattern to make final revelations.

But it’s not the mystery thats the high point of this series. It’s how the writer uses this narrative to show a mirror and highlight many bare truths like the patriarchal mindset of our social system, the lopsided nature of our marital relationships, the abuse and trauma they sometimes conceal, the rigmaroles of our legal system, and the horrifying state of our prison system.

Despite its slow pace, the narrative remains gripping and its wonderful cast had a lot to do with it.

Performances

Have always loved Kirti’s performances but this one is clearly her meatiest and the best till date.  She’s stellar as the traumatised, cryptic and overwrought Anu. With less of dialogues and more of expressions, she keeps us glued to her emotionally and to this story cinematically.

Pankaj Tripathi is entertaining as always but I don’t know why he couldn’t push the envelope with this role. Repetitiveness and lack of outstanding moments is what I felt.

Kalyanee Mulay stands out as the sharp, perceptive and devoted policewoman.

I loved Khushboo Atre as the disarming and adorable Ratna.

Deepti Naval and Mita Vashisht are always a pleasure to watch.

Liked Pankaj Saraswat subdued portrayal as Raghu Sailan.

The series is a recommended watch for those who love legal dramas, for the bare facts subtly exposed and for Kirti’s heart stealing performance.

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