Heer Kothari analyses the pros and pros of Hotstar’s Criminal Justice

Introduction

Indian web series get a little more intriguing and watch worthy. This is especially true of the crime thrillers and courtroom drama category. The audience abashedly dismisses fictitious elements as they tune into the actuality of the law. They thirst for a slice of reality; undertones of which are checked from time to time owing to the virtues of Google and the availability of free flowing information on hand held devices.

Hotstar released yet another gut wrenching crime suspense titled Criminal Justice, on April 5, 2019. Season one leaves you on the edge, as the nerve wracking web series grows on you. This is not for the faint hearted! The drama progresses from a criminal scene suspense to a fast moving courtroom drama.

The plot

The show opens on a light note, where Aditya (played by Vikrant Massey) poses as a football star, and is invited to an after party to celebrate victory on the field. His plans are jeopardised, as his sister Avni (played by Rucha Inamdar) asks him to invest just a couple of hours into the taxi business that is started by their father and Aditya’s brother-in-law.

He heeds his sister’s unrelenting demands and takes to the wheel for a few hours. The mood turns drastically as an unwanted customer, Sanaya Rath (played by Madhurima Roy), piles on into his cab. Aditya is taken aback by her strange ways, which also involves the ingestion of drugs and alcohol while he is on a trip with her.

Web Series Review: Nerve-wracking Criminal Justice is not for the faint-hearted

Finally, on dropping her home, he discovers she has left her phone behind. He looks around to find that there is no watchman there. He forces himself to go up to deliver the phone to her. Before he knows it he is caught is in a fly by night affair with Sanaya.

As soon as he wakes up the next morning her finds her dead, right next to her. Aditya is caught in the unwanted vortex of interrogation, brutal behaviour meted out by the police, and the ever-growing corruption that seems to cut his corners sharply, making it even more difficult for him to get out of the rut.

The web series explores the complexities of real relationships at trying times. This is shown when Avni (played by Rucha Inamdar) steals a sum of Rs 5 lakh from her husband in order to protect her brother.

Labyrinths of emotions come to the fore, as they show Aditya hallucinating about Sanaya while serving his tenure in prison.

Pankaj Tripathi steers the plot wonderfully, by trying to tip off Nikhat (played by Anupriya Goenka) in order to save Aditya. His performance could bag him a prestigious award in this series. We cannot forget the role of Aditya’s opposition lawyer, Mandira Mathur (played by Mita Vashist), who so candidly showcases her maturity and experience in the field of acting.

Mustafa plays an important role in strengthening Aditya emotionally, and making him a man that no one can mess with.

End note

Director Tigmanshu Dhulia and Vishal Fauria have gone miles ahead in showcasing the gruesome reality of  interrogations and all that goes behind the vicious circle of the Indian law and justice. The directors have sussed the best out of Vikrant Massey, and Pankaj Tripathi. The plot is well timed, and hints are dropped and showcased at the appropriate moment. Overall a must-watch!