Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court (2015) Movie Review
Starring: Vivek Gomber, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Vira Sathidar, Pradeep Joshi, Usha Bane, Shirish Pawar
Cinematographer: Mrinal Desai
Editor: Rickhav Desai
Music Director: Sambhaju Bhagat
Director: Chaitanya Tamhane
Watched at PVR (Forum Mall), Kukatpalli.
This is the first time I am attempting concise review of a Marathi film, so give me some room here fellas!!
“Court”- A fairly simple plot is complemented beautifully by a good screenplay and performances. But what really impresses me was dissecting the state of Justice. Yes, friends, the social differences, money, cast, religion, judicial insufficiencies are used deftly to forward the plot, and there are hardly any fictitious narratives.
Before we dissect the film, let’s get down to the plot of the film. Narayan Kamble is a 65 year social activist-poet-singer, who performs around rural Mumbai. The folk singer gets arrested on the charges of performing an insurgent song that lured the municipal worker to commit suicide. Arrested Kamble gets presented in session’s court, and defender Vinay Vora (Gombar) takes on the evidently absurd case. From then movie notices the legal proceedings of the lawsuit, as it takes months to take each step forward. It’s a fun ride and you will have a hearty time to go through the charged, the prosecuting attorney, the Judge and even the defense lawyer.
The Court doesn’t get preachy or offer solution to the issue. It just shows things as they are and makes you come with your own opinions. The movie’s strongest point likes in its script and the good thing is that it has been well accomplished as well. The wit and entertainment factor is there in the movie throughout. Especially, the scene where lawyers talk about the Judges and rank them on their case closing ability/day; In a serious situation lower sessions court judge halts the case as witness comes in sleeveless dress; How a 110 year banned book comes into business, and the way judge handles the stock witness issue are fun to watch on screen. Still all these points serve with the added humor are not able to serve the purpose strongly and fail to make any solid impact on the viewer as desired by the end. Debutant director Chaitanya Tamhane shows one simple thing: If you tell a story well, you will receive a lot of awards. The best thing I have found in the movie, is the freshness of the film, a movie like this has not been told before (Eventhough there are few satirical courtroom films like’s Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho, but Court is different from all those). The climax is also quite complimenting to the way the film has been built up. In short, debutant director Chaitanya has done a superb job.
“Court” scores a huge six on performances. The surprising fact is that these actors are picked from banks and courts. Then these actors are trained for eight months to suit their respective characters. Vira Sathidar is bang on as revolutionary poet Narayan Kamble. Vivek Gomber’s performance has class written all over it. Geetanjali Kulkarni comes up with a absolute brilliant job, as wife-mother-public prosecutor. Pradeep Joshi is just awesome and fits his character to the T.
If somebody had told me that the movie was indeed made in original court room and while live sessions, the chances of me believing it are very high. Such is the nature of the photography and the art direction that they act as great assets to the interesting film. The long shots and static camera frames by cinematographer Mrinal Desai deserves a pat. The sound track is apt with effective usage of silence and folk songs to add a touch to reality to the proceedings.
“Court” is beautiful in every manner; it touches topics like class, religion, politics, and sluggish court behavior in a sensitive yet funny manner with out being too dark or depressing. By giving the proceedings realistic touch, the movie tends to be entertaining rather than a drab documentary. The final point is loud and clear. Its a Strong contender for Oscar Foreign Film Category from India. Finally, if you like to watch offbeat cinema and you loved Lunch Box, Ankhon Dekhi and Ship of Theseus, then Court is your treat for this week.
The Court has been unstoppable steamroller in the International film circuits with 17 International Awards (which includes National Award) for the film.