Criminal Justice : Adhura Sach
Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the last episode of the new Hindi series Criminal Justice : Adhura Sach which started streaming on Hotstar last night. And before getting to the review, I have a bone to pick with Hotstar. Criminal Justice has been one of the marquee shows of Hotstar(and you can clearly make out as it is now on its third season). So given the popularity of the show, why would Hotstar release just one episode every single week? This was quite outrageous to say the least and it did leave a bad taste for me(and I will not mince any words to showcase my displeasure). You can try this model on shows like GoT or even the Marvel shows, but given that this is a whodunnit as well, it becomes doubly hard to connect the dots from the beginning every single week. What that does is that you are never really in the guessing game and that definitely is “Injustice” to the show. Now while I sit to pen a review for it, I will have to discount this point(of not being involved in the guessing game) just to be fair to the show. So then does Criminal Justice : Adhura Sach manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Like the previous two seasons, Criminal Justice : Adhura Sach follows the same template of a case revolving around a person who is(or is not) falsely accused of a murder which he did(or did not commit). Except that the accused is a juvenile in this case. The story is really interesting although the template of of the show remains the same. With many characters and some intriguing twists and turns, the story will definitely keep you invested. The screenplay standing at 8 episodes of roughly 40 odd minutes is just the right length for the show. In all the confusion of only a single episode releasing every week, the one positive bit was that the length of the show was nullify and it didn’t feel too long.
The drama scores and scores well in its world building wherein all the players(most of them) are introduced in the initial set of episodes. The dynamics of the relationship between them is nicely explored in what seemed like a twisted drama initially. The ball is set rolling spectacularly at the end of the first episode when the actual crime has been committed, leading up to an investigation which was quite engaging and layered.
There are multiple subplots initially which make the drama convoluted(in a good way). The entire sequence of the case eventually landing up with the protagonist seemed to be quite organic. The inherent humour and the calmness that are the two character traits of the protagonist are on full display here as the courtroom scenes begin to unfold.
The court room scenes are well executed and they definitely add a good level of intrigue to the drama. There are different angles which are explored through the court cases and one of them was of social media and how toxic it can be especially for children and young adults. And that is a valid argument in every sense of the world. Life does get unnecessarily complicated in the wake of the social media trolls, something that we have also seen recently related to the film industry which should be condemned.
However, the minor drawback about the show was that while it maintained a steady pace up until the 6th episode, the last couple of episodes seemed to be very rushed. It just gave me a feeling that the writers wanted to quickly get to point b almost immediately. And so it lead to a slightly confused kind of a narration. To give you a perspective, the main accused decides to run away from juvenile jail and he is even shown to run away. But in the next scene, he reports to court as if nothing has happened. So basically, that subplot did not make sense. While the final revelation was satisfactory, it again was rushed with everything unfolding within a scene or two which kind of made for a wobbly ending. But overall, the screenplay was good and had several engaging moments tagged to it.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well written and they definitely are effective without getting melodramatic. The BGM is subtle yet quite impactful. The cinematography and art design give this series a fresh look, and given that it is set in Mumbai this detailing did help. The editing was sharp and definitely impressive. Director Rohan Sippy does a fabulous job yet again. It also did help that he was familiar with the world of Criminal Justice with the last season being helmed by him. He is able to engage the viewers almost throughout.
The performances are fabulous here. Suraj Rikame as Rocky and Vedant Sinha as Aamir are first rate. Breshna Khan, Puja S as Mallika, Rushad Rana as Vicky, Palak Singh as Sania and Sarah Gesawat as Nishi all have their moments to shine and all of them are fabulous to watch. Ishika Makhija as Ritika and Bishakha Thapa as Sonam are lovely to watch as well. Deshna Dugad as Zara has a good screen presence and she does a good job. Gaurav Gera as Arvind is nicely understated in a slightly underwritten role. Kalyanee Mulay as SI Gauri is stupendous. Addinath Kothare as Inspector Prashant is natural to the core. Khushboo Atre as Ratna is a heartwarming and a supremely positive character and she does a tremendous job. She will always put a smile on your face, every time she comes onscreen.
Chandresh Singh as Mahendra is really good as is Upendra Limaye. Aaditya Gupta as Mukul is outstanding her. He has a wide range of expressions to play with(notice the first scene in episode one and the last scene in episode eight) and he does a pretty good job. Purab Kohli as Neeraj is again very understated and I did wish he did get some more screen time. But on a side note, I enjoyed his limited screen time with Rushad Rana(in a mini Hip Hip Hurray reunion which did make me nostalgic).
Aatm Prakash Mishra as Deep is on an absolute roll these days. In his third release this year after Shiksha Mandal and Jamtara 2, he holds his own brilliantly here in Criminal Justice 3. His subtle banter with the protagonist was a treat to watch and he does a fabulous job here. Swastika Mukherjee as Avantika is one of my favourite actors and she delivers quite an impactful performance as the distraught mother. Shweta Basu Prasad as Advocate Lekha is brilliant and the sheer confidence which she brings onscreen is wonderful to witness. She is an absolute treat to watch. And there is something about Pankaj Tripathi and his effortless approach to his characters. As Madhav Mishra, he is seldom hyper and his calm presence just brought so much assurance to the drama. He is spectacular and absolutely owns the stage in every frame without even trying too hard!
Criminal Justice : Adhura Sach is a compelling drama with strong performances which makes for a good watch. Available on Hotstar.