Onto the next release of the weekend and I have finished the last of the new series to release over the weekend. With that I finished watching the Hindi series Guilty Minds streaming on Amazon Prime. This was quite a long series with 10 episodes of 50 odd minutes each and so the review took time. But having said that I was really looking forward to the series as its trailer promised to be a roller coaster ride getting into the psyche of each of the accused. To top it, this is the second release of the weekend for Shriya Pilgaonkar(after Murder In Agonda) who I believe has hit a purple patch. Well finally Guilty Minds is done and dusted, is the series worth your time, stick around to find out.
Story & Screenplay
Guilty Minds follows the story of lawyers from different firms with different ideologies fighting various cases that take us into the psyche of the accused. In the Indian OTT, as far as I can jog my memory only “Illegal” was a series which dealt with lawyers and law firms. So this is still an untapped space upto an extent. Which is where the story of Guilty Minds is a winner. If you remember the template of Abhay or Luther and Rudra, they had separate episodes with all the episodes linked by a common underlying story. Guilty Minds follows a similar trope. Each episode deals with a fresh case with the main plot slowly inching past each episode almost like a subplot. This was refreshing for me to watch considering that it gave a much more diverse picture to the entire series.
I was very impressed with the narrative as well. Often we see filmmakers resorting to a one sided narrative which might seem morally right, without balancing the act by exploring the other side. But here, the writing is such that it provides arguments from both sides without any bias and always encourages the audience to explore both sides. This happens across all 10 episodes which was very impressive to watch. The effort put in detailing is quite evident throughout. To give you a perspective, the electricity is cut off during a court proceeding which seemed to me like a common problem to have especially in the interiors.
Another aspect of the writing which I thoroughly enjoyed was how seamlessly, all the episodes were connected to each other. They did not seem to be forced and the entire drama seemed to be organic. This helped in holding your attention through a daunting runtime without any dull moments which was the need of the hour. Also, each of the cases did not seem to be rushed and instead allowed you to get a peek into the psyche of the characters. The different cases that were presented were excellent and some of them were socially relevant as well. The twists and turns are interesting and each of them changes the dynamics between characters that wee bit. I feel this screenplay was a winner all the way nicely setting up the path for the second season.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are cerebral which present the arguments from both ends with an astounding impact. The music is excellent, as is the BGM and they blend perfectly with the drama which unfolds at a steady pace. The cinematography and production design really need to be applauded here. They are excellent in every manner. Director Shefali Bhushan has done a brilliant job here. The way she is able to transition through the episodes effortlessly really shows the skills which she has as a director. And to hold your attention throughout a daunting runtime was no mean feat and for thwt the direction must be applauded!
The performances are absolutely brilliant. There are so many actors used here for critical parts and all of them have done a stunning job. Legends like Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, Shakti Kapoor, Benjamin Gilani and Girish Kulkarni grace the screen with their iconic presence and each of them leave a mark. Leah Khambata as Parineeta, Karishma Tanna as Mala, Dilnaz Irani as Maitri and Atul Kumar as Divendu are absolutely first rate and they set the ball rolling in the first episode itself. Meet Vohra as Prateek was terrifyingly brilliant. The 83 duo of R Badree and Dinker Sharma have their moments to shine and they do a good job as do Vasundhara Kaul as Antara and Priyanka Setia as Geeta. Niya Kumar as Lata is so fiery that it is almost infectious. Saanand Verma as Ravish will gently tickle your funny bone. Akshay Baghel as Abhijeet has his moments to shine as does Deepak Karla as Kitu. I was extremely impressed by Chitrangada Satarupa who is brilliant as Sunanda and she is as effortless as anyone else. Satish Kaushik as Bhalla is wonderfully restrained and you get to learn so many things just watching him perform. Likewise for Kulbhushan Kharbanda who is brilliant as LN Khanna. Diksha Juneja as Ria has an incredible presence onscreen and she is incredibly good. Pranay Pachauri as Subhrat really makes his presence felt and is a worthy nemesis to the protagonist Deepak(essayed by Varun Mitra). Sugandha Garg as Vandana is highly underrated in my opinion and it gave me immense joy in watching her kill it in such a meaty part. I really wish to watch more of her going forward. Namrata Sheth as Shubhangi has a charming presence and is one character which is quite affable. Needless to say, expertly performed. Varun Mitra as Deepak is quite charming himself and the wonderful bit is that he doesn’t go ovetboard with his character and is well in control. Quite a prolific performance. Shriya Pilgaonkar as Kashaf is in the form of her life. What an incredibly good performance where she actually lives every bit of her part. She was very convincing as a lawyer and needless to say that this was the best performance yet in her young career.
Guilty Minds is one of the best shows of 2022 which will keep you invested throughout its daunting runtime with its writing which is sharp and smart. Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Recommended!