Section 375 movie review: With power-packed punchlines, influential lawyers fighting high-profile cases, and the verdict mostly giving out a strong message
Section 375 movie review: The film is directed by Ajay Bahl and is a courtroom drama that keeps you on the edge. The courtroom drama is Bollywood’s favourite formula that is tried and tested. The story is about a movie director who has been accused of raping a costume assistant working on his film. While he is sentenced to jail by the sessions court, the case is reopened in the high court and that’s where the story begins.
In the face of media and public scrutiny, two determined lawyers battle it out.
The film is directed by Ajay Bahl with actors Akshaye Khanna and Richa Chadha in pivotal roles. It’s surely a brave film that tackles a rather complex issue of laws made to protect women and the very same laws being misused by women for their vested interest. The way narrative switches from one person’s point of view to another present both sides of the story is quite relevant.
Section 375 Movie Review! The Plot
Anjali ( Meera Chopra ) goes to director Rohan Khurana’s ( Rahul Bhat ) house to show him costume options for a shoot. The same evening Khurana is arrested for raping her. What transpired while Anjali was at the director’s home forms the main plot of Section 375. Based on the evidence, the filmmaker is sentenced to ten years of rigorous imprisonment by the sessions court.
But the case is soon reopened in the High Court. Going against the sentiments of the public, high profile lawyer Tarun Saluja (Akshay Khanna) takes up the case to defend Rohan Khurana. The prosecution lawyer representing Anjali is Hiral Gandhi (Richa Chadha) who was earlier the associate of Tarun Saluja. “We are not in the business of justice, we are in the business of law,” is Saluja’s pet adage to Gandhi. One that she does not buy into at all. ‘Section 375’ presents versions of the same story from two different perspectives.
Along the way, it also examines the routine procedures, (disturbing in the way in which it is shown to be handled) corruption and investigation lapses with a gritty, realistic feel.
On The Upside
The film doesn’t feel dragged at any point and sends out the messages it intends to, quite early on. It touches upon its main premise of making the audience aware of what Section 375 is about. As otherwise perceived that ‘no rape happens without a woman’s consent’, the film strongly emphasises on the need to differentiate between ‘will’ and ‘consent’, the two main requisites when it comes to sex.
This courtroom drama is loaded with data, statistics, facts, and figures laid out on a platter for you to digest at one go.
On The Downside
Among the performances, Meera Chopra is the weak link. She neither evokes sympathy nor does she have the skills to walk the fine line of ambiguity.
All In All
Actor Akshaye Khanna really impresses with his intense and gritty performance in every frame. Also, Richa Chadha who proves yet again why she is one of the finest actresses she is in the B-town. Her act as a junior lawyer, evidently overwhelmed, as she fights her career’s first big case against someone who has once her boss, deserve applause.
The film definitely gives you a deep insight into what goes on in the minds of those holding the high position of power, who thinks they can do anything and it’s normal to violate and abuse a woman’s mind and body with or without her consent.
The film also brings you closer to the harsh reality of our system in which the rape victim is subjected to shamefully explicit questions. Questions such as ‘What was the position while she was being raped, was there proper penetration, did the accused ejaculate’ and so on and so forth, would make you cringe.
Overall, ‘Section 375’ is an audacious effort. It is a relevant film that tackles a complex issue and one that will engage, inform and open up debates.