What they have said..

The film works so well thanks to an intelligent, superbly understated script and a feel for naturalism that extends beyond mere performance.” – Jay Weissberg, reviewing the movie “Court” on Variety, during Venice Film Fest.

The wheels of justice grind slowly and mercilessly in Court, Chaitanya Tamhane’s quiet, devastating critique of the antiquated Indian legal system.” – Stephen Holden, while addressing to New York Times.

With an amazing-extraordinary direction and narration, Chaitanya Tamhane has achieved a remarkable feat on his debut in film-making career. The cinematic fashion, the deafening quietness, the enrichment of characters and the glorious, effortless satire, all of it defines the quality of a best movie and outlining the best direction of the story.

Court, the movie that features courtroom drama exhibits all the qualities, which makes it one of the best directed movie with producing no show-off performances. Not being so popular among folks in India, Court movie has secured a place, where no biggies hit like Bahubali, Aamir Khan’s PK, Salman’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan could ever think to reach. This 3.5 Crore tight budget movie was set to be India’s Official entry to Oscars this year (though dropped down from top 9 list after voting)  and it was about to represent the country in the Best Foreign Film Category at the 88th Academy awards, which is hosted in February every year.

Movie is Natural, realistic and a Masterpiece” – Critic(s)

Unlike any courtroom drama, which usually has a high voltage appearance, ups and downs , thrilling arguments, hardcore dialogues, “Court” offers none of these elements, yet Tamhane has managed to deliver a masterpiece that will roll down an individual’s viewpoint after watching this movie.

Cast of the Film- 1800 people were auditioned before final casting

Casting the theme of a courtroom genre is never easy if the movie ain’t power-packed with any action or hitch to entertain the audience. Acting was to be the mainstream to hit the minds of many and the director has made his best attempt to prove it right. This 116 minutes movie features a fresh cast with no prior experience in acting industry. With Vira Sathidar (Narayan Kamble) taking up the role of a social activist, Vivek Gomber (Vinay Vora) fascinates with his well-off role of a Lawyer who takes the case of Narayan. Geetanjali Kulkarni (Nutan) appears as public prosecutor, while Pradeep Joshi (Judge Sadavarte) cares nothing, but only the morals and straight forward judgement.

The roles provided to the casting crew were totally natural and their characters in the movie were symbolized by their real life works. Like, Vira is a social activist in real and his confident dialogues visualizes the character, he is also an editor for the magazine “Vidrohi”. Apart from that, the woman who played the role of Vasudev’s widow (Usha Bane), is a widow in her real life and her husband was also a sewage worker.

Chaitanya has tried his best to keep the real taste of theme alive and his attempt was successful.

Storyline – Court entail a splendid, yet silence, personification to grip the audience

It starts with Narayan, teaching children Indian Geography in the crowded classroom of Mumbai and then rushing on bus towards a lane with outdoor theatre. Narayan is a old-age folk singer, a teacher and a social activist who enthusiast people with his songs, which urges people to stand up against religious, caste-based, nationalists opinions. During the performance, Narayan is arrested on the grounds of a suicide by a manhole worker, Vasudev Pawar.

And this is where the enduring court trials initiates. Vinay, the lawyer from a Gujarati family, defends Narayan, while Nutan stands as a public prosecutor. During the trials, one can clearly see the realism shown in the process and there’s no such content, which is a mere piece of show-off. Narayan was alleged for singing an original song in a slum area, urging people to suicide, which is a “seditious” act. But as the trials prolong, the fact goes clear that no such song exists. If in case it was to-be true, Narayan, a missionary for social change, would be punished for 20 years of prison. Being a man from a dalit caste, which was once called “untouchable“, Narayan was treated by the judge and prosecutor like an agitator who created public nuisance.

Even the lack of evidence against the folk singer doesn’t prevents the prolonging of the case and several laws from 19th century are also discussed. The deceased’s widow, when called in court, claimed that her husband used to drink every morning and no masks were provided to him before he used to enter the big sewage holes which were prone to hydrogen sulfide gases. To confirm if the pipes to enter were toxic or not, he used look for the signs of life inside them, it was safe to enter underground if any cockroach was appeared.

The movie also highlights the lives of Nutan, a prosecutor, wife and a mother and the life of judge spending time with his family during summer vacation. The appearance of Vinay,for this case, to defend Narayan is not specified in the movie, but his faith in social justice is clearly visible.

In the end, the courtroom gets deserted with the lights getting off and the camera dawdles  for the moment until it the room gets dark totally to begin the new day of legal injustice.

Facts to Know

  • Movie was filmed in 45 days, while the casting process took 6 months period of time.
  • Each scenes took 30-40 retakes to make it right.” – Geetanjali Kulkarni

Awards Tally – This widely popular movie is still unpopular in India

Starring as one of the best multilinguistic movie in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and English, Court is appeared in many film festivals and has successfully grabbed many awards not just in India, but worldwide.

  • Awarded as “Best Film” in 71st Venice International Film Festival
  • Grabbed “Best Film”, “Best Director” award at 16th Mumbai Film Festival ( International Competition)
  • 62nd National Film Awards marked it as Best Feature Film and announced it as India’s official entry to Oscars.
  • Hong Kong Asian Film Festival awarded “New Talent Award” to the director.
  • FIPRESCI award was awarded in Vienna Film Festival

Overall, 15 Awards were grabbed by Court, to check the full list, check the wikipedia link.

After the success of the movie Court, its director Chaitanya Tamhane expressed his happiness in twitter saying, “At every juncture of the film’s journey we have felt that it has given us more than we could ever imagine.

Credits for the movie-

  • Director, Chaitanya Tamhane (Debut)
  • Director of photography, Mrinal Desai,
  • Edited by Rikhav Desai,
  • Music by Sambhaji Bhagat,
  • Production design by Pooja Talreja and Somnath Pal,
  • Costumes by Sachin Lovalekar,
  • Produced by Vivek Gomber,
  • Released by Zeitgeist Films.

All in all, this movie gives a sense of how easy it is for a revolutionary public figures to find themselves in negative side of the law. Also, the crew deserves full credit for the production of movie highlighting an amazing debut by Tamhane that raised the public expectations to make him write and direct such contentful movies in future.



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