Courtroom sagas on OTTs a hit with audiences
Cinematic representations of stories, confrontations, revelations and judgements within the four walls of a courtroom have always fascinated the audience. Films such as Jolly LLB series, Pink (2016), Mulk (2018) and Sections 375 (2019) in the recent past have done well. The genre seems to be catching up in the Indian content segment on OTT too. Success of Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors (CJ), Nail Polish (NP), Illegal season 1 (2020), Your Honour (2020) and The Verdict – State vs Nanavati (2019) are prove.
“We like to hear arguments and counter arguments. Courtrooms are places of debates, the twist and turns that such debate brings about and of course the revelation that comes along. This is one genre that audiences’ have liked across generations. A well-written story can do wonders. Luckily Bugs Bhargava Krishna (writer-director of Nail Polish) wrote an enthralling story, which isn’t just about somebody committing a crime but also defines whether it’s the mind or body that commits the crime,” says actor-director, Anand Tiwari, who plays a lawyer in NP.
As per sources a few courtroom dramas are expected soon including Illegal season two and Criminal Justice season three.
Film critic and trade expert Joginder Tuteja says core elements such stories have —crime, suspense, mystery, a conclusion— intrigues the audience.
“The series format suits best for the genre as it allows enough time to develop the story, explain certain legal proceedings. Unlike a movie where everything has to be told in two hours, so there’s hurry and need of making it dramatic to impress the audience,” he explains.
Amid the discussion around how the Indian content space mostly explores dark content high on abuse, sex, killing etc, courtroom dramas are a refreshing change, says trade Atul Mohan. “Hence such shows do well. We can’t do the same thrillers again and again because after a point it gets boring,” Mohan shares.
CJ director Rohan Sippy feels the genre offers scope in terms of exploration of unique narratives. “Courtroom dramas explore the Indian society and issues that matter to us, hence generates curiosity. With so much happening around, such stories have become more relevant. Sometimes it also helps us learning lesser known aspects of law,” he adds.
This genre, however, needs to be handled carefully, more so in today’s time when the society has become too sensitive and amid talks around censorship.
“The subject must be dealt in a way it doesn’t hurt any sentiments, show the profession in wrong light. Remember that our freedom of speech and expression comes with responsibility. Between not going overboard that might offend someone to making the story interesting and unique for the audience is a tough balance, but achievable,” says Krishna, who’s planning to make another show in the genre.
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ