Criminal Justice Behind Closed Doors review: Kirti Kulhari, Pankaj Tripathi deliver another Thappad on the face of misogyny with superlative show

Criminal Justice Behind Closed Doors review: Kirti Kulhari wins hearts as a murder accused as Pankaj Tripathi does all to unearth her motive as a dutiful lawyer. If you loved Thappad, this one is definitely for you.
Criminal Justice review: Pankaj Tripathi plays a lawyer and Kirti Kulhari plays a murder accused in the show.
Criminal Justice review: Pankaj Tripathi plays a lawyer and Kirti Kulhari plays a murder accused in the show.
Updated on Dec 24, 2020 04:28 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRuchi Kaushal

Criminal Justice Behind Closed Doors
Pankaj Tripathi, Kirti Kulhari, Anupriya Goenka, Deepti Naval, Mita Vashisht, Jisshu Sengupta, Shilpa Shukla
Rohan Sippy and Arjun Mukerjee

Can a perfect father to a teenage daughter rape his wife behind closed doors? Can a professional and powerful woman fall prey to misogyny in the confines of her home? The unlikely answers to both these uncomfortable questions is yes, and often the victim herself is unaware of the reality. Criminal Justice Behind Closed Doors takes a peek inside the posh homes of the rich and the powerful, and the truths that lurk there.

Watch Criminal Justice trailer here 

The eight-episode Hotstar Special series, headlined by Kirti Kulhari moves slowly, as it reveals an open-and-shut murder case as anything but. The plot is simple – a housewife stabs her perfect husband, with her 12-year-old daughter as the only witness. She confesses to the crime immediately and sticks to it. It is only when state lawyers -- Pankaj Tripathi and Anupriya Goenka -- start chipping away at the motive of murder that hidden facets start emerging. Despite their uncooperative client, the two keep on trying to understand why she did it.

Pankaj Tripathi in a still from the show.
Pankaj Tripathi in a still from the show.

With every proof and witness against her, including her daughter, her fate is hanging by a thread. In this black-and-white case with no mystery attached to it, Pankaj’s entry with his henna-decorated hands does the trick. His timing, dialogue delivery and simplicity brings alive every scene he features in. His character turns out to be a perfect example of how even the most socially enlightened men stand up for feminism but forget to apply the same concepts in their own lives.

Kirti plays the murder accused with utmost restraint; a woman who is more concerned about hiding her personal ‘shame’ rather than the repercussions of her crime. The actor follows in the footsteps of her Pink co-star Taapsee Pannu and offers something as gripping and relevant as the former’s much appreciated drama on domestic violence, Thappad. Just like the Anubhav Sinha film, Criminal Justice also touches upon the lives of those related to the case, enlightening them about what could be going wrong in their so-called happy marriages. It breaks the spell of the concept of perfect marriage as the makers dig deep into not one but three marriages – each with a hardly ever noticed flaw of their own.

Also read: Kaagaz trailer: Pankaj Tripathi is a dead man walking in Satish Kaushik’s film about a man’s fight against a piece of paper. Watch

Writer Apurva Asrani also deserves applause for laying open the doors of Indian justice system and a women’s prison for the public like never before. One can’t help but wriggle in discomfort as Kirti struggles with sexual abuse, violence, manipulation, lack of hygiene and a never-ending fear in a jail. Her restlessness and uneasiness keeps you intrigued as she continues to strive behind bars without having any means to get justice.

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