National Award Winning Film: Court

Director Chaitanya Tamhane’s National Award-Winning Marathi film Court is a contrast of all the typical Bollywood and Hollywood courtroom dramas that we were raised on.

We all have grown up in a Bollywood courtroom that has an impact for words like ‘Insaaf, Andha Kanoon, Meelord (read: My lord), Tareek Pe Tareek, Adalat Ka Keemti Waqt, etc. Court is one heck of an eye-opener that gives you a true vision of a courtroom which would startle you even more, if you haven’t visited a court ever. The film is a realistic portrayal of the Court, its members, workers and the common man who comes to seek justice.

Court surprises you from the beginning. It is filled with fresh faces that are not from the film industry and so the characters look realistic like they have been handpicked from the real life itself. Using the lives of the characters of the courtroom — the defence lawyer, the prosecutor, and the judge this film presents an interesting study of the system. 

Narayan Kamble, a Dalit folk poet (played by activist Vira Sathidar) is accused with the charges of suicide of a sewage worker. According to the police, Narayan’s song influenced all the workers to jump into the manholes and die. As funny as it sounds, the case is exactly opposite of it and two lawyers; Nutan who plays the prosecutor and Vinay Vora, the defence lawyer fight it out to convict Kamble. In the midst of the case which keeps getting stretched, Tamhane takes us into a journey of their personal life and how their lives outside the court contradict and vary their personalities.

The film also takes a critical look at class, education and access to power in our society with a brilliant balance between extremely rational and human perspectives. The troupe of popular Lok Shahir Sambhaji Bhagat has written and sung ballads for the film that form the narration of this film. The best thing about Court is that all the characters have given believable performances, which leads to the authenticity and realism of the film. 

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