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COURT (Marathi) - A must watch fearful depiction of our police and judicial system that luckily got a national award instead of getting banned. (Review By Bobby Sing) (Movies To See Before You Die - Court Room Drama)

21 Apr, 2015 | Movie Reviews / 2015 Releases / Movies To See Before You Die / Court Room / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

An avid Hindi film lover has a quite interesting but unreal picture of an Indian courtroom in his mind full of phrases such as My Lord, Judge Sahib, Objection sustained, Objection Overruled, Order Order, Mere Kaabil Dost, Mr. Public Prosecutor, Case Ki Agli Sunvaayi, Tareekh Pe Tareekh and many more. Almost similar is the case when it comes to the depiction of Police Stations and the investigation process followed by the officers in charge too in our Hindi film scripts mainly looking for some fast paced, exciting entertainment for its paying audience.

However the truth remains shockingly contradicting to the onscreen presentation and that’s exactly what you get to witness in Chaitanya Tamhane's exceptional directorial debut in Marathi Cinema having an interesting cast ensemble and an explosive subject. Based on a completely unbelievable case filed by the State against an old age artist, admittedly the film takes its own times to influence the viewers with a slow paced story progression, resembling the way court cases keep crawling in India till years or even decades. But remaining within this off-beat framework, COURT also makes you feel many painful blows one after another while watching the case proceedings in a strange state of amazement. And further paints a hugely upsetting picture of our present Police and Judicial system forcing you to wonder that how come this brutally honest film was awarded a National recognition by the Government of India itself…..instead of getting banned.

Now being a regional project having a limited release in only a few selected theatres in major metro cities, it’s an acceptable truth that not many would be willing to make an effort to go and watch this outstanding Marathi film while its still being played in the theaters (with English subtitles). Hence to make your realize the mistake you would be committing by missing it on the bigger screen, here are its major exceptional features that might influence you to change your mind and watch it at the earliest in the coming days.

1. You must have seen many films revolving around a false case being filed by the Police officials against an innocent person. But can you believe the height of absurdity when an investigating officer files a case against a 65 years old revolutionary social activist/artist/writer/singer, with a charge that one of his songs talking about suicide, provoked a poor sewage worker to kill himself by getting drowned in the gutter full of hazardous gases

.2. The case not only gets duly filed by presenting more than one witnesses, but it also gets extensively discussed within the court with the lady lawyer reading out many long pages full of false accusations ranging from influencing young minds to terrorism and even making explosives, adding a fine touch of black humour that instantly makes you laugh at the absurdity being practiced within the court itself.

3. The sequences bravely expose the flaws in our police and judiciary system when the police officer has no clues about a letter and existence of one crucial witness but still tries to defend his irresponsible actions so casually. Besides one feels disgustingly surprised when the honourable judge refuses to hear the next case as the lady coming forward is wearing a sleeveless dress that is considered to be disrespectful attire in a court room.

4. Through its various references of the weird case and personal lives of both the lawyers fighting it spiritedly, COURT also mocks at the widely prevalent class divide in our society and issues such as freedom of expression, fake arrests and exploitation of laws by the lawyers themselves ignoring the innocent lives and families being affected severely.

5. The language is a mix of Marathi, English, Hindi and Gujarati too, exactly like you find in the region of Mumbai .Court (Marathi)Reading the above features, you can easily guess that COURT is not a film for the viewers only interested in their 2-3 hours of carefree weekend entertainment. It’s a rare thought provoking treat coming from our Regional Indian Cinema more interested in presenting its case in front of the thinking viewers. And if you are among those passionate movie-freaks interested in catching all the partially visible meaningful references added in the backdrop then just go for it at the earliest and don’t miss many small but important real life insertions in its brilliant onscreen execution such as:

A. The way the lawyer’s parents treat a stranger visiting their house, who happens to be their son’s client and how the scene eventually turns into a comic one with the reference of lawyer’s marriage.

B. The strange, unconcerned kind of attitude in the answers given by the dead worker’s widow in the court, who later refuses to take any money as help but asks for some work from the lawyer dropping her home.

C. The particular shot of a printing press, where the police officer arrives to arrest the artist checking his new book being printed, but the press worker sitting just a few feet away continues with his work of compiling a magazine pages showing no concern at all.

D. Just study the way, most of the film has been shot with all still frames with the camera placed in a single position making it more real as if one is sitting right there in the theater witnessing the court’s proceedings.

E. And then, many shots continuing to a much longer duration than required with nothing happening on the screen, results in the viewer feeling more involved with the characters and their helpless plight.

In the performances, all inspiring actors (non-professionals mostly) provide a big support to the film led by Vivek Gomber as the defence attorney (also the film's producer), Geetanjali Kulkarni as the public prosecutor, Vira Sathidar as the accused artist/social activist and Pradeep Joshi as the judge. But the choice of other non-actors appearing in very short roles throughout the film could have been better.

Anyhow coming to the most important merit of this well-crafted work focusing on the position of a judge calmly listening to a clearly made-up case by the police, COURT puts forward few extremely significant questions that have never been asked before in the history of Indian Cinema about our Judicial system. And they go as:

Why our judicial system still takes into account the laws enforced way back in the 19th & 20th century before independence when Indians were arguably treated as slaves?

What about the Court’s valuable time wasted on many petty theft cases like the one featured in the film about a lost imported watch allegedly stolen by the neighbour?

What about the time spent on the cases, even the judge clearly knows have been fabricated by the police on some randomly caught person to save their own reputation?

Decency is certainly what needs to be followed while being in a courtroom, but can a judge really refuse to hear a case due to a sleeveless dress worn by the lady coming forward?

Should a particular academic qualification & experience in the field be the only requirement for a person sitting on the honorable position of a judge (deciding upon the lives of hundreds of people) with no consideration of his other personal biases or religious, spiritual and political interests that might influence his decision?

Can the honorable court also go on long summer vacations putting lives of many on hold for a month or so which might find a few accused even dying without seeing the justice being served?

What about the decision in cases dealing with superstition and such questionable practices in our society, if the judge listening to the arguments, himself believes in them personally? (COURT shows the judge to be highly influenced from numerology and use of gem stones  recommending them to one of his close friend/relative too as a solution.)

The film ends with the final 10 minutes revolving around the judge alone and the stress he feels, leaving the viewers with many uncomfortable and horrifying questions about the court-procedures running in their minds. And perhaps the climax (showing him enjoying a picnic with his family, slapping one of the kids for disturbing his sleep), also wishes to present a possible conclusion that after all even a judge is a human too who does have his own personal life, choices and limitations.

In fact that’s exactly what makes COURT a highly recommended movie for all thinking minds. So whatever language or region you belong to, shed all your reservations of watching a regional movie with English subtitles and do yourself a favour witnessing COURT in the theatre at the earliest.

Because knowing the business of entertainment in our country, the film is certainly not going to be there waiting for its audiences in the coming weeks. But it’s indeed yet another important benchmark set by the Marathi film-makers in our rich Indian cinema undoubtedly.

Rating : It right away goes into the MOVIES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE list at BTC.

(Note: Just take a look at the film’s brilliantly designed poster having a courtroom with few mainholes and the accused coming out of one with mike placed in front of him depicting the film’s main theme.)

Tags : Court (Marathi) Film Review by Bobby Sing, Movies To See Before You Die List, Must Watch Indian Regional Films, National Award Winner COURT Review at bobbytalkscinema.com, Meaningful Indian Films, Socially Relevant Regional Indian Films, Marthi Cinema pathbreaking attempt, Internationa Awards Winner Court (Marathi), Must Watch Regional Indian Films, Not To Be Missed Cinema made within India.
21 Apr 2015 / Comments ( 21 )
A Desai

Hi Bobby,

Thanks for the wonderful review. I am dying to watch this one since I am based in rural Maharashtra.

Some four years ago I had to apply for a Succession Certificate and had hell of a ride for the next 3 years. Tried to obtain it straightway from the district place but ended up wasting money and time being a stranger to the procedures. Soon I ran out of patience and gave up the idea thinking it was not really worth it.

I knew someone with whom and I often used to share table for evening drinks and casual chats. Later I realized that he is also a very successful lawyer and I asked for his opinion. He kindheartedly assured me that this can be done in the local court in 6 - 7 month spending x amount of money. He accepted my case with a advance of very small amount. Then starts adventure numerous taareekhs mostly to sit aimlessly outside the court room almost every month for more than one year. Only once got called to see the judge personally. However, it was very interesting to observe many people around taking this as a normal course of life. For me it used to be like stepping in a different world for a couple of hours each time. It was even more thrilling discussing it during the evenings as in the court my lawyer was always super busy. After more more than a year (yes, culprit those \'summer holidays) I got my document, which believe me, was more awarding and relaxing moment than receiving the college degree. However, my understanding is that criminal cases continue even during the summer holidays.

Bobby Sing
Thanks for sharing your personal experience Abel Desai and many of us would easily relate to that having some kind of a similar experience in courts or government offices.
Its indeed quite painful to keep visiting those premises, very well knowing that this is not going to be the last time I am here.......!
And hope the mindset changes soon at least for the next generation after us.

Keep Visiting and Writing in,
Thanks so much
Very good review
Thanks so much
Bobby Sing

Thanks a lot for your kind visit and appreciating words too.


Dear Mr Singh

i have\'nt got to see the movie yet , just waiting for the movie to run in a nearby place ,so dont have much to comment upon in particular, but your review has now simply made the wait lil more difficult.

However just curious to know, that 2 of my personal fav courtroom drama movies, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD & PRIMAL Fear are not there in your best courtroom movies, is it because you dont find them worth including or they just slipped from your mind . ( considering you have watched them both)

Bobby Sing

Dear Rahul,
Regarding TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, its more a film depiciting our social structure and values and less a thrilling courtroom drama. Plus I personally rate it a very good film of those times that has been an inspiration to many but coudnt include it in the list due to its mixed impact.

However I saw PRIMAL FEAR a long time back and loved it a lot.
But why I didnt include it or did I miss it somehow.................I will try to catch it again and let you know.


One more thing, you forgot to rate the movie..

Bobby Sing

I didnt forget the reating Rahul.
But the film that goes into my list of MOVIES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE, actually goes beyond any rating too.


Dear Bobby,

I am just thinking whether we can do something that we get online release of these movies. So that we can see it online on payment basis.

Bobby Sing

Dear Sidhanshu,
That has already started with QISSA by NFDC in India as they released QISSA both in theaters and online together.

So at this moment, you can find several off beat movies at :
either free or in paid form.

And very soon this should become an essential norm for such experimental award winning movies as the market demands it.

Laxman Kurratti

Hey Bobby,
Nice Review. Please review more Marathi movies. Marathi films are rich in content and quality. Films are subject oriented and have well written scripts. made with a purpose, subjects based in Marathi ethos that have universal appeal. Characters are realistic and the story touches your heart.

I have seen Marathi films like Killa, Astu, Elizabeth Ekadashi, Fandry, Dhag, Yellow, Timepass, Anumati, Deool and was amazed by the rich content. Marathi films should be sub titled in English and have a Pan Indian release. Compared to Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films, Marathi Cinema are way ahead.

Marathi films are not star driven, they are subject driven.

Only the Marathi film industry seems to have understood that subtitles are the way to go. Every new release across Mumbai has words in English beaming below the visuals even in the most rundown multiplexes.

Bobby Sing

Hi Laxman Kurratti,
Thanks for writing in and appreciating the effort made.
Yes I will certainly watch many more Marathi movies in the next weeks and write about them too since great films do need to reach every true lover of cinema irrespective of the language barrier.

So do keep visiting and writing in.



No @Laxman Kurratti, 
Marathi also has plenty of commercial films. Unlike the content driven films of Bengali and Malayalam actually getting good commercial success . similar Marathi films are not really big hits.

So, Laxman Kurratti do not mislead people. how many of these films you named have had big (and wide) releases? what are their box office returns? why are most of these unknown?

there are films in hindi like these, they are called middle of the road films or parallel cinema in odl days.
do not try to pit them against commercial films from Tamil, Telugu and Hindi cinema.
Tamil does have a market for such films but it is nowhere near what it was in the hey days of Kamal Hasan and Mani Ratnam!


out standing review...very depth analysis.sir me dekhta hoon aap ek bhi film ki review dena nahi chhodte chahe woh kitni bhi chhoti film kyu na ho!! gujarati movie \'\'kevi rite jaish\'\' ka aapka review padha tha. you are true cinema lover....keep going sir.

Bobby Sing

Thanks for your kind praise Vishal and I would always try my best to give you the right updates.
Keep visiting and writing in,


Hi Sir,
At last got a chance to watch this gem few days back and was simply awestruck!!! Hats off to the entire creative team..
Was revisiting this post just to get your views/thoughts (as I didn\'t have the opportunity of watching the movie when I read this post)..
And I have to say that you have been great as always. However I would like to differ in one thing - the climax..May be I am wrong but this is what I felt that night..

I somehow felt that the last scene was kind of iconic representation of our faulty legal system - "Keep silence.. We are sleeping.."

Pls let me know your view :)

Bobby Sing

Hi Avik,
Glad that you loved watching this well made film too.
However regarding the views, such culminations can be interpreted in different ways and that is exactly one of the key features of such thoughtful projects. So you are also right looking at it with a bit of sarcasm. 

Keep Watching Good Cinema and Keep Writing,

Gannesh rao

Sir by any chance did you manage to watch marathi film Astu SO BE IT. if not please watch and share your views. Let me know we will share the vimeo link and password for a online viewing.As producers it will be of immense help and motivation for us to make films .regards

Bobby Sing

Sorry for the late reply as many comments got hidden due to a technical glitch.
Will watch the film soon and get back for sure.

Gannesh rao

Thanks it's available on Amazon prime as well. Regards

Bobby Sing

Thanks for the information Ganesh Rao.
Keep visiting.

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