Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors
Cast: Pankaj Tripathi, Anupriya Goenka, Kirti Kulhari, Khushboo Atre
Directors: Rohan Sippy and Arjun Mukerjee
Criminal Justice season 2 arrives with the promise of doubling up on the drama quotient from the first installment. However, it fails to measure up to its first outing in every way imaginable.
To say that the plot does not offer characters enough to play around with would be wrong as season one did pretty well with a straight forward set-up that is milked dry for pathos. This time around, the pace goes doubly slow with no real enjoyment stored for the latter half.
Filmmakers Rohan Sippy and Arjun Mukerjee are at the helm of affairs here. They are tasked with putting the viewers' heads around faith in the justice system when Anuradha Chandra (Kirti Kulhari) stabs her husband (Jisshu Sengupta) while he tries to force himself onto her in bed one night. That he has been controlling her for quite sometime is evident though some initial inserts and her attempt to injure him for her safety is foreshadowed. What follows is her lawyer Madhav Mishra's (Pankaj Tripathi) quest to unravel the circumstances that led her to this point.
Anuradha tends to bear the weight of the story for the first half but Kirti's one-tone performance, where she displays her isolation and fragility at each moment by bursting into tears, gets too repetitive and dull after a point. Kirti is unable to evoke empathy for a victim of domestic abuse and what could have been the role of a lifetime for her becomes a burden that she has to shoulder throughout.
Meanwhile, Pankaj as Madhav tries to balance out the serious nature of the show with his street-smart ways and poker-face humour. But his performance does not measure up to what we have come to expect of the actor. Here, a feel good factor is introduced as Madhav's wife Ratna Mishra (Khushboo Atre) comes to Mumbai to live with him. And honestly, her chirpy performance, even though it is a side track to the main story, keeps some interest alive. Otherwise, the series seems robbed off of emotion and real tension.
Seems like Criminal Justice franchise is not interested in sustaining itself beyond this season.