Criminal Justice (Indian TV series)

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Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice India.jpeg
Promotional poster
GenreCrime
Thriller
Legal drama
Written byShridhar Raghavan
Directed by
Starring
ComposerSameer Phaterpekar
Country of originIndia
Original languageHindi
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Siddharth Khaitan
  • Rajesh Chadha
Producers
Sameer Nair
Deepak Segal
Myleeta Aga
Production locationIndia
CinematographyHarendra Singh
EditorsAbhijit Deshpande
Sourabh Prabhudesai
Raju Nikalje
Robin Sharma
Running time41-60 minutes
Production companiesBBC Studios India
Applause Entertainment
DistributorStar India
Release
Original networkHotstar
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Original release5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
Chronology
Followed by Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors
Related showsCriminal Justice
The Night Of

Criminal Justice is an Indian Hindi-language crime thriller legal drama web series for Hotstar Specials, based on the 2008 British television series of the same name,[1] written by Shridhar Raghavan and was directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and Vishal Furia. Starring Pankaj Tripathi, Vikrant Massey, Jackie Shroff, Anupriya Goenka and Mita Vashisht in lead roles, the storyline follows life of individuals on a gut wrenching journey through the criminal justice system.

Criminal Justice was released through Hotstar on 5 April 2019.[2] It received positive response from critics, praising the performances of the principal characters, Tripathi, Massey and Shroff respectively. In February 2020, the makers announced for the second season, titled Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors, which was released through Disney+ Hotstar on 24 December 2020.[3]

Plot[edit]

Criminal Justice is a thriller series, starring Pankaj Tripathi, Vikrant Massey, Jackie Shroff, Anupriya Goenka, Mita Vashisht, Rucha Inamdar, Jagat Rawath, Rithuraj Singh, Tuhina Vora. The series focuses on how Aditya Sharma's (portrayed by Vikrant Massey) life changes after being falsely accused for murdering Sanaya Rath (portrayed by Madhurima Roy). The series is split into 10 episodes.

The series starts by introducing Aditya Sharma as a cab driver who comes from a middle-class family. He will have plans of meeting his friends at a pub after completing his work, but a foul mouthed lady sits in his cab and keeps on changing location, because of which all his night plans become jeopardized, while talking to her they realise that they are alumni of the same college. The lady suffers from mood swings, so it can be easily come to know that she is a drug addict. The lady's name later revealed to be Sanaya Rath.

Aditya gets caught in the police station itself when the neighbor who will be giving his statement happens to identify him as the murderer, the police inspector 'Raghu Salian’ (Pankaj Saraswat) and the others search him and they find the murder weapon (they at least assume it to be) with him. While interrogating, Madhav Mishra (Pankaj Tripathi) a street-smart advocate happens to mistake Aditya's case to be a drunk and driving case and tells Raghu Salian that he is Aditya's lawyer, he then realises that he will be handling a murder case and that's how his life changes. Madhav Mishra informs Aditya's parents about the crime and that Aditya has been accused of murdering and raping Sanaya Rath. Aditya is produced before the magistrate within 24 hours and he pleads not guilty, however, his request for bail is rejected by the Magistrate. Because of which he will be placed in Police custody for 14 days. Aditya agrees to do a narco test, and a selected portion of it is shown online. People start shaming the taxi services company where Aditya will be working. Aditya's brother-in-law (Gaurav Dwiwedi) soon starts getting harassed by recovery agents due to non-payment of loan. Aditya's sister (Rucha Inamdar) loses her job and the entire family becomes a victim of ridicule by the society. Raghu Salian is hell bent on proving that Aditya is the murderer. Mandira Mathur (Mita Vashisht), a Supreme Court advocate soon starts looking after Aditya's case, she starts representing Aditya and becomes the defence lawyer and Advocate Bhandarkar (Ninad Kamat) becomes the public prosecutor. She has a knack with her usage of words, she helps drop Aditya's charge on rape by proving that it was consensual, but however fails to get him an acquittal. Aditya is asked to sign a plea bargaining agreement (where if you plead guilty your sentence will be reduced), as all the evidences point towards him. Mandira Mathur drops the case and Nikhat (Anupriya Goenka), her assistant starts representing Aditya as she asks Aditya to listen to what his heart says, because of which Aditya pleads not guilty.

The series soon drifts into life spent by a convict in prison, this is where we can draw similarity between Criminal Justice Season 1 and Shawshank redemption, where you see Aditya slowly adapting to the prison environment, just like Andrew "Andy" Dufresne (Tim Robbins). He joins Mustafa (Jackie Shroff) and gang, after being rescued by Taklya (Tushar Gaware) when Layak Talukdar (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) tries to seduce him. The prison is entirely split into two groups, Layak's gang and Mustafa's gang. Aditya starts jelling with Mustafa and gang and in one of the episodes, Aditya is sent to Solitary confinement for 1 year along with Mustafa for being wrongfully caught for peddling drugs in the prison. And then the series focuses on how Aditya starts rebelling against Layak becoming like one of the member of Mustafa's gang. Meanwhile, Aditya's sister divorces her husband and battles for child custody, Aditya's father starts earning again to survive. But they are still left with hope that Aditya will get released from the prison one day.

Coming back to the case, Nikhat and Madhav start investigating the case together and they build a good rapport with each other. Nikhat, Madhav and Raghu Salian soon find out that Sanaya Rath is a drug addict, and she was a volunteer in LDFR, a drug rehabilitation centre, run by Naresh Lakani and his wife Kanika Lakani, a girl named Pallavi (ex-employee of LDFR) reveals that Naresh Lakani runs a racket of child prostitution by trading under privileged children. Sanaya wanted to reveal this secret to public and Kanika Lakani wanted to stop this from happening. In the end, Aditya fights with Layak and when he is about to kill him, Mustafa does it for him. Aditya is released from the prison. He comes out braver and better than what he was before going into prison.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [2]
1"Once Upon a Night"Shridhar Raghavan5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
Aditya drives the family cab, ends up picking up a young woman and spends the night with her. When he wakes up, he realises that the one night stand has turned into a nightmare. The girl is stabbed to death and he has no recollection of events.
2"Under Arrest"
  • Tigmanshu Dhulia
Shridhar Raghavan5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
Aditya is under arrest for rape & murder. An advocate Madhav bargains to represent him, but negotiations fail. Mandira, a reputed advocate takes up his case free of charge surprising all.
3"The Price of Life"
  • Vishal Furia
Shridhar Raghavan5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
Mandira grapples with Aditya's amnesia related to that fateful night. Madhav finds a new lead in the investigation. In jail, Mustafa makes an unexpected demand from Aditya.
4"The Trial"
  • Vishal Furia
Shridhar Raghavan5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
Mustafa takes Aditya under his wing and gives an welcome gift. Madhav finds a mountain of evidence against Aditya at trial.
5"Beginning of the End"
  • Vishal Furia
Shridhar Raghavan5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
Rivalry between Layak and Mustafa heats up. Aditya weighs the pros and cons of pleading guilty as Jimmy D'Souza makes a shocking revelation at court.
6"The Judgement Day"
  • Vishal Furia
Shridhar Raghavan5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
While Aditya took a daunting task to appease Mustafa, Nikhat risks her career to free him. Judge gives the verdict.
7"A New Bond"
  • Vishal Furia
Shridhar Raghavan5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
Aditya's bond with Mustafa grows strong while his family crumbles. Meanwhile, Madhav finds new evidence that could turn the case around.
8"The Going gets Tough"
  • Vishal Furia
Shridhar Raghavan5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
With the entry of new jail superintendent, Aditya and Mustafa relation end up with a solitary confinement. Meanwhile Madhav and Nikhat find a new clue which went unnoticed.
9"A New Kingpin"
  • Vishal Furia
Shridhar Raghavan5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
A brutal fight sends Aditya to hospital where he meets Mustafa. Raghu helps Madhav and Nikhat, together they open a new can of worms.
10"The Mystery"
  • Vishal Furia
Shridhar Raghavan5 April 2019 (2019-04-05)
Aditya peddles drugs in the jail but it doesn't end well with Layak. Raghu produces a search warrant against the new suspect. Pushed into the corner, Aditya plans his final revenge against Layak. New crime & evidence has came to light and Aditya is acquitted. Aditya starts a new life. Finally, Madhav cleans up his apartment.

Production[edit]

In January 2018, Sameer Nair, CEO of Aditya Birla Group's content studio Applause Entertainment, collaborated with BBC Studios, in order to adapt their British series Criminal Justice and The Office, for the Indian audiences.[4] Sameer teamed up with Shridhar Raghavan, to pen the screenplay and dialogues for the Hindi adaptation.[5] In April 2018, Tigmanshu Dhulia was announced as the director of the series,[6] eventually marking his digital debut,[7] and the makers signed Pankaj Tripathi, Vikrant Massey and Jackie Shroff to play the pivotal characters.[8] It also marked Shroff's debut in a digital platform.[9] Principal shoot of the series began on 28 April 2018 and was completed in January 2019, with filming mostly held in Mumbai.[10] Vishal Furia served the credits for co-direction.[11]

Release[edit]

The series' digital distribution rights were brought by Hotstar. On 15 January 2019, the platform announced its foray to original content production exclusively for the service,[12] with the shows release on its label called Hotstar Specials,[13] was officially announced.[14][12] The platform eventually collaborated with Applause Entertainment for releasing the show, along with the production house's four other shows in the first set of their original contents.[15][16] The official trailer of the series was released on 28 March 2019.[2][17] It was released on 5 April 2019, in Hindi and dubbed Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali and Marathi languages.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Archika Khurana of The Times of India gave three-and-a-half out of five stars stating "Criminal Justice walks us through a series of events that happen during remand, judicial custody, and hearings, is intriguing and engrossing for most parts."[18] Sanjukta Sharma of Scroll.in opined "Criminal Justice works because of the story and its two central characters."[19] Sana Farzeen writing for The Indian Express says, "Vikrant Massey stands out playing a young boy who suddenly finds himself in a grave situation. Pankaj Tripathi once again aces a character with dry humor, making you smirk at his witty lines." The critic recommends Criminal Justice for those who like crime-based dramas.[20]

Rohan Naahar of Hindustan Times rates it with three-and-a-half out of five stars and feels that the series being a remake relies on its actors to do the heavy lifting. He opines, "Fortunately, Vikrant Massey, Pankaj Tripathi and especially Jackie Shroff, are tremendous."[21] Udita Jhunjhunwala, reviewing for The Quint writes "Supporting cast members Saraswat, Rucha Inamdar and Gaurav Dwivedi (as Aditya’s sister and brother-in-law respectively) and Madhurima Roy as the murdered girl are the most convincing."[22] Parmita Uniyal of India Today said that "[Jackie]'s performance is one of the high points of the series, something that stays with you," while also saying that "[The show] could have a stronger impact with shorter episodes, crisper editing and right twists and turns."[23]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2019 ITA Awards Best Actor - Web series Vikrant Massey Nominated
iReel Awards[24] Best Actor (Drama) Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jackie Shroff Nominated

Sequel[edit]

On 13 February 2020, Sameer Nair announced a second installment of Criminal Justice, with Pankaj Saraswat, Raaj Gopal Iyer, Pankaj Tripathi, Anupriya Goenka, Mita Vashisht reprising their roles from their first season,[25] whereas Jisshu Sengupta and Kirti Kulhari joined the new cast. The series was released through Disney+ Hotstar on 24 December 2020.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bhushan, Nyay (4 March 2019). "Hotstar to remake The Night Office,' 'Criminal Justice'". Mumbai: The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Jain, Arushi (30 March 2019). "Criminal Justice trailer: Vikrant Massey and Pankaj Tripathi present a chilling crime thriller". Indian Express. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Hotstar's Criminal Justice Renewed for Season 2". NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Indian adaptation of 'Criminal Justice', 'The Office' in pipeline". Business Standard India. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Indian adaptations of Criminal Justice and The Office in the pipeline". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Tigmanshu Dhulia to make digital directing foray with Indian version of 'Criminal Justice'". Outlook India. Retrieved 22 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Tigmanshu Dhulia to helm Indian version of crime drama Criminal Justice". India Today. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Jackie Shroff and Vikrant Massey to star in web series adaptation of BBC's 'Criminal Justice'". Scroll.in. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Jackie Shroff to star in Indian adaptation of Criminal Justice". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Tigmanshu Dhulia to make digital directing foray with Indian version of 'Criminal Justice'". Business Standard India. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Can't disconnect myself from darkness: Vishal Furia". Business Standard India. 6 April 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Hotstar Taps 15 Indian Filmmakers for Originals Expansion, Starting March". NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  13. ^ Jha, Lata (14 January 2019). "Hotstar adds to streaming drama with originals". mint. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Hotstar Specials: Star India collaborates with Salman Khan, Kabir Khan, among others for new OTT platform - Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. 15 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  15. ^ Jha, Lata (4 March 2019). "Hotstar ties up with Applause Entertainment for first set of originals". mint. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Hotstar Specials' first slate to include Indian adaptations of The Office, Criminal Justice, Hostages - Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. 5 March 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  17. ^ "'Criminal Justice' trailer: Pankaj Tripathi, Vikrant Massey and Jackie Shroff star in Hotstar series". Scroll.in. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  18. ^ Criminal Justice Season 1 Review: Vikrant Massey and Pankaj Tripathi make it worthwhile, retrieved 22 January 2021
  19. ^ Sharma, Sanjukta. "'Criminal Justice' review: Strong performances steady an unwieldy saga of innocence and guilt". Scroll.in. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  20. ^ Farzeen, Sana. "Criminal Justice first impression: Vikrant Massey stands out in this riveting adaptation". The Indian Express. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  21. ^ Naahar, Rohan. "Criminal Justice review: Vikrant Massey, Pankaj Tripathi and a stunning Jackie Shroff save Hotstar show". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Review: 'Criminal Justice' Is Sluggish But Saved by Good Performances". Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  23. ^ Uniyal, Parmita (6 April 2019). "Criminal Justice review: Pankaj Tripathi, Vikrant Massey series doesn't live up to expectations". India Today. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  24. ^ "nominations". News18. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  25. ^ "Applause Entertainment and BBC Studios announce Season 2 of Hotstar Specials presents Criminal Justice". 2 February 2020.
  26. ^ Bureau, Zee Media (10 December 2020). "Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors trailer stars Pankaj Tripathi, Kirti Kulhari and Anupriya Goenka - Watch". Zee News. Retrieved 10 December 2020.

External links[edit]