Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ajay Bahl|
|Written by||Manish Gupta|
|Cinematography||Sudhir K. Chaudhary|
|Edited by||Praveen Angre|
|Box office||est. ₹22.30 crore|
Section 375 (also known as Section 375: Marzi Ya Zabardasti) is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language courtroom drama film produced by Kumar Mangat Pathak, Abhishek Pathak and SCIPL, written by Manish Gupta and directed by Ajay Bahl. It is based on Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code laws in India.  The film stars Akshaye Khanna, Richa Chadha, Meera Chopra and Rahul Bhat. Principal photography of the film began in January 2019.
The film was theatrically released in India on 13 September 2019, and received mixed reviews, holding a 64% Critics Rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film opened to low numbers on opening day and was declared "Average" at box office.
Notable film director Rohan Khurana (Rahul Bhat) is arrested and convicted by a sessions court after assistant costume designer Anjali Dangle (Meera Chopra) accuses him of rape. In the High Court, senior and talented criminal barrister Tarun Saluja (Akshaye Khanna) works hard to punch holes in the accuser’s claims, while Hiral Gandhi (Richa Chadda), a utopian and fervent lawyer fighting her first big case, who was once Saluja's trainee, serve as the prosecutor and defence barrister of the claimed victim. Insisting that it is a case of an affair gone sour, Tarun Saluja points out that the law does not regard consensual physical relations as rape. Hiral Gandhi refuses to call it anything but rape, demanding justice to be served. Tarun Saluja states that Law is a fact, Justice is abstract. The case disputes the legal provisions of the penal code 375 that defines conditions under which a sexual offense can be defined as rape.
There was a scene in which Tarun Saluja explain Hiral Gandhi that how justice is left out while Defence, Prosecution and even Judge try to show themselves as best. As we can see before giving final verdict one of judge goes to balcony and see people protesting against accused and later on the charges are upheld against accused. This showed that judge didn't wanted to tarnish their image by giving correct decision in favour of accused. The end line was perfect by Tarun Saluja " We're in the business of law, not of Justice".
- Akshaye Khanna as Tarun Saluja, defence barrister of the accused
- Richa Chadda as lawyer and public prosecutor Hiral Gandhi
- Meera Chopra as victim Anjali Dangle
- Rahul Bhat as Director Rohan Khurana
- Shriswara as Kainaz, Rohan's wife
- Sandhya Mridul as Shilpa, Tarun's wife
- Kishor Kadam as Justice Madgaonkar
- Kruttika Desai as Justice Indrani
- Annuup Choudhari as Pramod Dangle, Anjali's brother
- Tanuka Laghate as Meera Singh
- Kshama Ninave as Anjali's mother
- Nishank Verma as Shekhar
Marketing and release
The first poster of the film was released by its makers on 7 August 2019. The official teaser was released on 8 August 2019 by T-Series. In the teaser, Khanna and Chadda were seen fighting a rape case. On 13 August, official trailer of the film was launched by T-Series. On 5 September, a dialogue promo presenting Khanna was released.
The film was premiered at Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (SgSAIFF) on 7 September 2019. It was closing film of the festival and received appreciation. The film was theatrically released in India on 13 September 2019.
Sreeparna Sengupta of The Times of India gave the film four stars out of five, praising screenplay, dialogues and performance of Akshaye Khanna, Richa Chadha, Rahul Bhat and Kishor Kadam, noted that the film made for a 'gripping watch with a crisp runtime and top-notch performances'. Concluding she wrote, "Overall, Section 375 is an audacious effort. It is a relevant film that tackles a complex issue and one that will engage, inform and open up debates." Trade analyst and critic Taran Adarsh gave the film four stars out of five, tagged it as "Powerful" and praised the performance of Akshaye Khanna, Richa Chadha, writing and direction. He opined, "A relevant film that raises pertinent points... Recommended!" Udita Jhunjhunwala of Firstpost gave three and half stars out of five and opined that it was the cinematography and editing that kept the film moving at desirable pace and in mood. Praising Manish Gupta’s writing, she concluded that the film neither took a shrill, moralistic stand, nor caved to 'Bollywood-ised courtroom hysteria', rather it stuck to a highly charged narrative that deftly examined both sides of the case and deferred to the rule of law.
Devesh Sharma reviewing for Filmfare rates the film with three stars out of five. He wrote that the film was a 'well-crafted', 'well-acted' film with pithy and witty dialogues. He praised performance of Khanna and Chadha, but criticising the climax, concluded, “This criminal twist at the very end undoes all the good done by the film and leaves you with a bitter taste in the mouth. The director is trying to be too clever here but this cleverness eats away into the nobility of the film." Manjusha Radhakrishnan of Gulf News gave three and half stars out of five, concurring in praising lead cast she wrote, "Both Khanna and Chadha are in top form as warring legal counsels". She also praised the editing of the film and noted that film was off-beat, but concurring with Sharma she felt that the second half was made 'frustratingly convenient'. Concluding she opined, "While you may not be thrilled at where the film is headed, the right thing to do is to give the searing Section 375 a fair trial." Writing for CNN-News18, Rajeev Masand termed the film as an 'unmistakably compelling courtroom drama' and rated it with three and half stars out of five. He noted that director Ajay Bahl and writer Manish Gupta have made a 'sharp, thought-provoking drama' which is topical and conscious of the situation prevailing. Concluding, he opined, "It’s a well-made film with a persuasive argument that is nevertheless disturbing."
Section 375 collected ₹14.5 million (US$200,000) on the opening day, and ₹30.7 million (US$430,000) on the second day, whereas the third day collection was ₹35.2 million (US$490,000), taking its total opening weekend collection to ₹80.4 million (US$1.1 million).
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- "Section 375 (Teaser) - Akshaye Khanna, Richa Chadha - Ajay Bahl". YouTube. T-Series. 8 August 2019.
- "Section 375 Official Trailer - Akshaye Khanna, Richa Chadha,Ajay Bahl - Releasing 13 September 2019". YouTube. T-Series. 13 August 2019.
- "Section 375 - Dialogue Promo". Times of India. 6 September 2019.
- "Section 375: Akshaye Khanna, Richa Chadha's courtroom drama closes Singapore South Asian International Film Festival". Firstpost. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
- Taran Adarsh [@taran_adarsh] (12 September 2019). "#OneWordReview... #Section375: POWERFUL. Rating: 4/5 Engaging courtroom drama... Writing and direction top notch... Akshaye Khanna, Richa Chadha brilliant... Meera Chopra, Rahul Bhat first-rate... A relevant film that raises pertinent points... Recommended! #Section375Review t.co/Jc3DUlCgaZ" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Jhunjhunwala, Udita (12 September 2019). "Section 375 movie review: Richa Chadha, Akshaye Khanna play off each other well in this nuanced film". Firstpost. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- Sharma, Devesh (12 September 2019). "Movie Review: Section 375". Filmfare. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
- Radhakrishnan, Manjusha (12 September 2019). "Section 375' review: Richa Chaddha legal drama deserves a fair trial". Gulf News. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
- Rajeev, Rajeev (14 September 2019). "Section 375 Movie Review: Akshaye Khanna, Richa Chadha's Performances Make for Compelling Courtroom Drama". CNN-News18. Retrieved 14 September 2019.