What if movie Aitraaz and Pink had a love child? It would be called Section 375. Would you be politically correct or legally correct? Politics change over time and so does the law. Both were initiated to support humanity, but there seems to be a dividing factor in this day and age. While the argument over pros and cons of Political Correctness (PC) is happening across the world, the one thing that continues to persist is the absence of a healthy discussion between the two sides. The conservatives vs. liberals. The right wing vs. left wing. Capitalism vs. Socialism.
It’s 2019, and everyone has to choose a side. The one you leave out would be the one to spit out hatred against you.
The focal point of Section 375 is the debate of law vs. justice. It tries to explore the gray area of consent in a relationship. It’s a courtroom drama set in time just before #MeToo campaign had begun in India. Even though it’s fictional, the timelines seem to be inspired quite closely from real life events. “A bollywood director being accused of rape by one of the fashion assistants triggering the #MeToo campaign in the country” seems like too much inspiration.
On a side note, why does every social cause in our country needs to have bollywood involved for it to gain some traction? Be it Gujarat Tourism or AIDS Awareness or MeToo campaign. If it has to go national, Bollywood needs to step in to it. Or if it’s nationalism, Akshay Kumar needs to.
If we have learned anything from Director Ajay Bahl’s last work BA Pass, it’s his ability to serve you a crisp movie, keeping the audience at the edge every minute. The opening statement itself sets the mood of the suspense drama. The lead antagonist (or protagonist, I couldn’t decide) Akshaye Khanna is seen addressing a group of students about the Nirbhaya Case convict who had been tried as a minor and not as an adult because of the law. Thus, resulting in him being released after 3 years of jail time. In turn, raising the question of law vs. justice for students (as well as the audience) and establishing his character of him as more of a law abiding citizen. As far as the overall plotline goes, Rahul Bhat (Director) is accused of rape by Meera Chopra (Fashion Assistant) and the case has gone to the high court with Richa (Prosecutor) and Akshaye (Defence Attorney) battling it out as lawyers.
The comeback of Akshaye could finally happen, as his acting skills and dialogue delivery seem to be at their sharpest level (except the dog eyed look on his top half of his face for most part of the movie (don’t miss out on that). Richa Chadha could have done more if she had more screen time. The courtroom debate seemed to be inclined towards Akshaye, with him landing lots of heavy one liners at times (e.g., we are not in the business of justice, we are in the business of law). From a neutral perspective Richa could have had some more of those one liners or more details of her investigation process to build up her court defense. Clinton Cerejo has done a good job when it comes to background music. The build up towards the courtroom tension showcases his experience in the field.
The lack of star power in the movie could be seen in the theater as I had to watch it with 20 people in a theater of seating capacity of 100+.
If seen from a law suspense entertainment lens the film passes all the criteria but from a political perspective, it seems to have some missed out on some loopholes. This was the best I could do for a review of a suspense movie without spoiling it up.
P.S. As much as I appreciate the recent turn of events in Bollywood, resulting in more law films (like Article 15, Section 375, upcoming Section 377) there were still some legal terms which I seem to miss out on (like the Section 540, 376, etc.). I wish to suggest there to be a legal glossary flyer like 3D glasses, for future purposes.