A sewerage worker's dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is tried in court on charges of abetment of suicide. He is accused of performing an inflammatory song which might have incited the worker to commit the act. As the trial unfolds, the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case are observed outside the court.Wikipedia
Tamhane's film excels in revealing these terrific vignettes of life, and in the process it ends up moving you. The film allows us to judge, and yet, suggests that we don't judge too much - after all, this is life with all its complexities and everyone is human.
It is a searing, unmissable film, the best you will see this year. If you feel any other way, well, go ahead, sue me.
Court -- a singularly strong directorial debut -- gives us stunning snapshots which should work sensationally well for a festival audience, but, to the Indian viewer, are not truly new or holding any strikingly original thought.We know this, all of this.But perhaps the point Tamhane is trying to make is that it isn't important that we should know, but that we know better.
This is a brilliant critique of Indian judiciary...There are no villains, or at least there is no vicious intention in a single character of Court. Yet, everyone, including the judge, lawyers and cops, end up being responsible for an innocent and ageing man's suffering. And that, sadly is the harsh reality of today's society.
The multilingual Court (Marathi, Hindi, English and Gujarati, with subtitles) is an exceptional cinematic achievement: a film that no cinema lover can afford to miss.
...a multi-lingual film that many will need subtitles to watch, but it is one of the best films of 2015. Do not miss this one.
'Court' is a film for the thinking viewer and requires you to evaluate scenes using your brains. Those of you who are formulaic film lovers and want to howl and whistle in cinema theatres, please stay away from this one instead of spoiling the experience for others. For people who love meaningful cinema, this is a must watch. Don't miss the summons!
Every character seems genuine in this film. Some of the characters are played by skilled actors while some are non-professionals. Yet, it is impossible to differentiate the two. Locations chosen by the director augment the film and the camera too, plays an integral role. Never has the director tried to be gimmicky with a smart shot or a clever dialogue. Everything in the film is portrayed with hundred percent authenticity. Precisely why it makes you uneasy, makes you think and stays with you for a long long time.
In a film of many highs, the film's real star though is Tamhane, who is in control of the proceedings from the beginning. His detailed eye and wry sense of humour only enhance the courtroom experience.
Court is the right blend between the rational and humane nature of our laws as well as people. The film will give you an insight into the archaic and ambiguous nature of laws and how they are thrusted upon individuals who are unaware of them. It is the best representation of a court room drama so far in India, minus its heightened dramatic nature.
Court is one of the finest films made in recent times, in any part of the world. When it comes to quality, mind and soul stirring cinema, it doesn’t get any better than this film, which also happens to be the debut feature of director Chaitanya Tamhane. Do as you please but do not miss this film.
Court is another reminder that we need drastic changes in the way our judiciary functions; it raises relevant questions but doesn’t provide answers. We are left chuckling in the end but the joke, sadly, is upon us…
COURT is not a movie. It is brilliance in motion. It is a must-watch film. That's the beauty of this film; it does not preach or try to influence you in any way. COURT is a fictionalized account of hard-hitting facts!
A film so real that you can almost touch it. Please go watch it. The audience needs such films more than the film needing the audience.
In many ways, its aesthetics and idealism make Court feel reminiscent of Indian parallel cinema of the 1970s. However, Tamhane's storytelling is distinctively contemporary and he's careful to ensure Court doesn't become preachy, self-indulgent or slow (standard problems that make so many Indian parallel film classics seem dated today). Perhaps one of the more depressing aspects of placing Court in the chronology of Indian cinema is realising that Tamhane's film belongs to a tradition of cinematic dissent that couldn't pierce our apathy as a society.
Court does offer a wonderful portrayal of India's legal system. Given what Bollywood titles ranging from Damini to Jolly LLB have done to caricature the courtroom, this film is long overdue. Court comes closest to showing how an actual court functions. It captures the impact those undramatic courtrooms have on people who are unwittingly trapped in the labyrinth justice system.
Audience Reviews for Court
Life's this court
'Court' directed by Chaitanya Tamhane is the strongest film I have seen this year. Not only does this off-the-courtroom drama ask blazing questions about identity and freedom of speech and perspectives to the world's largest democracy and supposedly also the most effective judiciary, but it also raises strong points about true rebelliousness.
The film comes with a haunting, gripping tale about a Kazi Nazrul Islam-ish man called Narayan Kamble who is an activism and rebellion poet. He is accused of encouraging a sewage worker to commit suicide. The rest of the film builds on the prosecutions and the series of events happening in this turbulent court- literally and figuratively.
Tamhane builds strong cast. I enjoyed watching Vira Sathidar as Kamble and Geetanjali Kulkarni as the public prosecutor. The rest of the cast performs quite marvelously too. But what holds you with the film is its ability to create tense motions and emotional frequencies which produce in the audience an urgency to complete the film.
'Court' is a rebellious film which deserves being watched- being loved. I will rate this film 4 stars out of 5. Please watch.
Best : Performances by the cast , Direction , Screenplay ( Bitter truths flawlessly and honestly presented )
Weakness : The ending seemed quite abrupt .
Of course the judiciary is not complex for people who know. It looks complex only to the people who don't know. And Chaitanya Tamhane's debut is just that - portraying the judiciary and its invisible background from all available perspectives.
The story about a rebellious folk singer Narayan (Vira Sathidar) who finds himself on the other side of judiciary is an honest critique of the judicial system of world's largest democracy. Narayan is allegedly accused of abetting a sewage cleaner's suicide. While there is no prologue shown in particular, one will follow the plot as it advances. Then starts the real courtroom drama between the people responsible to bring out justice.
Now, the highlight of the film is it reminds us that the people involved in this drama are also human beings and have lives to live and families to care for. The plot focuses on each of these characters with ultra finesse. For example, the climactic sequence shows the carefree attitude of a character who is otherwise constantly sincere and adroit and sharp at his characteristic (portrayal), which is a major part of the judiciary. And that is the single reason why one should choose to watch the film. However, there is a shift in the focus where the plot moves to these characters, concentrating on the subject, but abandoning the protagonist. The mentality of all the people (from the judge to the stock witness) is written with extra diligence and is brought out like pieces of a pie which may not put an end to the apathy that happens around us in reality, but may at least satisfy the armchair activist the hunger he/she has sustained since long. Other than the primary story, there are at least three brief tales that attached before or after, in and around, and further adds to the experience.
Brisk, and sometimes humorous, dialogs that strike the point and take potshots at the way judicial system works in India is real pleasure to watch. And if you understand Marathi, then lo, you are in for a few hearty chuckles. The photography is irreverently smart, especially for the parts where the film takes the track of inconsequential ending, which on the other hand, may disappoint few. Plus, this is the first time I have seen such a great subtitling work. Kudos!
BOTTOM LINE: There are many reasons to watch Chaitanya Tamhane's directorial debut and the omission of an item dance is one of them. Agile yet snappy storytelling. 7/10 - recommended!
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES