A middle-class woman, a junior costume designer goes to the house of a rich director, with whom she works to show him some designs. He asks her to sit next to him. She complies. He asks the maid to leave. Next thing we know, the woman files rape charges against him.
His wife, approaches a competent lawyer, played by Akshay Khanna to defend him. The prosecutor is played by Richha Chaddha. What follows is a courtroom battle on the law of rape in India.
Important issues the movie raises:
- Law does not equal to justice
- As per the section, if it is established that a man has sexual intercourse with a woman with whom he is in a position of power, and the woman alleges that the intercourse is not consensual, then the onus is on the man to prove himself innocent. In other words, guilty until proven innocent. Lawyer friends, please discuss this aspect. I am aware of the law of POSH but not too sure of the sections of IPC
- Social media is a double-edged sword. It is a privilege that today we have the voice to raise concern against anyone and within seconds the world gets to know. Only two people know what happened between them. But with social media, the public gives a verdict without knowing the facts. It is also relevant for the Metoo movement.
- Women who misuse the law are the biggest disgrace to the women who actually need the law
Rahul Bhatt plays the role of the accused rapist. I remember him from a television show, Heena. In that serial also he played a spineless character. He does such roles very well. Meera Chopra plays the woman accusing him of rape. I have never seen her before. It was a delight to watch Sandhya Mridul as Akshay Khanna’s wife. Shriswara as the wife of the accused rapist is very convincing. Kishore Kadam as one of the judges is a natural actor and his annoyance at the whole situation has a good comic timing. This would not be Richa Chadhha’s best performance, I would say. Akshay Khanna is brilliant. It is again a reminder what an underrated actor he is. And how Bollywood has not done justice to him.
The movie is very engaging and crisp. I would not like to give away more as the movie has just released. Most feminists have written against the movie that it dismisses Metoo. I do not think so. Let us be objective. There are all kinds of cases. Filmmakers have the creative liberty to tell any story they wish to tell. Watch it and decide for yourself what is your takeaway.