Hotstar Web Series: Criminal Justice S2 deals with complicated marriages

Much like Season 1, Criminal Justice Season 2 titled ‘Behind Closed Doors’ deals with a case that seems ‘open and shut’ on face value, but keeps the viewer glued to his/her seat hoping to see the ‘criminal’ get ‘justice’. Much like S1, S2 starts excellently, but few episodes down, gets monotonous and finally ends on a whimper. Much like S1, S2 continues this Hotstar web-series’ obsession of painting jails in India, as the ultimate hell house. A dungeon where toilet water overflows into the cell, maniacs harm each other, the bully, the same sex pervert and the manipulative inmate, all reside together. Same same S1, same same S2.

Behind Closed Doors, as aptly titled, deals with, a subject that needs as deep focus as the Me-Too movement, complicated marriages. Marriages are indeed lopsided in our society, and in most cases, have dark secrets internally and a massive compromise, externally. The current installment (S2) showcases four couples none of whom you can label as ‘happily married’. Using this background, the viewer is left to guess what unfolds, once Kirti Kulhari is shown murdering her famous lawyer, and seemingly ideal, husband. Their relationship was so complicated that Kirti (annoyingly for the viewer) refuses to divulge any detail to anyone till the last episode. This despite the fact that she is being charged with murder, her only child doesn’t want to see her face, her relatives distanced and her mother in law and entire legal community fighting to get her the most stringent punishment.

It comes down to Pankaj Tripathi’s delicious character that fights for the accused (and for the viewer) to retain interest in the proceedings. Ably supported by a delightful Khushboo Atre, this duo light up the screen, give intensity, provoke thoughts and invoke laughter. Khushboo’s character of a simple lady from small town Bihar and her open mindedness contrasts a lot with the closed minds of the elite in metros. There was a subtle and great message conveyed there… it’s all in the mind, not in the background. Criminal Justice S2 is worth a watch primarily for this couple and for the fact that the series rakes up important dark aspects of marital life.

Rating: 3/5


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