When I first saw the trailer of Criminal Justice 2 with Pankaj Tripathi and Kirti Kulhari in it, I knew for sure it would be an edgy, provocative and a pacy thriller. But, the way it was portrayed as a courtroom legal crime thriller, it turned out to be a frail prison play. Unlike the trailers of Criminal Justice 2 – Behind Closed Doors, the series is a slow burn, dragged and weak narration, although the first episode will raise your expectations with outrageous and curiosity-stimulating build-up.
The Disney+Hotstar crime thriller Criminal Justice 2 is directed by Arun Mukerjee and Rohan Sippy and written by Apurva Asrani. The eight-episode season is a construal on the scorn and abuse of women Anuradha (Kirti Kulhar), who played the role with immense intensity and till date her best performance. Pankaj Tripathi as expected has performed impeccably. He is someone who can bring life to a bleak storyline. Most of the talented actors such as Deepti Naval, Mita Vashisht, Ashish Vidyarthi have been untapped in the series. The character of Madhav (Pankaj Tripathi) and Anu (Kirti Kulhari) have somewhat rescued the show.
The crime legal thriller Criminal Justice 2 started off as a murder mystery with all the required elements, but turned out to be an emotional drama with a lot of loose ends. The tale lost its original plot. The plot included marital rape, mental health, domestic violence, lethal machoism and courtroom drama. But none of the topic was done justice to properly. After a while, I wanted to jiggle the unsteady character of Anu out of her submissive inertness because her long silence gets too repetitive and the show seemed so hauled. There are a few questions which boggled my mind which remained unanswered such as:
Why Bikram spoiled Anu’s relationship with her father?
If Bikram was trying to prove that Anu was mentally sick, then why he allowed her to visit a psychiatrist? Wasn’t he scared that Anu can reveal the truth to the doctor?
Why Bikram was keeping a record of Anu’s each and every activity by taking photographs of her undergarments or tracking her moments? That only shows psychotic behavior of Bikram, but those things were not escalated in the courtroom.
Why Bikram (Jisshu Sen Gupta) was torturing Anu (Kirti Kulhari)? Why was he so harsh and cruel? All this could have been explained during the court scenes by Anu, but nobody raised this question.
Anu delivered a baby boy in the prison, whose father was her psychiatrist Moksh and not her husband Bikram whom she stabbed. But after Moksh’s arrest, this segment was buried under the carpet without a trace.
The courtroom scenes were very dull and none of the evidence was convincing enough. The most nerve-wracking clashes, that should have stimulated incontestable reactions were turned into a weak discussion. The script was very weak, especially in the courtroom scenes. The biggest shortcoming in the Disney-Hotstar Criminal Justice 2 series is a slow pace. The story line is way too stretched beyond a point and could have been wrapped up in 5 or 6 episodes. After a while Anu’s character gets on the nerve because she remained mute throughout the series.
The prison scenes could have been reduced. Although the setup of the show, flawless performances, the domestic abuse angel, showcasing of life of women in the prison and the gripping storyline are the assets of the series. But the narration of the series got uninteresting. It failed to capture audience’s attention after a while. The series Criminal Justice 2 – Behind Closed doors is worthy of ovation for choosing such a sensitive topic. What it needed was a strong sense of drive beyond its moralistic tone. It left a few loose ends and unreciprocated questions.