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Section 375 Movie Review: Akshaye Khanna-Richa Chadha's Courtroom Drama Makes You Think!

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Rating:
3.0/5
Star Cast: Richa Chadda, Akshaye Khanna, Rahul Bhatt, Meera Chopra, Kruttika Desai
Director: Ajay Bahl

While addressing a group of budding lawyers, Tarun Saluja (Akshaye Khanna) says, "Do not fall in love with the law. It's like a jealous mistress. It can disappoint you." These lines haunt you when a shocking twist arrives towards the climax of the film.

Anjali Dangle (Meera Chopra), a junior costume designer visits a renowned film director Rohan Khurana's (Rahul Bhat) apartment to discuss a professional commitment. The same evening, he is put behind the bars for raping her.

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After the sessions court pronounces him guilty based on the evidence and sentences him to 10 years of imprisonment, his wife asks a high-profile lawyer, Tarun Saluja (Akshaye Khanna) to re-open the case and defend him in the High Court. The public prosecutor turns out to be Hiral Gandhi (Richa Chadha), who was once Tarun's associate.

Since the burden of proof is not on the prosecution, in this case, Tarun tries to defend his client by highlighting the investigation lapses and discrepancies in the testimonials. As the rest of the plot unveils, we realise that there's more than what meets the eye.

Director Ajay Bahl deserves a pat on his back for depicting a grave subject like rape on the big screen with sensitivity. Watch out for the scene where Meera Chopra's character is asked uncomfortable questions by a male in the absence of female examiner, right in front of her mother and a lady cop. It punches you hard in the gut!

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Unlike most courtroom dramas, this one steers clear of heavy dialoguebaazi and OTT characters and that's what works in favour of this film.

Akshaye Khanna is a complete show-stealer in 'Section 375'. His lines dripping with sarcasm leaves you mighty impressed. This man should do more films! On the other hand, Richa Chadha fails to explore her character and her unidimensional performance is one of the weak spots in the film.

Rahul Bhat and Meera Chopra are effective in the roles and add layers to the narrative. Krutika Desai and Kishore Kadam as the judges, too lend good support.

Sudhir K. Chaudhary perfectly captures the tense moments on the moments. Praveen Angre's editing could have been a little tauter to make the film more compact.

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The background score works well with the theme of the film.

Ajay Bahl's 'Section 375' dares to venture into the uncharted territory when it comes to sexual crimes and raises a valid question that's quite hard to answer in the existing legal system. While the film does have its set of flaws, it still makes up for a well-researched, relevant and hard-hitting watch. I am going with 3 stars.

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