When there’s a discussion around Indian cinema it’s only natural that talk turns to Bollywood. Boasting the biggest movie industry in the world, the influence and reach of the likes of Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan is global. Often overlooked in favour of its more glamorous sibling, the Indian film industry is having somewhat of a renaissance. The Lunchbox and Shabdo have both proved that there is more to Indian cinema than first meets the eye. Court, India’s submission for last year’s Academy Awards, continues this strong showing.
When a sewage worker’s body is discovered, folk singer and social activist Narayan Kamble (Vira Sathidar) is arrested charged with inciting his suicide and sedition. Human rights activist and lawyer Vinay Vora (Vivek Gomber) is responsible for his defence, but as the prosecution’s case slowly falls apart and it becomes clear it was an accident, the authorities simply place more obstacles in his way.
Remarkably, Court is Chaitanya Tamhane’s début film and yet it shows such a maturity and confidence which belies his age and experience. The pacing beautifully reflects the speed of the court system, which acts as a microcosm to illustrate some of the archaic and outdated notions of everyday life in India. Court could easily be a documentary and is a thoughtful study on the absurdity of the Indian judicial system.
Court is out in cinemas on Friday.