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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Law movie review: A jaded courtroom drama

Law offers a jaded gaze at crimes against women and a woman's effort to get justice within the confines of law.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Written by Manoj Kumar R | Bengaluru | Updated: July 17, 2020 3:33:20 pm
Law Law is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Law movie star cast: Ragini Prajwal, Mandya Ramesh, Avinash, Krishna Hebbale
Law movie  director: Raghu Samarth
Law movie rating: 1.5 stars

A few minutes into the film, a gang-rape survivor approaches a police station in the middle of the night to report the crime. She is met with demeaning jokes about women, unsympathetic treatment, harsh judgement and the usual victim-blaming questions: What were you doing out so late in the night?

And the victim-shaming parade is led by a police inspector, played by Mandya Ramesh. The cop uses his dubious laughter to add insult to injury that begins to get on your nerves.

The opening scene of Law is a complete bust. It doesn’t make you feel anything as the whole set-up is shabby. It is staged and performed poorly. And then, the survivor’s father walks into the police station. The character is played by another senior actor Avinash. And he walks into the police station as if he couldn’t care less about his daughter’s predicament. And he says something like this, “Oh, please, stop making a big fuss out of it. Just, forget all about it and come home with me.”

Now, I get it, director Raghu Samarth wants to underline the fact that not all crimes against women get reported because of the social stigma and the family’s fear about: “what will people say?” But, just having a good idea or a noble intention to show it, is not good enough. As a director, he should make the idea come to life as powerful as possible. And that is where Raghu fails as a filmmaker.

And Ragini Prajwal’s unconvincing performance doesn’t make the film any better.

Law offers a jaded gaze at crimes against women and a woman’s effort to get justice within the confines of law. The film looks and sounds like a worn-out daytime soap opera. In its nearly two-hour run, the film doesn’t have a single moment that makes us feel the pain, horror and trauma of sexual crime survivors.

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