A Ridiculously Regressive Investigative Thriller
|Platform: Zee5||Genre: Thriller|
What Is the Story About?
A protective sibling Diya is incredibly concerned about the whereabouts of her musician-sister Hiya after she doesn’t return home during their brief stay in Kolkata. She and her love interest Kingshuk resort to help of the cops at the nearest police station soon. They feel helpless after the constables stop down to slut-shaming the missing girl while filing the complaint until a superior Javed puts them in their place. Soon, they receive news that Hiya has been brutally tortured and gang-raped – what follows is sister Diya’s relentless fight for justice.
The actors’ reactions to several situations in the series are shocking, to say the least. Unnecessary exaggeration, a swagger that feels more ‘put-on’ than organic, the absence of any composure – the list of their follies can alone last a review. Madhumita Sorcar’s performance falls prey to the stereotypes in her ill-etched character Hiya, while Sohini Sarkar doesn’t fare any better as Diya either.
Abhishek Singh tries too hard to be the upright cop with a shady past. Arpan Ghoshal’s aura-driven portrayal of the rapist is puzzling – it’s surprising how the makers shape a character that celebrates misogyny and is completely unremorseful or regretful about a heinous crime he’s committed.
If a film like Pink paved the way for a progressive, just society that generated an important discussion about consent, slut-shaming and the needless stereotyping associated with women, Judgement Day is a show that pushes the debate several decades behind. The series revolves around a gangrape and the appalling reaction of the system to the incident. The girl is slut-shamed, dissed by her parents, brother, lawyer and everyone around her for the same. The series tries to project that there’s no hope at the end of the tunnel and as if a woman has to endure everything and anything that happens to her.
One may argue that the series is trying to project the true-yet-dark side to our legal system – yes, probably. Isn’t the tone important too? What’s the point of a show where a victim is repeatedly blamed for being raped? The brother of the victim is least concerned about the incident and has the gall to say that the rape is bound to affect his position in the society – especially at a time when he’s about to start a new company. The parents are not worried about their daughter but for their reputation among their near and dear. The victim’s mother blames the father for letting their daughter be a ‘liberal, outgoing’ modern-day woman.
The portrayal of the modern-day woman is equally problematic and is a concoction of regressive clichés – she supposedly smokes, consumes drugs, drinks, has freewheeling conversations with men, utters cuss words very frequently and is vocal about her desires. These traits become a tool to represent the many urban women in the show. Many characters conveniently use these attributes to blame the women for their fate. The show is so bothered about the ‘log kya kahenge’ mindset than to ensure immediate justice to women in cases of crime.
The boyfriend of Diya (victim’s sister) blames the latter for not giving him due attention amid the judicial battle for her sister. The ending is shameful, even if it is for a piece of fiction like this. The rapist offers to marry the victim. The woman is threatened and warned of dire sequences if she doesn’t let the perpetrator escape scar-free. The beauty of fiction and storytelling is the poetic justice it could provide to the characters. The series reiterates that we’re several decades away from an era where we let a woman be herself – free from expectations, stereotypes, tags and is respected for her choices.
Judgement Day consistently reeks of regression and takes the dangerous route of glorifying a perpetrator. It’s only an irony that the series (about a rape) needs to have cuss words that revolve around a woman too. How the series had won the approval of the streaming platform will always remain a mystery. The makers seriously need to question themselves about their ‘judgemental’ attitude.
Music and Other Departments?
For a show where the protagonist is a vocalist and a lyricist in a music band, the absence of detailing into the music-making process is disappointing. Though a few numbers in the series are impressive, there is no context to it or insight about how the song came into being in the first place. The dialogues in Hindi/Bengali are cheap and regressive, paying lip-service to the stigma surrounding the victim of rape. The cinematography is just about okay in establishing the authenticity of the backdrops.
Terrible, directionless story
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Not at all
Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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