In a first, an Indian (Hindi) film is being featured. A legal thriller with intense courtroom scenes, the movie has an ensemble cast spearheaded by the brilliant Amitabh Bachchan, Piyush Mishra, Taapsee Pannu, Kriti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Angad Bedi and others in pivotal roles.
Minal (Taapsee), Falak (Kriti) and Andrea (Andrea) are three working women who live together in Delhi. They attend a rock concert one night and meet three men – affluent and politically influential Rajveer (Angad) and his friends Ankit (Vijay) and Vishwa (Tushar) who invite them for dinner and drinks. In the resort, a scuffle breaks out and Minal assaults Rajveer with a bottle. After fleeing from the scene, the girls head home. Though disturbed, they put it behind them and try to move on.
However, Deepak Sehgal an old man in their neighbourhood senses something amiss with the women. The girls are threatened by Rajveer’s friends to keep mum on the issue and not report to police. Minal is also kidnapped, threatened and molested in a moving car. Deepak witnesses it but is unable to do anything. Immediately after this incident, Minal is arrested on charges of being a prostitute and assaulting Rajveer for his refusal to “pay” for physical relationship. It is then that Deepak Sehgal, a retired lawyer, talks to the other two girls and convinces them to file a case in the court. He procures bail for Minal. Then the gripping courtroom drama begins.
In the course of the arguments, Rajveer’s lawyer Piyush Mehra (Prashant Mehra) leaves no stone unturned to prove that the women are characterless. He argues that they were prostitutes who enticed the men and assaulted Rajveer when he refused to yield to their demands.
In the course of the arguments, Minal’s lawyer Deepak makes some subtle yet powerful observations about the stereotypes that women are subjected to. They are judged harshly by their choice of clothes, friends, social life and habits. Ironically, the same yardstick is not applicable to men! Deepak’s examination of Rajveer is intense. At a point Rajveer breaks and in a fit of rage says the women got what they deserved.
Based on this and other evidence, the men are charged and women are acquitted. The closing arguments of Deepak Sehgal is poignant yet hard hitting – the word “NO” is a sentence in itself and does not require any further explanation. When a woman say “no” it means “NO” be it a lover, prostitute or a wife.
The movie was critically acclaimed having won several prestigious awards including the National award for best film on social issues.
A must watch for the courtroom scenes and the powerful message on gender equality.