The #MeToo movement took off in a big way in 2017 in Hollywood after well-known producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment episodes became public. It reached India a year later and became a huge social movement. Although the movement made people aware of some genuine cases, it also came to light that some of the allegations were false or were made with ulterior motives. The latest film SECTION 375 is inspired from cases of this nature and expects to make a hard-hitting point. So does SECTION 375 manage to succeed in its endeavour? Or does it fail to impress? Let’s analyse.
Akshaye Khanna takes the cake when it comes to performances. Other actors also do well but Akshaye leaves a very strong impact. Whether it’s his dialogue delivery or his interrogating style in the court or his shrewd smile when confronted by the judges or Hiral, Akshaye’s performance is spot-on. Richa Chadha is very good as the no-nonsense lawyer whose idea of justice differs from that of Akshaye’s character. One of her heartening scenes is when Hiral is discussing about her partner and sharing her meal with her ‘rival’ Tarun. Rahul Bhat gets into the skin of his character. He’s too good in the beginning scene when he comes on the set and blasts everyone. Meera Chopra has very few dialogues initially but in the second half, she has a crucial part and does well. Krutika Desai (Justice Bhaskar) is good while Kishore Kadam (Justice Madgaonkar) is very impressive in his part. The latter also contributes to the laughter quotient. Shriswara speaks a lot through her silences and makes her presence felt. Shrikant Yadav is too good. His less-than-a-minute-conversation with Richa after he messes up in the court is memorable. Same goes Dibyendu Bhattacharya – his performance takes one of the most important scenes to another level. Sandhya Mridul (Shilpa) is lovely in the special appearance.
SECTION 375 is a songless film. Clinton Cerejo’s background score however is subtle and dramatic. Sudhir K Chaudhary’s cinematography is quite appropriate. The alleged rape sequence is shot well in different angles and the perspective changes with each angle. And he also makes use of some hand-held, zoomed-in shots that also helps with the impact. Nilesh Wagh’s production design is decent. Ameira Punvani’s costumes are realistic. Praveen Angre’s editing is crisp.
On the whole, SECTION 375 is a hard-hitting courtroom drama that raises some important points. At the box office, it has the potential to grow significantly in multiplexes once the word of mouth spreads among its target audience.