COURT [ Marathi ] – 2015.
- The germ idea for a film is more important. For ex. One in few lakh lunchboxes, gets wrongly delivered. For us it’s a plain fact. But the writer Ritesh Batra was curious on that wrongly delivered lunchbox and made his film ‘The lunchbox’. Similarly, writer director Chaitanya Tamhaane felt it was funny to watch a real life court room, as it was not even close to what we have been seeing for ages in our Indian cinema – which some of us might have encountered in real life, as well. That’s the germ idea of writing a satire movie ‘Court’ which ridicules the process/system.
- Earlier Chaitanya had made a documentary, short film and he was depressed without having any further ventures. His friend Vikram Gomber [ who acted as Vinay Vohra – Narayan Kamble’s lawyer ] came forward and paid him to write a script. NFDC rejected this script and Rotterdam film body came forward to fund this movie. Thus Court was developed. There’s another Kieslowski’s 6 mins short film [ The office – 1966 ] was another inspiration.
- We in Tamil cinema have been watching court room dramas ever since the early Kannagi or Poombuhar days [ Silapathikaramum court room drama dhane ] and of course, Parasakthi, Vidhi, Priyanka, SA Chandrasekar movies, Pink up until Mulk in Hindi. The fact was all of them were fake depicting court rooms. This film depicts a court room so real and has a sample case before the story unfolds Narayan Khamle’s case. The front row lawyer sleeps in the court. The court didn’t have the blindfolded justice lady statue, red colored setup, u table , Vaaimaiye vellum board and no one yells and orates in fluent Tamil/English language. Rather they stammer, speak broken English, misplace documents, walls has Paschim and Purva marking just directions and a wall clock that’s it. The 2 Tamil films which I felt depicted the court close to real were Virumaandi and Paruthi veeran. The movie close to this system depiction was Balu mahendra’s “Veedu”.
- Other than ‘Court’, the title of the movie could have been RTO office, Revenue office, Thasildhar office, Employment exchange, Government Hospital and the movie still is so relevant as all these places functions very similar and slow. And about languages.. It had Marathi, Hindi, English and Gujarathi. It’s in fact what Bombay city is made up of – different languages and people grouped in the same city.
- The movie doesn’t conclude anything.. Rather it just depicts the way things and people are. Narayan khamle remains the same.. Even after getting his bail, he publishes a book called ‘History of Humiliation’ and gets arrested again under UAPA act. He knows the consequences as well. His lawyer Vivek Vohra is a rich Gujarathi who lives a carefree life and spends a lot, upper class life. He once mentions his view about a booked called “Goymaari manas” and gets attacked by the Goymaari community [ a fictional group ] when he later dines out with his family. The defense lady lawyer is a plain middle class layer who a regular house wife talking family issues, travelling in local train discussing about costly olive oil and watching the cheap Marathi dramas which depicts hating UP immigrants to Mumbai and the old school type Judge. I liked the dead scavenger Vasudev pawar’s wife character and she was so real.
- The film took 3 years to take and they spent almost 6 months to edit this film. They have tried some 1800 different new faces for this film and take 30-40 takes average for a single shot.
- They purposefully engaged the delay and lag in the movie, making the audience to feel it’s slow [ I personally enjoyed the slowness ]. The idea is when we can’t watch a court room scene even for few minutes, think about the humiliation caused by just postponing a case for 2 months, 3 months and so on. I liked the periods mentioned in the movie.. the movie starts somewhere in August and the hearing goes on different months and ends up in summer vacation asking the hearing again to regroup in July. A straight forward case takes almost 12 months to analyze and end of the day leaving it inconclusive.
- There’s no background score for this film and just has atmosphere sounds in natural way. The songs were written and played by Sambhaji bhagat and Narayan kamble just lipsycned in the film.
- On the contrary note, this film was purposefully made for foreign film festivals as funded by them. This was released only in 2 theatres in Delhi and we know what could have been the outcome. I never heard of this movie getting screened for normal people and the irony is the film is all about the common man. There’s a video available about the Q&A session happened in Rotterdam about this film. This is a good film but not the great as it seems to win many medals in foreign film festivals. I felt it more like depicting the poor in India and getting foreign funds for a NGO.
- Do you know the common factor of these films.. Court, The lunch box, Masaan, Arjun reddy, Aranya gandam, Naduvila konjam pakkatha kaanom, Mouna guru, madhayaanai kootam, Rajathandhiram.. All these film directors were one film wonders and rarely do they come up with their second venture to amuse us. I wish more such films come out, they make second movies [ not necessarily on the same theme ] and flood us with good cinema.