‘The Judgement’ movie review: Ravichandran anchors a predictable yet engaging courtroom drama

‘The Judgement’, directed by Gururaj Kulkarni, portrays the intricacies of the legal system in an interesting manner while failing to offer a gripping whodunnit

Updated - May 24, 2024 07:02 pm IST

Published - May 24, 2024 06:18 pm IST

V Ravichandran in ‘The Judgement’.

V Ravichandran in ‘The Judgement’. | Photo Credit: G9 Communication Media and Entertainment/YouTube

In director Gururaj Kulkarani’s The Judgement, investment banker Anil (Diganth Manchale) is arrested for the murder of his client Roopa (Roopa Rayappa), head of an NGO. From the beginning, something tells us that Anil isn’t the culprit. Even when Govind (V Ravichandran), hailed as the best lawyer, ensures Anil is proven guilty, we feel there is more to it than meets the eye.

The Judgement is more about the intricacies of the Indian legal system than about the investigation of the case. Hence, we, the viewers, are always two steps ahead about the murder case, even if the makers believe they are throwing surprises at us.

The film gets interesting when Govind has a change of mind and decides to find out if Anil was indeed the culprit. The film makes an interesting observation about what drives lawyers to pick up some cases.

Govind is someone who takes up a case if people boost his ego. He wants to be called the best and gets inclined towards people who make him believe he is God. Can pride overshadow the truth? His wife (Meghana Gaonkar), a lecturer, poses this question, forcing Govind to introspect.

The Judgement takes off when Govind decides to delve deeper into the case. Even as Govind connects the murder of Roopa with another case, we are made aware of several laws and the different possibilities in a courtroom.

There's evident effort in making the film an interesting legal drama, but The Judgement also makes you feel like you are watching a television serial. The pounding background score when a police officer checks the place of the murder is jarring. The production design, especially of the courtroom, appears dated.

The Judgement (Kannada)
Director: Gururaj Kulkarni
Cast: V Ravichandran, Diganth Manchale, Rangayana Raghu, Rekha Kudligi, Krishna Hebbale
Runtime: 151 minutes
Storyline: Anil, an investment banker, is held culprit for murdering his client. A popular lawyer proves Anil is guilty, only to change his mind later and fight for his release

Anil’s parents (Rangayana Raghu and Rekha Kudligi) bemoan and agonize over their son’s fate, typical of characters we see in soap operas. Qureshi, a corrupt minister, has all the traits of an exaggerated villain. Krishna Hebbale’s performance somewhat salvages the cliched character. Now and then, you also see junior lawyers commenting on Govind’s abilities. The needless additional focus on the protagonist hampers the film.

Explained | The delay behind star-driven Kannada films

The Judgement falls short because it never attempts to strengthen the whodunnit angle of the story. The clues pop up quite conveniently, and it’s easy to guess who the killers are. The courtroom proceedings, anchored by Ravichandran, make The Judgement watchable, though the barrage of information might tire you out.

All said, Gururaj Kulkarni’s sophomore film is not a forgettable affair. Despite its predictability, it keeps you engaged to an extent.

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