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Review- 376D

420

Jyothi Venkatesh

At the outset, if the odd sounding (to the layman) title does not make any sense to those who do not understand the judiciary or for that matter the legal language, the film is in what can be frankly termed as a touching , shocking as well as extremely emotional story that uncovers a few glaring loopholes in the Indian judiciary. The best thing about this non star cast film is that it sets out to challenge the viewer’s perspective towards the subject, confronting them with some uncomfortable as well as unpalatable truths about gender.

376D, as the name suggests, is based on the very section from which the film gets its title. While the section deals with gang-rape, the film comes up with a never-seen-before premise that discusses sexual assault, but not in a way that the viewers expect. In the by lanes of Delhi; two brothers come face-to-face with a nightmare they never imagined and are part of one heinous event one night and their entire life turns upside down. Soon they discover there’s no law to serve them justice.

They face an uphill battle with the judiciary. Unfortunately, the law has several loopholes and is not in favor of them and the cops refuse to take up their case and book the culprits because the IPC Section 376 protects only the female gender and not the males. Whether they get the justice they seek or not form the crux of this unusual courtroom drama.

Interestingly though the last year’s release Section 376D, also dealt with the topic of rape and also explored the legal loopholes of the aforementioned section, this one makes a marked departure and focuses on yet another disturbing and nauseating aspect of the same act and sets out to explore other legal facets deftly.

As far as performances go, while Deeksha Joshi is good as the girlfriend Sandhya of the victim, who goes all out to give him her moral support through thick and thin, Priyanka Sharma, who steals the show in the complex and complicated court room sequences with her screen presence, as Shalini, who succeeds her level best to secure freedom for the culprits, as the defense council. Sumit Singh Sikarwar who plays public prosecutor Keshav Anand in the film very ably outwits Shalini in many scenes.

Vivek Kumar as the unfortunate victim Sanju scores with his underplayed performance with aplomb adding an extra dimension to his character in the film, which has excellent music, which is not only mellifluous but also soothing to the soul . Last but not the least, mention must also be made of Naman Anand, who plays Sanju’s younger brother Devi , who leaves an impact even though his role is not big , at least as far as its length is concerned

To sum up, I’d suggest that you watch this thought provoking and incisive film though it has a low budget for the only reason that the sincerity of the makers is evident for the cause that they have set out to espouse!