On a weekly basis with the rise of competition, you can’t help but witness a certain rise in competitive content on social media. Zee5’s Judgement Day, an original Bengali language series for many reasons will remind you of several Bollywood films which were based on sexual harassment. That has been the beauty of the realm of cinema, your ability to relate, compare, and perceive. So for various reasons, when the opening sequences reminded you of Katrina Kaif’s rugged, ‘I don't care about good looks’, messy-haired feature, from Brother Ki Dulhan, a few seconds later you are bound to remember Taapsee Pannu, and her team of girls from Pink, including the lady police officer who decided to falsely plant evidence against the three adult women, for choosing to go out for a drink at night.
Actresses Sohini Sarkar and Madhumita Sarkar are seen in the leading role where they play sisters Diya and Hiya. Diya gets raped when she visits Kolkata after years and Hiya takes it upon herself to avenge the sister. So from the first episode, you know that this web-series will be full of uncomfortable takes that will make you want to drop your other plans of watching other series. Soon after you finish the series, you find your connection with connecting with Jazbaa, where Aishwarya too defends a rape accused to rescue her daughter who was being held by the woman whose daughter was raped by the accused.
The mother wanted to take it upon herself to burn the rapist for their heinous act, and Aishwarya after a moment of anger realised her moral duty as a lawyer stands true when she defends the woman who has been charged with kidnapping her daughter. There’s no mercy in Judgement Day, and that pricks your conscience differently because, in the real court hassle, there are elitist lawyers such as Indira Jaysingh who value their sycophancy towards the Gandhi family over justice for Nirbhaya. So much so that the rapist gets to walk away, even after the entire nation including the Supreme Court of India agreed to hang them till death. Sadly, there are lawyers who simply can’t allow justice to happen and hence they disturb an otherwise free-flowing system of judgement. Keeping everything in mind, Judgement Day remains harsh in its screenplay.
So even when you want to tell the sister to calm down and accept reality, you will be silently shaming yourself while knowing that because of your misplaced sympathies another rapist can get away while committing a heinous crime. It is necessary to understand crime and thereby study the criminals who commit them, what is not necessary is for the family of the victim to be constantly reminded that their idea of justice, (avenging the dead sister) shouldn’t be judged in rage, that should be the time when we should learn to zip up. It remains astonishing how the writers, (screenplay writers, scriptwriters, director) manage to maintain their stance and justify the premises of their story with strong points. Perhaps it could have left an imprint had the cast decided to bring in more life to their characters. Sadly, there’s an obvious display of reluctance which you are unable to ignore. It is often said that during a court session if the victim fails to take the section of their truth seriously, it would only act as an easy weapon for the opposition.
Somewhat similar advice can also be implied for actors. Nothing appears life like without the right kind of deliverance of performance, which includes delivery of dialogue, holding the right expression in the right situation and your ability to not acknowledge the presence of a camera watching your acts. At one point you are so tired of the under-performance that you seek comfort in the memory of previous women-issue based films in the Hindi film industry.