Hiral – She was not expecting to be raped.
Saluja- This case is a classic example of the women using rape as a weapon of the very law which has been made to protect her.
Hiral: Defence council ke paas kahaniya toh bahot sare hai par evidence ke naam par kuch bhi nahi
Saluja – Convicted rapists’ ka bhi constitutional right hai ke unhe proper legal defence mile.

Section 375 is a well-thought courtroom drama from the makers of Raid, Omakara & Sarkar that basically establishes propaganda about all the accused RAPISTS. During the year 2018, almost majority of working women from diverse professional fronts had gathered enough courage to recollect the sexual misconduct faced by her in their work under the hashtag #Metoo. The hashtag got the momentum and began to get trending. Many high profile names from the film industry, journalism sector, and writing including Government department came into the limelight.

Writer Manish Gupta crafts the storyline in a manner that in the end, the audiences are open to take a stand of their own choice. Initially Anjali Danghle, a junior costume designer has been portrayed to be raped by her Film director Rohan Khurana. Since the case is considered ‘open and shut case’ the session’s court punishes the accused of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.

The ordeal of the rape victim during the back to back rape trials, constant hammering of questions and her emotional trauma have been portrayed except for the fact that character played by Meera Chopra fails to stand out. The public outrage for this matter in form of rallies, social media posts, twitter hashtags like #hangtherapist and so forth have been thoughtfully narrated. And the repercussions faced by rape accused are part of the storyline as well.

When the case went to HC, one of the topmost lawyers Tarun Saluja accepted the case as a defense lawyer. Public prosecutor Hiral Gandhi decided to fight the case as a representative of Anjali Dangle. The courtroom sequences have been very well researched through. Kritika Desai and Kishor Kadam gave the utmost justice for their part of roles to walk us through real courtroom sessions. Public prosecutor Gandhi presented her version of the rape story while defense lawyer Saluja presented his version of the story to the judges.

Public Prosecutor had enough written documental proofs to get the accused punished. Yet Saluja with his huge body of experience could see beyond the evident scenario. He tracked the irresponsible as well as dishonest behavior from the hand of the Police inquiry officer regarding the delay in the testing and submission of the forensic report. In fact, it was quite disturbing to see the visuals of the intimate body parts of victim time and again. He went on to narrate a notional affair tale of Rohan and Anjali in his version of the story, which Gandhi defended by saying “consent and permission is mandatory every single time.”
The judges’ duos were quite sensible while delivering the final verdict. Hiral’s defense and Anjali’s emotional dimensions could have been worked upon even better. The end made us awestruck when Anjali says “She wasn’t raped but that was not less than a Rape.” By doing so the entire effort from the hand of a scriptwriter to establish storylines from both the versions got completely ruined. The film intended to communicate the thin line between Law and Justice and the dark side of stringent as well as one-sided Rape Laws in India.

Moreover, the question that is hammering my mind is; In India, only 4 out of 10 rape cases gets reported or women’s facing sexual misconduct as part of their working environment gets seldom reported. If the screenwriters come up with the storyline like this then from the next time women, in general, won’t be able to gather enough courage to talk about the same. Because if I am not getting wrong we reside in a nation wherein women are merely expected to act as a puppet and the scenario is not much changed as far as the mindsets of people from the society are concerned.

Just a piece of advice for the prospective audience from my side is that “Not all women who claim to be raped have been actually raped but again we’ll witness such cases in exceptional of the exceptional situations.”

I’ll give 3/5 stars considering the exceptional performances by Akshaye Khanna, Richa Chadha, Rahul Bhat, Kritika Desai, and Annuup Choudhari.

-Himani Dhiravani