Until recently, courtroom scenes in Malayalam movies were either dramatic or humorous. From the bashing English firing Nandagopala Marar from Narasimham to conspicuous dialogue delivering Aravind Swaminathan from Janaganamana, we have seen numerous advocates that made the courtroom their performance podium. But what about the judges? There isn’t any iconic scene to remember about them other than some humour-inducing moments like “Vyakthamayilla” from the movie Vakkalathu Narayanankutty.
2022 not only gave court judges more screen time but also made them important characters than being used merely as machines to hit with the gavel. Let’s explore more about courtroom scenes in Malayalam movies.
This movie involves some atypical happenings in court proceedings. There is a reopening of a case, deceiving the judiciary, and a prolonged speech by the police officer played by Suresh Gopi. There are instances where the judge gets convinced about the fabrication of evidence occurring in some cases even though he gets ballistic initially. The same judge who was a funster in Vakkalathu Narayanan Kutti got a much better role here.
Chinthamani Kolacase (2006)
This movie does not give any importance to the judge but it is centred around the seemingly cunning Adv. Lal Krishna Viradiyar played by Suresh Gopi. Though justice isn’t exactly served, the film portrays the extremism of violence portrayed by Suresh Gopi’s character as valid and well-served. Many movies in this genre have little to no role for the judge and don’t exactly identify the applicability of the justice served.
A pretty good experimental movie in Malayalam, Melvilasom addressed a very important societal issue. This movie sets court-martial scenes, a never-before-seen experience in Mollywood. The court trial involving army officers was a pretty interesting watch. The judges involved were officers themselves, unlike the judiciary in the Indian judicial system.
Nirnayakam is a drama film that raises a finger against the small issues faced by common people living in Kerala. It questions the strike and hartal culture that is a hassle for ordinary passengers on roads. It penetrates deep into the issue and shows clearly why democratic demonstrations need to be addressed comprehensively and how it affects the quotidian lifestyle of a common person. The court trial is gripping but doesn’t invite much attention to the judge.
This movie raises a serious issue in an unparalleled manner. The advocate role is played by Salim Kumar, the same Adv.Mukundan from the movie Meesha Madhavan. The judge didn’t have much role. But again, this movie shows the real meaning of justice to be served.
Oru Kuprasidha Payyan (2018)
This movie shows the actual condition of the corrupt system of advocates and police officers that has power over a rather innocent convict and his legal aid, an inexperienced advocate. Even though the judge does not have a great role, the entire system is brought under questionable tactics with the brilliant portrayal of the characters and their right casting. Tovino, Nimisha Sajayan and Nedumudi Venu are uniquely realistic in their characters. The movie successfully shows determination and the right attitude that can bring justice even against high-powered allied forces.
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This is a not-so-popular movie in Malayalam starring Vishnu Unnikrishnan (Kattappanayile Hrithik Roshan fame) in the lead role. The realistic representation of court scenes and trials is nuanced in a way that does not suit the previous court representations in movies. This is one of the movies that paved the way for filmmakers to realize the idea of realistic representations.
Let’s now get to the 2022 movies that have courtroom scenes.
The story revolves around the life of a journalist and media person Chandraprakash. The highly corrupt and ruthless lead plays illegitimate ways to get on top of his career. Along the way, he hurts a lot of people. There are a couple of courtroom scenes where Chandraprakash faces the jury in a trial against him. Here, the judge character is portrayed by Indrans who takes it naturally with a stern attitude. This affirmed filmmakers to give more screen time to judge characters with much better enthusiasm.
Jana Gana Mana
Jana Gana Mana has courtroom scenes covering almost the entire movie with a long-standing speech delivery by Adv. Aravind Swaminathan. He unravels the dramatic plot set by the Karnataka government to retain its position in the upcoming elections. This movie is highly dramatic but again, it brings forth the hypocrisy of the government and media. The court judge doesn’t have a great role but the movie is a decent watch.
This movie introduces a much-needed but unique case to the story. The two lead roles are rival advocates advocating for their clients. It speaks from both sides, how the convict and acquitted have their rights and mistakes. The judge also plays an influential role. By the climax, we will come to know that judges in every case don’t necessarily depend upon how well the prosecution proceeds with enough evidence but also on the fact that it is highly dependent on the inclination of the judge.
Nna, Thaan Case Kodu
The best and the most realistic portrayal of Kerala courtrooms and judiciary is presented in this movie. Everything is extraordinarily natural, which makes this movie unique in all aspects. The character depiction and power positions of the judge, acquitted and convict are crystal clear like in many previous movies. But this movie exemplifies what the word “democracy” means and that’s what makes it special. The judicial system aids people and their rights and the two judges in this movie play their part perfectly.
This list is curated to show how the courtroom and judiciary representations in Malayalam movies have evolved over years. There can be a lot more to add too. If you think so, let us know in the comments.