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The Judgement movie review: Ravichandran’s courtroom drama is high on legalese and low on entertainment

Director Gururaj Kulkarni's courtroom drama is about a prosecutor realizing he's sent an innocent man to jail and then figuring out how to help free him. 

The Judgement movie review: Ravichandran’s courtroom drama is high on legalese and low on entertainment
V Ravichandran plays a prosecutor in The Judgement

Last Updated: 03.06 PM, May 24, 2024


The Judgement movie story: Investment banker Anil (Diganth) meets a client Roopa (Roopa Rayappa) to discuss a potential deal and soon enough, ends up becoming the primary suspect in her gruesome murder. A fast-track court is set up to ensure speedy disposal of justice and hot-shot lawyer Govind (Ravichandran) entrusted with the responsibility of putting the culprit away for good. He wins and gets Anil a 20-year-sentence, only to then find out that the youngster was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Judgement movie review: A show like Suits is not the mammoth hit it is for the legal drama in each episode – it’s more about the flamboyant characters and their interpersonal relationships. Audiences are not in it for the factually perfect legal points; they are there for the drama, the banter between lawyers, the demolition of witnesses, no matter how ludicrous it may seem.


This, I’d say, is the misstep in The Judgement, director Gururaj Kulkarni’s second directorial venture. The film is led by Crazy Star Ravichandran in what is pretty much a one-man show for the actor. He is Govind, the best lawyer in town, who doesn’t bat an eyelid when he’s presented a case based on circumstantial evidence. He makes it his mission to put away the man accused of rape and murder, and soon after, does an about turn, when he realizes something is amiss.

V Ravichandran plays a prosecutor in The Judgement
V Ravichandran plays a prosecutor in The Judgement

Now, if Govind was really as good as he’s made out to be, and given the barrage of juniors he is surrounded by, one would have thought that they’d do due diligence to destroy the defense, which should have thrown up some red flags. If he could so easily put two-and-two together and realize that there’s a bigger scam involved and that Anil was but an innocent pawn, one wonders why Govind had such tunnel vision at first.

In the first courtroom battle, Ravichandran is pitted against Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, in one of the most dignified lawyer roles. These sequences are nicely done, but the eventual verdict feels harsh and unreasonable, especially after a certain DNA analysis report. But then it had to be done, because, only then can Ravichandran, as Govind, get into damage repair mode. Yet again, his motivation in accepting he may have been wrong is flimsy.

Round two of the court drama brings in Balaji Manohar and this time, Ravichandran comes prepared. It is interesting how he uses a new case to connect it to the earlier one and get Anil acquitted, but the problem with this is just how much legalese is thrown at audiences. There’s just so much legal jargon and other case references thrown around that it becomes far from entertaining.

With so much focus on the courtroom proceedings, it’s the supporting cast that gets the raw end of the stick. Rangayana Raghu and Rekha Kudligi, as Diganth’s parents, were only asked to look distressed whenever the camera panned to them. It’s a shame that Rekha was reduced to a crying mess and nothing more. 

Going by the promotions of the film, one expected that Dhanya Ramkumar would have a substantial role at least in the second half, but that was not to be. Meghana Gaonkar, as Ravichandran’s wife, gets more screen time, but that is also not saying much. Besides the lack of an entertaining narrative, the biggest downer of The Judgement is its music and background score by Anoop Seelin. 

The Judgement movie verdict: If Gururaj Kulkarni’s The Judgement were a Bar Council exam, it would pass with flying colours. But then, there’s just so much legalese that it becomes a bit tiresome to sit through; it’s almost as if The Judgement is bordering on docu-drama than feature film.

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