Criminal Justice 2 : Behind Closed Doors, the follow-up season of Criminal Justice which aired in 2019 is now streaming on Disney Hotstar. This gritty courtroom drama directed by Rohan Sippy and Arjun Mukherjee has Kriti Kulhari in lead, and an impressive cast including Pankaj Tripathi, Jishu Sengupta, Mita Vashisht and Deepti Naval.
Criminal Justice 2 is a standalone series with no links with Season 1 except the lawyers Madhav Mishra (Pankaj Tripathi), Nikhat Hussain (Anupriya Goenka) and Mandira Mathur (Mita Vashisht)
Season starts with Anuradha Chandra (Kriti Kulhari) shown as depressed and distressed. One night she stabs her husband, a lawyer Bikram Chandra (Jishu Sengupta) in front of her 12 year old daughter and leaves the home.
The girl calls the police and after some time Anuradha surrenders herself to the police. Bikram dies in the hospital and Anuradha is sent to jail as the trials start. Anu accepts the charges against her but her lawyer Madhav Mishra thinks there is more than what meets the eye.
He along with his aide Nikhat Hussain (Anupriya Goenka) starts digging deep into what transpired and why Anuradha killed Bikram, if she had. The show goes on introducing some new characters of Deepti Naval, Shilpa Shukla which add a bit to the narrative.
There is a parallel plot of the lead investigating police couple Harsh (Ajeet Singh) and Gauri (Kalyanee Mulay), where the director explores how their personal life equations change as the investigation takes its course.
In the meantime how Anuradha manages to survive in the jail, what was the reason behind her stabbing of Bikram and what is the result of the court case is what Criminal Justice 2: Behind Closed Doors deals with.
Criminal Justice 2 is a show which has a very fine writing. It addresses a brave subject and sticks to the plot which is commendable. The show is a courtroom drama, in fact more of a relationship drama which moves on at a leisurely pace.
The cast works big time as it boasts of some very good actors with solid credentials who ever let the performances dip at any point during the course of the series. Kriti, Pankaj and even the supporting cast is terrific.
The scenes of Pankaj Tripathi with his wife bring the comic relief and warmth, whereas the ones between Harsh and Gauri showcase the underlying tensions beautifully.
The show also touches on a very sensitive topic mentioning the harsh truth – The Indian Penal Court does not have any punishment for Marital Rape, its not even recognised as a crime.
The show has very good production values and a very authentic setting unlike most of the shows nowadays, which add to the viewing experience.
The biggest minus point of Criminal Justice 2 is the length of the episodes. For a show which moves at a slow pace, long episodes can be a big turn off, which is the case here.
The show gives an impression of a thriller which is not the case and is a drag in the middle episodes before the proceedings pick up in the last 2 episodes.
Criminal Justice 2 has some power packed performances with Kriti Kulhari leading the pack as depressed Anuradha Chandra. She has been excellent in showcasing the plight of a helpless woman, mentally harrased, and worried for her daughter.
Pankaj Tripathi as Madhav Mishra is excellent as usual and Anupriya Goenka as his aide Nikhat Hussain supports him brilliantly.
Jishu Sengupta is good in his limited role and so are the rest of the supporting cast including Shilpa Shukla, Ashish Vidyarthi and Mita Vashisht. All have given the performances expected from them
Special mention to Kalyanee Muley and Ajeet Singh as Harsh and Gauri, who despite being the lesser known faces have given a noteworthy performance.
Last but not the least Khushboo Atrey as Ratna, Madhav Mishra’s wife brings some light moments to this otherwise very serious show.
All in all, Criminal Justice 2 : Behind Closed Doors is a nice watch. For people who like to see shows laden with good performances and are ok with a slight slow pace, this can be a very good watch.
For its performances, production values and a good plot the show deserves a watch. Only if the episodes were trimmed down to 30-35 minutes per episode this could have been a very gripping one which is the one thing it lacks.