“For a long time I’ve wanted to compile a list of films about the Indian judicial system (I must admit I’ve watched very few). If people have any such lists they would like to share in the comment section I would love to hear about them. If there is enough of a response I’ll then compile them in the body of the post or create a new post. These movies don’t have to be realistic depictions, but just films that center around the judicial system, or critiques of it, like the drama ‘No One Killed Jessica Lal’ or the comedy ‘Jolly LLB’.”
– Nick Robinson, Law and Other Things, 03/05/2015.
This must qualify as the Other thing – Bolly Book by Diptakriti Chaudhuri is excellent. Here is a list from the book (See, pgs. 130-135):
- Awara (1951, dir. Raj Kapoor)
- Kanoon (1960, dir. B.R. Chopra)
- Waqt (1965, dir. Yash Chopta)
- Aakrosh (1980, dir. Govind Nihalani)
- Dostana (1980, dir. Raj Khosla)
- Khud-daar (1982, dir. Ravi Tandon)
- Meri Jung (1985, dir. Subhash Ghai)
- Damini (1993, dir. Rajkumar Santoshi)
- Veer Zara (2004, dir. Yash Chopra).
Of these, Khud-daar seems the most interesting. “A senior lawyer is elevated to a judgeship. In the very first case he presides over, his brother is the accused facing the death penalty for murder – except that the judge does not know it. But he suspects that something is amiss since he knows the accused to be a good guy. He investigates the case on his own (yes, while the trial is on) and comes back as a lawyer to defend his brother. Sanjeev Kumar played the lawyer-turned-judge-turned-lawyer, defending Amitabh Bachchan.”
A few from my lists:
- Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962, dir. Shankar Mukherjee)
- Mera Saaya (1966, dir. Raj Khosala)
- Insaaf Ka Taarazu (1980, dir. B.R. Chopra)
- Ek Ruka Hua Faisla (1989, dir. Basu Chatterjee)
- Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005, dir. Jahnu Barua)
- Shaurya (2008, dir. Samar Khan)
- Guzaarish (2010, dir. Sanjay Leela Bhansali)
- Oh My God (2012, dir. Umesh Shukla)
- Shahid (2013, dir. Hansal Mehta).
It is true that several of these movies are lawyer-centric. But you shall learn something about the Judges from each one. In Shaurya, for instance, the Judge in a Court Martial Proceeding is said to be a Golfer! Personal habits of a Judge are indeed no less important in tracing the history of the Indian Judicial System.
And since the Indian Judicial System is still populated by Eminent Personalities from before, do see The Zoo (1967, dir. Satyajit Ray) – a Byomkesh Bakshi movie. The mystery involves a Retired Judge who has “social outcasts” tending to a Rose Colony he owns on the outskirts of Calcutta.