Indian Predator: Murder in a Courtroom review: A well-researched peek into a shocking incident and vigilante justice
What: Indian Predator: Murder in a Courtroom - In August 2004, around 50 women carrying deadly weapons violently lynched a notorious criminal outside the courtroom where he was under trial. It was in retaliation to the decade long torture and brutality meted out on them by the lecherous and immoral man, who went by the name Bharat Kalicharan Yadav aka Akku Yadav.
Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni's 3-episode crime documentary 'Murder in a Courtroom' is the third installment in the Indian Predator trilogy and delves into the shocking incident that sent ripples across the nation and examines the mob psychology behind the vigilante justice.
Akku's character is built through a series of interviews of people who knew him and also his friends. And then is an array of experiences narrated by the women who faced his atrocities. Kulkarni conjures a gritty and thought-provoking atmosphere with the visceral narrations and engaging enactments coupled with somber music.
Happy Kalizpuria as Akku is reasonably good. He conveys menace without any words. In fact, none of those enactment contain any dialogue. It's all slow motion. Akku, as told in the documentary, had deep sunken eyes, formidable physique and a good height with fair complexion. It's a tricky thing to engross the viewer without any graphic dramatization which director Sarthak Dasgupta could leverage in his 2021 film, 200 Halla Ho! But Kulkarni's depiction of violence is only through narrations. Which is also problematic as it gets tedious with the same set of people seen in front of the camera.
Akku preyed upon the Dalit women. He molested and raped them routinely and regularly. He is described as a pervert and sex addict. The women break into tears while recounting those traumatic experiences. It's pretty unsettling and disturbing. It is that marginalized section of the oppressed society who lost faith in the legal system and had to resort to such a violent act. Though their retaliation disregarded the police and law machinery, it was an avenging assault to the years of tyranny of the demon.
I go with 3 stars out of 5 for Murder in a Courtroom. It deserves a watch for the diligence and ardour poured in.
The series is streaming on Netflix
Also watch Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi director Ayesha Sood in conversation with Cineblues