Review Hindi

Guilty Minds review: Promising legal drama that slips into inconsistency

Release Date: 22 Apr 2022 / Rated: A


Cinestaan Rating

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Keyur Seta

The casting and performances are on point with Shriya Pilgaonkar shining throughout as young lawyer Kashaf.

Amazon Prime Video’s legal drama Guilty Minds is the story of two lawyers Kashaf (Shriya Pilgaonkar) and Deepak (Varun Mitra) in Delhi. Though they are close friends who have known each other since their law college days, they are on opposite sides at work.

While Deepak is a partner at Khanna and Khanna Associates, headed by the hugely experienced lawyer Khanna (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), Kashaf runs a small law firm with another college friend Vandana (Sugandha Garg). Though Deepak and Kashaf usually contest cases against each other, they are thoroughly professional about it.

But somewhere along the way, the cases they take up and their relationships, with each other and with others around them, start making life difficult for both.

As far as the Hindi web world is concerned, there have been two mainstream legal dramas so far, with both going into the second season — Criminal Justice and Illegal. Guilty Minds displays similarities with the second season of Illegal as far as the three pivotal characters are concerned.

Just like in Season 2 of the Neha Sharma-starrer, this web-series has two opposing lawyers who share a strange relationship with each other. The male lawyer works with a rich law firm headed by a senior advocate. Plus, the female lawyer is pitted against the head of the rich firm.

Varun Mitra

But when it comes to the story, sub-plots and the cases they fight, Guilty Minds builds a place of its own.

The court proceedings explored here are not as real as in Chaitanya Tamhane’s acclaimed Marathi movie Court (2015). But they do steer clear of being typically filmi. Guilty Minds finds a middle ground where the proceedings are kept realistic but interesting enough at the same time to hold a mainstream audience.

Directed by Shefali Bhushan, the show hooks the viewer at the start with one interesting case after another. From the rape of an actress to music plagiarism to a couple suing an IVF (in vitro fertilization) firm, the cases are diverse and bring a novelty factor to each of the initial episodes. The court scenes are also entertaining.

The casting and the performances of the artistes portraying lawyers deserve appreciation. Shriya Pilgaonkar shines consistently as Kashaf. Her emotions and expressions, be it in court or outside, never lower the bar. Varun Mitra matches up to her and delivers an impressive performance as a flamboyant and cunning lawyer with a good heart.

Sugandha Garg and Shriya Pilgaonkar

Sugandha Garg, too, is one of the stars of the show with a dedicated act. Namrata Sheth plays Khanna’s granddaughter Shubhangi. She fits the character of an inexperienced lawyer who gradually matures as the show progresses. Kulbhushan Kharbanda might not have a lengthy role, but he makes an impact every time he appears on the screen. Pranay Pachauri, as Khanna’s son, is confident. The veteran Satish Kaushik is remarkable too. 

With the show riding high on such positives, it feels sad to see it go all over the place after around the sixth episode. The personal lives of the lawyers start getting more prominence while the cases at hand also become too complicated and convoluted for the ordinary viewer with too many turns.

These two flaws are also responsible for stretching the show too far. Guilty Minds certainly did not have to be a show with 10 episodes, each of around 45 minutes.

Towards the end, the makers drop a subtle hint about a possible second season. If they do come up with one, we hope it’s less complicated.

Guilty Minds is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

 

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