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Your Honor review: Strong performances save this unevenly paced drama

Release Date: 18 Jun 2020


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Suyog Zore

Based on Israeli series Kvodo, Your Honor is the story of an honest judge who takes the law into his hands to save his only son from the consequences of a hit-and-run accident.

Your Honor starts out in a district court in Ludhiana, Punjab, where the judge Bishan Khosla (Jimmy Sheirgill) delivers a stay order on the demolition of a migrant colony. He politely accepts the applause from the crowd which hails him for his unbiased verdict. His track record proves the same. But as he is busy sermonising about upholding the law at any cost, his 18-year-old son Abeer (Pulkit Makol) runs down a man with his car and flees the scene, leaving the victim on the road to die. 

Directed by Eeshwar Niwas, Your Honor is a 12-part SonyLiv series adapted from the Israeli television series Kvodo. It's a story of an honest judge who takes the law into his hands in order to save his only son from a hit-and-run case. When Khosla realizes that the victim of Abeer's reckless driving is the son of dreaded gangster Satbir (Mahabir Bhullar), who will stop at nothing to find the culprit, he enlists the help of his friend and CRPF officer Kashi (Varun Badola). He devises a plan to save his son but things don't go according to plan.

The police and Satbir suspect the accident is an act of revenge from the opposing gang led by Pandit (Yashpal Sharma) and could trigger a gang war that would turn the city into a graveyard. Pandit is the leader of the migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, derogatorily addressed as 'Bhaiyya', who live on the city's outskirts and indulge in petty crime for survival. 

Investigating officer Kiran Sakhon (Mita Vashisht) walks a thin line as she does her duty as an honest police officer by trying to discover the culprit behind the accident, while also pacifying the gang lord and his hotheaded son Harnam (Kunj Anand), who is also conducting his own investigation. There is also a young lawyer played by Parul Gulati.

As this reviewer hasn't watched the original Israeli series, he is not sure whether Your Honor is a frame to frame replica of the original or there are some changes. Nevertheless, the series is set in Ludhiana and uses the milieu to its advantage. The average length of each episode is 35 minutes and each ends with Khosla being sucked further into a world of crime.  

Sheirgill does an excellent job of portraying a father who will go to any extent to protect his son. From a person who refuses to drive his car because he forgot to update the PUC, to a guy who has broken every law in the book, he undergoes a huge transformation over the 12 episodes and this is made believable by Shergill's understated performance.

The second-best performance comes from Vashisht. Her inspector Kiran is an old fox at the game and knows exactly which cards to hold and which to show. The actress gives an earnest performance and makes you root for her despite the grey shades to her character. The rest of the supporting cast, including Badola, Sharma and Kunj Anand deliver memorable performances, with Makol being the exception.

The writer is partly to blame for this. Makol's character is so stupid that it makes you wonder why his father is putting so much effort into protecting him. On the one hand, you have Khosla endangering his life and profession, while, on the other, you have the son who repeatedly does something to spoil the plan. He behaves like a seven-year-old child who doesn't understand the gravity of the situation. For example, in one of the scenes, he goes to the hospital where the injured criminal is kept on a ventilator, while the entire hospital floor is manned by the police and the gangsters, who are there to protect their leader. Also, Makol's one-note act fails to evoke any sympathy.

The uneven pacing is another drawback of the show. After the initial four episodes, where the show holds your attention by revealing the complexities of the judicial system and asking you morally complex questions, it suddenly introduces various subplots that don't go anywhere. For instance, the subplot of Abeer and his sports teacher, who he seems to have a crush on. The showrunners could have easily done away with that subplot and the show would still have had the same impact.

There is another subplot that initially shows some promise, but is abruptly cut short mid-season. But it gets back on track after episode seven. On many occasions, logic seems to take a backseat. With the show being rooted in reality, these illogical sequences don't gel well with the otherwise realistic approach of the show.

Overall, Your Honor is a mixed bag. It has some excellent performances by Sheirgill and the supporting cast, but fails to hold your attention because of the uneven pacing, some illogical scenes and the one-note performance by Makol.

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