Hotstar Specials recently announced the highly-anticipated next chapter of the popular franchise Criminal Justice titled Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors. Pankaj Tripathi is returning to portray the role of lawyer Madhav Mishra, who is fighting the toughest case of his career. The prime accused Anu Chandra, portrayed by Kirti Kulhari, has confessed to stabbing her husband, an eminent lawyer - Bikram Chandra and is guilty in the eyes of law. While many believe it to be an open-and-shut case, Anu’s subsequent silence and unwillingness to defend herself begs the question - is there more to the case than what meets the eye?
Produced by Applause Entertainment in association with BBC Studios, this 8-part courtroom drama series has been directed by Bollywood’s Rohan Sippy, Arjun Mukerjee and written by Apurva Asrani; and is set to launch on 24th December 2020 in 7 languages on Disney+ Hotstar VIP. Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors is one of the few stories in India to showcase the life and ordeal of women in prison.
Revealing what went into making Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors, Rohan Sippy and Arjun Mukerjee shared their experiences.
On continuing Madhav Mishra’s character played by Pankaj Tripathi
Rohan Sippy said “I think that the cast is perfect. One of the great creative decisions was to continue the character that Pankaj Tripathi is playing which is not the case in the original British show. But here, we decided to continue that, and I think it’s one of the strengths of the show to have him at the heart of it.”
Speaking to real-life lawyers for research
Rohan Sippy added “The research was done speaking to lawyers – both before we set out to write the show and even once we had started writing. Dialogues were also run by lawyers to make sure that we get the nuances right and also explore the legal side so we can maximize the drama in the show. This was also very important because the original show was set in the British legal system which had a jury and that had to be changed a lot because we don’t have that system here, so that was a very challenging part of the process which Apurva and the creative team handled well.”
Recreating women’s prison on screen
Arjun Mukerjee: “Designing the prison set was a little difficult because it is almost impossible to get references and actual footage or shots of a prison. So, some of the production crew members went to a women’s prison and tried to get in some areas, spoke to the warden, etc. It was a difficult job and our team did really well to create a very atmospheric and large space for us to work in. The realness of the prison also helped me and Rohan, and obviously the actors, to get into the skin of the role, feel the atmosphere and the darkness in the hard conditions, so that was fun.”
Entire season was shot in 2 months
Rohan Sippy: “Total number of days for the season’s shoot was somewhere close to about 60-70 days. We shot at three different locations, the women prison, police station which is always a central part of any crime show and the last one being Anu Chandra’s house where she and her family are living. But, while filming this series, our sole idea was to showcase how a woman from her beautiful and sophisticated world is thrown into the prison, something completely hostile and alien to her. While there were other locations too, these three locations are the heart of the show and will create the mood.”
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