SKJ Bollywood News

ILLegal (Voot) Gets Into Legalese With Aplomb

ILLegal (Voot, 10 Episodes)

Starring Piyush Mishra, Neha Sharma, Akshay Oberoi, Satyadeep Mishra and Kubbra Sait

Directed  by Sahir Raza

Rating: ** ½

A  watchable  cast holding together a seriously flawed plot like  a group of Corona doctors  in an infected area, sees this reasonably gripping   though  flawed  series to its  finishing line.

Has there been any other series on the working  of  the legal system as seen through a legal firm? The  lack of ethics is  identifiable. Once I  had consulted a lawyer to  file  a defamation case. For  an hour of consultation  he asked for  Rs 20,000, and this was 13  years ago. The  legal eagles  in this series did not strike  me as particularly  committed  or  fiercely dedicated to be on the side of the truth.And that, I think is the correct  way to view  any high-profile profession in contemporary  times.

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Nobody is  in it for the sake of  the truth. This  rather  disturbing  premise  underlines  the  series as we  plunge into  high-profile  case   of  an affluent rape-accused.

Now  let’s pause here  for a very basic problem  in the plotting. The  whole  legal rigmarole involving a privileged rape-accused  brat is  rigorously reminiscent  of Ruchi Narain’s  recent Netflix film  Guilty.Here, the unknown actor who plays the wealthy rape-accused(no  information on credits, etc  available)  is  astonishing  in his arrogance, as he tells his  beautiful lawyer  Neha Sharma(why isn’t she  seen  more often?)  why  he doesn’t  “need”to rape any woman.

It’s  an admirably well crafted sequence with the  look  of ill-concealed disgust  on Neha  Sharma’s face  crystallizing all that we feel about  the  ‘boislockerrom’  brand  of ingrained misogyny  in  our society.

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Rather than exploring the  relationship between privilege  and  sexual violation the   plot in Illegal  goes  into serpentine subplots  including  a  major diversion about  a gritty Muslim woman in death row, played by an unrecognizable  and feisty  Kubbra Sait.

By the time  all  the characters  get into  top  gear nearly everyone is  biologically related to  everyone else , and not in a  very credible  or  intelligent way. It almost seems as  though  the  series  got off to  a well-heeled start and then  lost  momentum in pursuit  of  renewed  shock-affects  pounded  into the plot.

Still ,with its lineup of  likeable  actors  like Akshay Oberoi(looking dapper),Neha Sharma(looking lovely) , Piyush Mishra(looking affluent for a  change), Deepak Tijori(looking incurably dour)  and  Kitu Kidwani(looking  lost  in  what is unarguably her  stupidest role to  date)  this is not an entirely  unwatchable series unless  you are  looking for  something on  a par with Suits  or Legal Practice. In which case  you are in for a miserably high level of  disappointment.

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