It’s been a long time since we had a bewildering courtroom drama show in India. We have had enough movies, but an entire series is pretty rare. I can only remember Illegal starring Neha Sharma to be fulfilling that criterion.
Speaking of courtroom fiction, Amazon Prime Video is now streaming a new Indian series, Guilty Minds. It deals with lawyers and the dilemma of choosing between right and wrong. Though the show has several positive things, here’s my review with a detailed analysis.
Guilty Minds Review Summary
The Amazon show has a lot to offer on the platter, but the question here is whether the audience is ready to consume all of it together. The story is well-pitched, the characters are beautifully placed, and the narrative is fantastic too.
However, its length might not be liked by many among the audiences. Should you watch it or not is up to you but keep reading my Guilty Minds review to know more about the show’s capabilities.
Guilty Minds Season 1 Synopsis
Directed by Shefali Bhushan and co-directed by Jayant Digambar, Guilty Minds is a legal drama about a virtuous family, including a Supreme Court judge and his lawyer daughter, and a law firm, dealing with shades of gray.
The show stars Shriya Pilgaonkar (Kashaf Quaze), Varun Mitra (Deepak Rana), Namrata Sheth (Shubhangi Khanna), and Sugandha Garg (Vandana) in lead roles. It also takes the services of veteran actors like Kulbhushan Kharbanda (L N Khanna) and Satish Kaushik (Tejinder Bhalla).
The story revolves explicitly around lawyers, Deepak Rana and Kashaf Quaze. While Deepak works for the law firm, Khanna and Khanna Associates, Kashaf practices independently, along with Vandana. Interestingly, all three are college mates.
Both Kashaf and Deepak are against each other in a bitter-sweet manner in some or the other way. Through their characters, Guilty Minds explores several shades of the profession and tries to put the audience in contrasting situations.
What Works for Guilty Minds Season 1?
Overall, the show is pretty good, but it does suffer from some issues that we will discuss later. Here’s what works in its favor.
The Court Cases
Guilty Minds, in essence, is about lawyers fighting their cases both in and out of the courtroom. There are mental demons, professional rivalries, personal issues, and whatnot. Moreover, they have to fulfil their commitment to the client.
Out of all that’s there, you’d be most invested in the cases, both civil and criminal, that come to the fore. Guilty Minds aces this aspect perfectly.
From the gruesome impact of video games and the perils of having driverless cars to the issue of plagiarism and IVF, the makers leave nothing from the contemporary world.
As soon as the first episode ends, you realize this one will test your instincts and righteousness. Guilty Minds sows the seeds of confusion in the minds of the audience and pushes them into conflict situations. What’s right according to human values is sometimes against the law and vice versa.
You would even doubt the judge’s intellect when thinking instantaneously. Moreover, the show also explores the contours of a lawyer’s job while defending their clients.
There are a lot of characters that enter and exit the script throughout the runtime. They all do a spectacular job, right from Karishma Tanna to Shakti Kapoor. However, the lead actors, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Varun Mitra, Namrata Sheth, and Sugandha Garg, perfectly power the script to a conclusion.
Shriya Pilgaonkar, as Kashaf Quaze, is a lawyer who stands for what is morally right. The actor is already a star though hugely underrated.
Her dialogue delivery, screen presence, and the characteristic one-corner smile are factors that make her stand apart from others. Pilgaonkar is a magnificent performer, and she knows how to be consistently formidable.
Varun Mitra enhances the style quotient of Guilty Minds. He plays Deepak Rana and adds a personified touch to the character. Varun is effervescent as a ‘rags to riches mountain guy’ who would rather spend his spare time in a pool than go trekking because that’s not a regular thing for him.
I particularly loved the chemistry both Varun and Shriya retained throughout the 10 episodes. Sometimes, the lead pair is charming but only up to a point. To carry that bonhomie for almost 9 hours is laudable. That too, despite them not being in a relationship.
Namrata Sheth is sweet and has a cute accent to complement her soft voice. I have mostly seen her playing roles that have a tinge of negativity to them. However, she is more on the incorruptible side of things in Guilty Minds.
There’s Sugandha Garg, who plays Vandana. She is bold, empathetic, shrewd, likes taking on challenges, and is an in-depth information crawler. Moreover, through her same-sex relationship, the makers try to reflect on another dimension of social importance.
Furthermore, stellar actors like Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Satish Kaushik deliver crisp and treat-worthy performances. Kaushik seems to be in the negative-character mode these days since he portrayed a gangster in the recently released Bloody Brothers. Nevertheless, the veteran artist is pure gold.
Style and Charm
Though Guilty Minds is mainly about lawyers fighting cases, it also has a noteworthy style quotient. What makes things interesting is the contrasting lifestyles of those in the black suit. There’s a scene in the series where a lawyer gets ready in his personal vanity van, which is particularly new for me.
On the other hand, there are also scenes showing the infrastructural deficiency of Indian courts. A fun takeaway is even if you are the wealthiest lawyer, you have to step into a courtroom that’s appalling from the outset. Never forget your roots, they say!
These days, no movie or series runs a solo narrative on the screen. Guilty Minds is also similar in that aspect. You get to witness, at least, two stories at a time and, in rare circumstances, even more than that.
Though it could have made the show too convoluted, the varying narrative keeps you engaged. All the credit goes to the writers and directors of the series.
The plot of Guilty Minds is not superficial, which works in its favor. On many occasions, we have seen in courtroom dramas that the makers eventually mold the judgment to suit popular beliefs. That doesn’t hold true for Guilty Minds.
The writers of the show keep things raw and honest and allow the dust to settle. Such a setting makes it more believable and relatable for viewers.
What Doesn’t Work for Guilty Minds Season 1?
If you’ve been following my reviews, you must have noticed them being on time. But with Guilty Minds, I am almost four days late. Why? You’ll know.
A Little too Long
Yes, this is it. Guilty Minds is almost a nine-hour affair, which works as a hurdle for those who believe in completing a series in one sitting.
Maybe, Amazon could have gone for a weekly release, and since all the episodes contain a new story, the question of losing the flow wouldn’t have arisen. Nevertheless, the show does have a gluing plot, so you would not get yawners.
Some Loose Ends
When it’s about technical things like law and police investigations, you need to cover everything. Mostly, Guilty Minds succeeds in doing that, but there are intermittent loopholes. There’s an incident when the Supreme Court announces a judgment based on news reports.
It doesn’t ask the eyewitness to testify under oath or in front of officials. The country’s highest court assumes news reports to be true and uses them as a precursor for a judgment. It doesn’t make add up.
Lack of Music
If there’s a season two of Guilty Minds, I sincerely request the makers to infuse some more melodies in the series. There were numerous situations where a song in the background would have worked wonders for Guilty Minds. Instead, a lack of it makes things lame.
A touch of softness with the right chords was necessary to push through the stretched runtime.
Frequently Asked Queries (FAQs)
*The following section might contain spoilers*
Will there be Guilty Minds season 2?
Though there’s no official announcement yet, I am pretty much sure that Guilty Minds season 2 will happen. This is because the show has a never-ending plot. You can keep on having cases, provoke a professional rivalry, and infuse any other element into it. All doors are open.
Guilty Minds Season 1 Ending Explained
In the final moments of the show, we see the Bhalla case getting reopened, which means the second season would showcase the repercussions of this event on Deepak Rana’s career. Since he had given the lead to Ria Singh, if she discloses his name, Deepak would be in big trouble from left, right, and center.
On the other hand, Deepak reveals to Kashaf that he was the one who leaked the Scam Trail news. Kashaf is furious upon hearing this, and their relationship has almost fallen apart even before starting.
Shivangi Khanna is also heartbroken when Deepak fails to meet her for dinner. In her mind, she did everything for him, but he hardly reciprocated. She will probably give a tough time to Deepak in season two, showing her negative side.
Khanna and Khanna Associate might go through turmoil in the next season since Bhalla had threatened Deepak to pull all his business relations from their firm if he fails to conclude the case.
Imagine what will Shubhrat do if his girlfriend, Ria Singh, tells him the truth and reveals the name of her source. As I mentioned earlier, all gates are open for a potential Guilty Minds season 2.