I had high hopes from this new Amazon Prime video series. The trailer looked interesting. It actually reminded me of Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti’s Made In Heaven. But..!
Unfortunately, it’s nowhere close to Made In Heaven. No, I am not comparing it story or plot wise but other factors like writing, direction, and performance, that make any show a hit.
Guilty Minds opens every episode with a new case that either the male protagonist, Deepak Rana or the female protagonist, Kashaf Quaze is fighting. In the third scenario, they are fighting against each other. Kashaf Quaze, her business partner – Vandana, and Deepak Rana are old friends. Where Vandana is in a live-in relationship with Sunanda Bose, Deepak Rana likes Kashaf Quaze. For a reason made clear only in the later part of the show, Kashaf, though likes Deepak, behaves as if she is not romantically attracted to the guy.
Deepak, till Kashaf fights her demons and finally accepts that she loves him, starts sleeping with his junior, Shubhangi Khanna, who is the daughter of his boss. Basically, Varun Mitra as Deepak Rana is a decent, white-collar chapri and this guy has done complete justice to the character’s chapriness.
One of the main cases that these characters are personally dealing with is a friend’s (Ratan) murder who has been committed by their close friend’s father. As the lawyers come to know about the real culprit, they decide to trap him.
Now, talking about the show, as mentioned before, every episode focuses on a case that these lawyers are fighting. While the first case is of #MeToo, second is of an open and shut murder case, third is against a cola company that is said to be causing drought in the village, and so on.
All the cases truly were independent stories that needed the writer/director’s undivided attention. But that is what is exactly missing here. I guess that is why it is better to not write a story ‘in a team.’ As they say, ‘too many cooks spoil the broth.’ No argument in the court seems to be solid or even complete for that matter. In almost every episode, whenever the lawyers stand in the court to fight the case, the arguments end as soon as they begin. It felt like the makers just wanted the court and law to be the backdrop of the series. He/She never intended to write a legal drama. It just accidentally happened.
Guilty Minds would have been an excellent show if the writers would have focussed on how lawyers, together with the judges or the media, manipulate the cases for their vested interest. Though this angle is present in the show, they haven’t highlighted it. And what they have highlighted doesn’t work in the show’s favour. For example, the show has put Kashaf’s strong character traits under spotlight – again and again. In the very first episode, you get to know that character inside out. She is the typical Balaji Telefilms heroine who wants to see only white and no grey in another person. Even if anyone does anything wrong in the family, it doesn’t go down well with her. But when she fights the open and shut murder case for Pratik in the second episode, Finisher, you just don’t understand why is she defending the guy? No matter what age he is, no matter who influenced him, if he has committed a murder in his senses, he should be punished. At places, it feels like the writer never understood Kashaf’s character. And hence, what we saw in the series, Guilty Minds, wasn’t a strong-willed lady but a confused lawyer who, most of the time, doesn’t even know whom to defend, what to defend, and how to defend.
I hope the next season will be written by just one writer so that he/she knows in what direction the show is going.
So now the question is, should you watch Guilty Minds? Yes, because if it starts to bore you, you can always change the channel.
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Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video