Rishi Kapoor’s courtroom drama gets a thumbs up from the critics

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Titled Mulk, the courtroom drama has Taapsee Pannu, as a daughter-in-law and lawyer, defending Rishi Kapoor and Manoj Pahwa, her in-laws, from being wrongly accused of terrorism.

After Tum Bin 2, Anubhav Sinha has come out with a movie that battles against Islamophobia. Titled Mulk, the courtroom drama has Taapsee Pannu, as a daughter-in-law and lawyer, defending Rishi Kapoor and Manoj Pahwa, her in-laws, from being wrongly accused of terrorism. The first trailer of the film was praised by many and fans were looking forward to watching this drama. Mulk opened in theatres today and the reviews are out. Majority of the critics have loved the movie and here is what some of them had to say.

The Hindu praised the technical aspects of the film. They wrote, “Mulk holds immense promise right at the start as Sinha goes about capturing the culturally and communally concordant Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb of Varanasi, where Hindus may begin their mornings to the sound of aazaan, where a vegetarian Chaubey can eat kebabs on the sly at his Muslim neighbour’s home. Cinematographer Ewan Mulligan’s constantly moving camera shows the chaos of everyday life as well as the underlying sense of harmony.”
NDTV also praised the film, especially the lead actress. They wrote, “Taapsee Pannu is outstanding in the role of Murad Ali Mohammed’s Hindu daughter-in-law and lawyer. In a perfectly balanced performance, she conveys the anger and the anguish of an independent-spirited woman who is aghast at the way her entire family is put in the dock. The last quarter of the film hinges almost entirely on her. She carries the burden with aplomb, putting her Pink performance in the shade by a fair distance.”

Times of India noted that the first half was slow paced. They added, “Mulk throws light on how people fall prey to political agendas that intend to divide the country on the basis of ‘us’ vs ‘them’. Through the dialogue-heavy narrative, the film reiterates for the umpteenth time, that terrorism has no religion. However, the tonality of the film is far from subtle and the perspectives are presented vehemently in a manner that’s jarring and overbearing”
But Mumbai Mirror’s review was in stark polarity as they thought the first half was good. They wrote, “The first half of Mulk is crisp. Events unravel swiftly and unexpected turns manage to translate the tension, frustration and anxiety across the screen. But the second half is largely restricted to a courtroom procedural which is reduced to a tedious theatrical drama where every punchline is followed by a laughter track or so it seems.”

DNA also criticised the first half. They wrote, “The dialogue-dominated narrative vehemently continues to reiterate that terrorism has no religion and how a community should not be judged on the basis of one or a few people gone astray. While the first half is slow despite one thing leading to another, it’s the courtroom drama in the second half that sees the movie pick up the pace.”

Firstpost also liked Taapsee Pannu’s acting chops in the film. They said, “The makers deliberately sideline her in the first half to show that she has little involvement in the going-ons. But she is the lifeline of the second half, in the capacity a nervous yet resolute lawyer. She nails the scenes where she is supposed to be unsure of herself. But she is a revelation in the bits where she is supposed to be at her feisty best in the court.”
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