Who Will Judge The Judge?:
The first season of Your Honor (2020) was based on an Israeli series Kvodo, a fast-paced, emotion-charged show about a judge, who breaks some rules to save his son, whose car hit a biker.
Jimmy Sheirgill played Bishan Khosla with intensity, as his one lie to keep Abeer (Pulkit Makol) out of jail escalates into chaos and tragedy. Satnam, the man Abeer knocked down – intentionally as it turns out— is the nasty son of a gangster Satbir Mudki (Mahabir Bhullar). His younger son Harman (Kunj Anand), goes around in a rage, seeking revenge. The man (Varun Bhadola) who tried to help Khosla dispose of the car is killed, and his pregnant wife Indu’s (Richa Pallod) life is shattered. Other characters included Khosla’s mother-in-law (Suhasini Mulay) and a ferocious cop, Kiran Sekhon (Mita Vashisht).
Season 1 had a cast of good actors who delivered excellent performances; Season 2 (also on SonyLiv) gets some additions to the list. An honest man who made one mistake for the love of his son, finds his life spiraling out of control, as another gangster Gurjot Pannu (Gulshan Grover) and his “business partner”, the slinky Yashpreet (Mahie Gill) step in to blackmail the judge. Zeishan Qadri turns up as Jagda, who like his brother (Yashpal Sharma) in Season 1, has his eye on Indu, to be used as a bargaining chip with Khosla.
A strong foundation for the judge’s moral dilemma in this crime-cum-family drama was already laid, there is not much to add to it, though writer Ishan Trivedi and director E.Niwas go for dense plotting and, perhaps, too many characters.
Another problem comes up for Khosla, when he has to pass judgment in a dispute involving a godman (Anang Desai).
Khosla goes about looking harried as the walls close in on him. Besides the gangsters, cops and godmen causing him anguish, Indu also makes demands on him, and since he was guilty of getting her husband killed, he shame-facedly complies.
The series manages to keep the suspense and intrigue going, though it is not as compulsively watchable as Season 1. The Punjabi milieu with authentic language, the local vs outsider rivalry (the Bihari Pandit gang are fighting for their territory), the corruption embedded into the system, and that unbridled machismo is recreated well. The actors come to the rescue again, when the complicated drama gets too heavy.
In the first series, there was sympathy for Khosla and Abeer, because the dead Mudki was an all-round creep and menace to society. This time round, it feels like the judge painted himself into a corner, and deserves at least a bit of the sticky mess in which finds himself.
(This piece first appeared in seniorstoday.in)