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Kanoon (1960)

 -  Drama | Crime | Mystery
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 183 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

A lawyer holds the eyewitness evidence to catch a killer, but the identified criminal is the lawyer's own mentor, prospective father-in-law, and also the judge who presides over the case.

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Title: Kanoon (1960)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Rajendra Kumar ...
Advocate Kailash Khanna
Ashok Kumar ...
Judge Badri Prasad
Nanda ...
Meena Prasad
Nana Palsikar ...
Kaalia
Manmohan Krishna ...
Prosecuting Attorney
Mehmood ...
Vijay Prasad
Shashikala
Jeevan ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shubha Khote
Moolchand ...
Advocate
Jagdish Raj ...
Sub-Inspector Das
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Storyline

A young lawyer accidentally witnesses his prospective father-in-law, a respected judge, murdering a moneylender. A burglar who stumbles across the body is then arrested for the murder and is put on trial before the judge's court, leaving the lawyer with a moral dilemma. Thus giving rise to more burden on the story and a series of events to unfold the future. Written by gavin@sunny_deol2009@yahoo.com

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India's second no-song talkie. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A remarkably gripping tale that debates Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment has a marked prominence in the annals of all recorded history. There has been no civilization where this form of punishment has not been practiced. Be it the Greeks, or the Romans, or the Chinese- all had strict stipulations on human execution as a part of their code of law. Even major religions like Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism have permitted capital punishment for certain offenses. But despite all this, there has always been a serious debate on whether human execution is justified. It has always been argued whether justice is always just; most certainly there have been many recorded instances where apparently innocent have been executed. BR Chopra's 1960 movie Kanoon essentially debates and discusses this very pertinent issue of whether a human has got the right to take the life of another human, even if it is a means of enforcing punishment. Starring Ashok Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, and Nanda in principal roles along with some splendid lesser known actors essaying crucial roles, Kanoon is a resounding statement on the fallacies of human court of justice and on the inadequacies of the written law.

Kanoon is completely a director's film. It is an explosive subject and each and every scene shows the kind of efforts that would have gone in writing it. The dialogues are emphatic, the silences even more so. Most of the movies have one or two memorable scenes, but this one boasts of a series of such spectacular scenes that create a tremendous impact- right from the first scene, to the culmination of the drama. If one has to choose the most dramatic scenes, surprisingly a lot of them also come outside the court of law- behind the scenes of all the true drama. My vote would go to the interactions between the father and son in law post the murder, when Badri Prasad finds Kailash peeping into his private diary. Also the dialogue between the accused thief and his defendant Kailash is remarkably handled. There is also a superbly done slight side track when Meena starts suspecting Kailash of the murder, having absolutely just reasons for doing so. This delicate interplay of emotions between the protagonists is a delight to watch. The highpoint, though, as expected is the jaw-dropping climax, complete with the tense buildup and replete with an efficient disrobing of facts post the suspense is revealed.

The actors do more than a fine job, and show great dexterity despite the help they receive from the remarkable written material. I haven't seen much of Rajendra Kumar, but still can safely assume that this would be one of his best performances (most of the others I believe are in the sappy romantic space where he excelled and thus got knighted as the Jubilee Kumar). Ashok Kumar is truly amazing in his highly sinuous role. His effortless ease is hard to miss. Meena is slightly more than a typical Hindi movie heroine and gets good scope to leave a mark. There are no songs in the narrative, though it does boast of a finely choreographed ballet dance performance that blends seamlessly with the story.

Parting Note: Kanoon is simply a MUST WATCH for the people who love their court-room dramas, and also for those who like watching thrillers (though this is not a thriller in the conventional sense). What elevates it from being just an excellent film is its thought, and its purpose which it conveys in the most effective manner possible- through the route of a highly entertaining story.

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