Anupam Kher plays a judge-turned-executioner in the awkwardly titled One Day: Justice Delivered. Ashok Nanda’s Ranchi-set movie features Kher as Tyagi, a judge who has been compelled by poor evidence and hostile witness to exonerate people he knows are guilty. After he retires, Tyagi swaps his robes for an invisible superhero cape. Reasoning that delayed justice is better than denied justice, Tyagi goes on a kidnapping spree in the hope of forcing confessions out of the criminals. He traps a pair of doctors, a hotelier, and a mechanic and is on the verge of filling his basement with more victims until the law catches up with him.
One Day manages to push through its vigilante premise up until the moment when Crime Branch officer Laxmi (Esha Gupta) makes her grand entry. All attempts at seriousness over the movie’s larger themes fly out the window when Esha Gupta takes charge. Gupta has a grating Haryanvi accent, talks tough and acts even tougher. She keeps opening and shutting files, and pores over call data records to show that she means business. She is about as convincing as Anupam Kher as the smoothest criminal Ranchi has ever seen.
Kumud Mishra is his professional best as Sharma, a police officer who is slow on the uptake. The rest of the cast float around as Esha Gupta furrows her brow and gesticulates furiously. The ruling takes 124 minutes to be delivered, with frequent breaks for item songs. Where are the fast-track courts when we need them?