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The Trial Is A Shallow Skimpy Remake Of A Shallow Skimpy Series



The Trial(Disney+Hotstar, 8 Episodes)

Rating: **

It is  deeply saddening to see Kajol trapped  in a series that  does her no justice, although it is  all about bringing justice to the  wronged. Who more wronged than the  audience which is subjected to this kind of judicial  brutality , all the time  pretending to be  upholding the  cause of  female empowerment?

The  once powerful Kajol, now  sadly out of depth on the  OTT platform in Lust Stories  and now The Trial, plays Noyonika Sengupta, a lawyer with two very smart daughters(special praise for the two  young actresses who  steal  the show each time they are on screen) and disgraced  husband  who is in  jail for  demanding(and apparently getting)  sexual favours .

Jisshu Sengupta  a fine Bengali actor  is typecast in Bollywood as  the supportive/errant husband to top Bollywood stars, Rani  in Mardangi,Rani’s  cousin in this series which does no  justice to any of the actors.

Alyy Khan makes a  comeback as the protagonist’s love interest.He makes an interesting  over-the-hill toyboy. But  the  script doesn’t allow his character  to grown beyond the decorative. The  very talented Sheeba Chadha is reduced to a caricature of  the  ambitious career woman: short hair, aggressive  talk…I am not too sure whether  she smokes. She may have when I  dozed off intermittently while our  heroine Noyonika  “struggles” to keep  her head above water after her husband’s betrayal.

She  still  sees him, though, As  she tells one of her colleagues at the law firm, “We(women) are supposed to make the sacrifices, not them(the men).”

Noyonika  stills goes to meet  her  husband in jail.She  is  that rare breed none as the Alpha  Female . That she is played by Kajol should have been providential  for the series. Instead Kajol is  pretty much  disastrous  in her part: stoic when  required to be dramatic,looking  like  a nervous wreck in the courtroom even when  the  script takes her on  an endless winning streak.

Although she   returns to the  legal profession  after ten  years, she  keeps winning  every case  almost by rote. It’s as  though  she  was  a lucky gambler in a casino  rather than an unflappable  lawyer in a courtroom.

If  the  courtroom  sequences suffer from excessive hero-word-ship ,Noyonika’s  domestic sequences are no less  inauthentic. Noyonika’s ongoing conflict of  interest  with her mother-in-law(Bina Rai)  never fructifies into something substantial. In  staying  true to the  original(The Good Wife), The  Trial  hits the  ground  way too often to be taken seriously.


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