The Trial Review: When The Protagonist Is So Poorly Written And The Performance of the Leading Lady Is That Bad, The Show Is Destined To Be Doomed

Kajol’s latest web series, The Trial, said to be a remake of The Good Wife reminds me of Anatomy of a Scandal. So, if you have any of the two later mentioned shows, you can save yourself from the trauma and skip this Hindi version of two repetitive American shows. 

Courtroom dramas are becoming monotonous and boring. These shows tell the same stories, flaunt the same fake intelligence and attitude, and carry the same vibe. From lighting to the way these characters talk, it’s all just the same. 

When we speak of Indian courtroom dramas, the only ones that are worthy of your time are Arshad Warsi’s Jolly LLB and Manoj Bajpayee’s Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai

Coming back to The Trial, I have a problem with Kajol’s character, Noyonika Sengupta here. I don’t understand what the writers wanted her character to exactly be – an innocent and loving housewife, a doting mother, a struggling bichari/a strong independent woman, or an intelligent lawyer? Because she was none in the show. Noyonika is a loosely written character with traits not shown, but told to the audience which makes The Trial a weak narrative. Since this web series revolves around Noyonika Sengupta and her journey of returning to the court to save her family from the testing times, her character goes through all the emotions a human can experience in a lifetime. Let’s talk about the story here so that I get a chance to give you a clear picture about what is wrong with Noyonika Sengupta. 

The Trial Story

Noyonika Sengupta is living a happy life with her family when one day a sex tape of her husband who is a judge and also an influential personality is run on TV by leading news channels. He immediately confesses to his wife that he is guilty of the crime. Now, we come to know this much later in the show, but you please note this down. The woman with whom Kajol’s husband, Rajiv Sengupta (played by Jisshu Sengupta) is caught is the underworld don’s girlfriend. But….

After Rajiv is put behind the bars, Noyonika’s struggles begin. The accounts are now frozen and the only earning member is in the prison so she moves to a smaller apartment with her kids. The next challenge is to start earning so that the school fees and other expenses are taken care of. Noyonika then reaches out to her old friend, Vishal (played by Alyy Khan) for a lawyer’s vacancy. He recruits her as a junior lawyer on probation. Her only competition in the firm is another junior lawyer who is on probation, Dheeraj (played by Gaurav Pandey). Now, after probation, based on the performance, one lawyer will get permanent employment in the firm. 

On the very day, Noyonika Sengupta is asked to assist a senior lawyer who is also the co-founder of this law firm, Malini (played by Sheeba Chaddha). While Malini cannot attend the case herself, she asks Noyonika to request some time in the court. As the opposing counsel asks for the extension of custody as that is the only scenario here, Noyonika immediately shuffles the pages in the file and gets her client bail which was earlier denied. On what basis? Lack of evidence! I wonder if the senior lawyer never thought of it. Thanks to this bail, the client hands over the case to Noyonika which angers Malini. 

This junior lawyer then gets an assistant who is not the employee of the law firm. Come into the picture, Sana Shaikh (played by Kubbra Sait) whose only job was to show some unnecessary attitude and try to act smart [read: oversmart]. 

As Noyonika, with Sana’s help, fights further cases, Sana, who is a tough nut, becomes Noyonika’s advisor and confidant. She wants her to reconcile with her husband so that she stays protected at home and also away from the ugly world of law. Point to be noted, My Lord, Noyonika is said to be one of the top lawyers of her times. She quit the profession after marrying Rajiv which means she knows how to play dirty. Then why was she portrayed innocent and naive? Anyway, as the story progresses, we see everyone trying to protect this innocent lady from… God knows what? 

Noyonika, a junior lawyer, who has recently been recruited by the firm and is still on probation, is then seen handling all the cases single-handedly with the help of her assistant. 

Anyway, here is what happens to Rajiv Sengupta because the story, eventually, comes to the husband and wife – the betrayal, manipulation, and the politics in their relationship. Being the Indian Good Wife, Noyonika does all things dirty to make sure that her husband gets out and stays out of jail. Like what we first saw in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Page 3, the show never ends, as Rajiv, after coming out of jail, plans to get into politics so that he never gets into trouble anymore. 

On the other hand, we see Noyonika getting close to Vishal. While she supports her husband, she also asks Vishal what is his next plan after he confesses his feelings to her. Does that mean, if he chalks out a plan, this good wife who supported her husband and did everything illegal to save his ass, wants to start a new life with someone else? 

How Did The Trial End? 

While Dheeraj is about to get permanent employment in the firm, Noyonika’s husband’s case makes Malini give her an offer. Since Rajiv’s case gave the law firm all the media attention and the required publicity, Malini asks Noyonika to use her contacts to bring more high profile cases and business to the firm. As she agrees, Dheeraj is shown the way out of the company while Noyonika gets the permanent position. 

Rajiv starts a political party of his own and shows the world that everything is well between him and his wife. On the other hand, the wife is planning an extra-marital affair. There is a twist here…

Noyonika hands over her phone to Rajiv’s close and super influential friend, Illyas while she steps onto the podium with her husband to show the world that she still supports him. This is when Vishal sends her a voice message with a plan. You know what must have happened next. Illyas hears it, Noyonika doesn’t. 

As The Trial ends here, we know there’s Season 2 in the making. The story has just begun and with that, we should say ‘RIP GOOD CONTENT’ as OTT is now all about business and no one cares about stories anymore. This shit is all we are gonna get. Be prepared for OTT’s doomsday. 

Streaming On: Disney+ Hotstar

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