You know why people quit television and theatres? Because they stopped telling stories. Television’s golden era will always be Doordarshan days – Mahabharat, Malgudi Days, Fauji, and so many more. Even today, Gullak and Panchayat are loved because they are bringing back these golden days. Their focus is on storytelling, not writing movies or series to give work to star kids or celebrities who absolutely cannot act.
The Trial Period took me to pre-covid days when OTT meant new concepts and fearless storytelling – Yeh ballet, Jamtara, Badnaam Gali, and many more. Not all web series and movies became hits (there are different contributing factors here like budget, marketing, and awareness), but the ones who watched them, the stories stayed with them. Genelia DSouza and Manav Kaul’s Trial Period belongs to this category of OTT cinema. It is not an entirely new story but it is still an adorable film.
Trial Period tells you a story of a single mother who is struggling to find balance between work and home life. Though she is managing her kid and works well, there are things that are just not falling in place for the two of them. While the kid is being bullied in the school and is unable to tell it to his mother, she is trying hard to raise him well and at the same time, give him a good life. But his miserable school life makes him demand a father. Since he is always watching a show similar to Asian Sky Shop with the neighbours, he thinks it’s a good idea to get a dad home on a trial period. Reason? The adults are trying to convince him that fathers are not good people so it’s ok if they don’t have one.
Understanding her child’s ordeal, Ana (Genelia DSouza) decides to hire a father for 30-days. His duties would be to make the child hate him and the concept of Dad. They bring home Manav Kaul, an educated but unemployed man waiting to get a right job. He wants to become a History professor. Till he gets a home, he lives in his uncle’s (Gajraj Rao) office. As the opportunity to become a father for 30-days comes his way, Gajraj Rao convinces him to take it as the job offers accommodation and food.
Now, from here, the story gets predictable yet it won’t bore you or want to make you change the channel. Thanks to the ‘overloaded with cuteness,’ Manav Kaul. His honesty and loyalty to the character made this predictable story stand out. I don’t mean that others were not good. They all made it a good film to watch but if the male lead wouldn’t have been a good actor, it could have fallen flat.
Trial Period could also have had layers where the audience is taken on an emotional ride but the makers decided to keep it light and I loved that. There should be movies that are made purely to entertain their audience without compromising on the story. You won’t sit there shedding tears seeing a single mother’s struggle or the child being beaten up by other kids. It doesn’t even portray Manav Kaul as a hero doing all the heroic acts that impresses Genelia or the child. He is a simple man who completes the family. His character is nothing but a missing piece that perfectly fits in bringing much needed respite in the mother and son’s lives.
Kudos to the writer and director, Aleya Sen for giving us a simple, feel good film like Trial Period in times of Bawaal.
P.S: Trial Period is streaming FREE on Jio Cinema