Courtroom dramas have always captivated audiences, from popular shows like Suits and The Lincoln Lawyer to recent releases such as Banda starring Manoj Bajpayee. 

Now, Disney Plus Hotstar presents its new Indian Hindi web series, The Trial, featuring the acclaimed actress Kajol in her OTT debut.

Inspired by the highly regarded American series The Good Wife, which garnered numerous awards and nominations, The Trial spans eight episodes with a total runtime of approximately five hours. 

Let’s delve into the pros and cons of the series in my review.

The Trial Synopsis

When her husband is sent to jail for a shameful crime, Noyonika Sen Gupta is caught in a mess with her daughters. 

Image Credits: Disney Plus Hotstar

To get back to earning and getting her house in order, she returns to her life as a lawyer after a 10-year gap. The Trial focuses on her cases as a lawyer and the underlying personal issues.

Created by Suparn S Verma, The Trial stars Kajol (Noyonika), Jisshu Sengupta (Rajiv), Alyy Khan (Vishal), Sheeba Chadha (Malini), Kubra Sait (Sana), Gaurav Pandey (Dheeraj), Aseem Hattangadi (Ilyas), Atul Kumar (Daksh), Shruti Bhist (Ananya), Suhani Juneja (Anaira), and others.

It is based on The Good Wife, an American Series.

What Works for The Trial?

It sets a strong emotional backdrop from the start. We witness a woman, Noyonika Sen Gupta, trapped in the turmoil of her husband’s incarceration for a shameful crime. 

This premise immediately establishes a powerful connection with the audience, drawing us into the story and its characters.

Moreover, the series boasts an engaging storyline with interesting cases at its core. Surprisingly, the focus on media trials, which initially seemed like it could be a disaster, actually works well.

Furthermore, the inclusion of an investigative aspect behind the cases ensures that viewers always have something to ponder and analyze.

Image Credits: Disney Plus Hotstar

Another strength of The Trial lies in its conceptual execution. Courtroom hearings, whether in film or television, have an inherent allure, and this atmosphere is beautifully maintained in the series. 

The intense and gripping nature of the courtroom scenes keeps us invested, and the show effectively captures the tension and dynamics of the legal proceedings.

One more aspect that contributes to the series’ engagement is its well-crafted screenplay.

Throughout the show, viewers find themselves glued to the screen, particularly during Kajol’s scenes with her onscreen daughters. 

These moments evoke empathy for a family undergoing extreme stress, further enhancing the emotional depth of the narrative.

Moreover, the allure of the cases and investigations presented in The Trial is undeniable. They possess a compelling quality that hooks the audience, keeping us invested in the outcome of each legal battle. 

The blend of intriguing cases and personal dilemmas ensures a well-rounded viewing experience.

Is The Trial a Worthy Courtroom Drama?

Although there is always room for improvement, the core essence of the series remains sharp within the confines of the courtroom. 

The courtroom scenes are not melodramatized or superficially manipulated to achieve emotional outcomes, which is a refreshing departure from typical Indian creations.

Image Credits: Disney Plus Hotstar

Moreover, if you ask me whether The Trial is at par with The Good Wife, it is worth noting, that it does not quite reach the same level of nuance as its American counterpart. 

While the series stands on its own merits, those familiar with the original may find it slightly lacking in comparison. 

How are the Performances?

Kajol shimmers in her role as Noyonika, making a remarkable entry into the OTT landscape with her sparkling execution. 

Her expressions are a testament to her exceptional acting skills, and her inherent intensity adds an appealing layer to her character.

Interestingly, her husband, Ajay Devgn, also made his OTT debut with a show on Hotstar.

Jisshu Sengupta impresses as Rajiv, portraying a contained force within the show. I have mostly seen him in aggressive roles, and hence, to me, his portrayal of Rajiv demonstrates his versatility as an actor.

Alyy Khan delivers a commendable performance as Vishal, leaving a lasting impression on the audience. 

Image Credits: Disney Plus Hotstar

His display is captivating and adds depth to the character. By far, Alyy’s demeanor and composure are the best among the lot in The Trial. He brings a charm to the show, somehow.

Sheeba Chadha, the trendsetter, dispatches a smart and impactful stint in the role of Malini. 

Who doesn’t know about her acting prowess, still, she manages to surprise everybody with every new presentation.

Kubra Sait displays her adroitness as Sana in The Trial. She gets a long handle to play in the series and ensures to keep it engaging.

It’s her acting agility that made my day.

Atul Kumar stands out in the series as Daksh, drawing inspiration from real-life journalists in contemporary India. 

Image Credits: Disney Plus Hotstar

His outstanding portrayal captures the essence of a character whose reporting style can invoke strong emotions, effectively evoking a love-hate response from the viewers.

Gaurav Pandey delivers a solid performance as Dheeraj, offering an enjoyable presence in the series.

The young actors, Shruti Bhist as Ananya and Suhani Juneja as Anaira, are particularly noteworthy.

They perform with emotional restraint, showcasing maturity beyond their years, and adding a beautiful dimension to their characters.

What Doesn’t Work for The Trial?

Firstly, the inclusion of cases, the personal life struggles of the lead lawyer, and an agenda to oust the lawyer from the workplace are elements that have been explored numerous times in similar courtroom dramas. 

This lack of originality may make the series feel somewhat predictable or formulaic to viewers who are familiar with the genre.

Additionally, when adapting a well-known series like The Good Wife, it becomes crucial to bring a certain level of nuance to at least make it stand at par.

Unfortunately, The Trial struggles in this aspect.

Should You Stream or Skip The Trial?

The series is binge-able, without a doubt, and you can go for it.

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