Kajol, one of India’s best-loved actors, stars in Disney+ Hotstar series “The Trial – Pyaar, Kaanoon, Dhokha,” the Indian adaptation of CBS series “The Good Wife.”
The courtroom drama sees Kajol star as Noyonika Sengupta, a housewife who is forced to return to work as a lawyer after her husband’s public scandal puts him behind bars. Produced by Banijay Asia and Ajay Devgn FFilms, “The Trial” is directed by Suparn S. Varma (“Rana Naidu”).
Kajol is a huge fan of “The Good Wife.” “I loved the characters, I love the whole show, I binge watched it,” Kajol told Variety. Noyonika is the Alicia role that Julianna Margulies played in the original.
Unlike the U.S., India does not have a trial by jury system. That changes the judicial process depicted and the storytelling in the adaptation, Kajol explained.
“The culture of India is completely different. The pressure is different. If something happens in a woman’s life – whether the husband has the affair or the husband dies, the woman is shamed and the woman is blamed for it. And that is society’s perception of it,” Kajol said. “So that in itself changes Noyonika’s character from Alicia in 100 different ways, her reactions, the way she behaves, what she thinks, what she says – they’re all completely different. I would say it’s a very nicely put adaptation, but it’s not scene-for-scene identical.”
On her character, Kajol added: “She has to build herself up all the way from the bottom where work is concerned and where family life, social pressure and family pressures are concerned. Noyonika is pretty much all women. Noyonika is a woman that any woman would understand and sympathize with.”
Keeping things realistic was a priority during production. To this end, lawyer Priyanka Khimani and a team from Khimani & Associates, a law firm known for its entertainment and intellectual property practice, were present on set. “[It was] so that we didn’t take too many cinematic liberties with our words, gestures, what we were allowed to do and what we were not allowed to do,” Kajol said. In terms of body language, it was all about keeping it controlled, the actor said.
The years of pandemic meant that Indian audiences were exposed to a vast array of international content and by the same token, Indian programming was seen abroad, making the world a global village.
“It’s not so much which audience you are catering to. I think acting as a genre in India has changed, and it you have to change with it. And you have to understand that everybody’s seeing better,” Kajol said. “International cinema has now become a norm, rather than a a niche thing that only certain people can watch. Today, everybody has Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix, or Amazon or whatever on their phones, so they are able to view films in a variety of different languages – Japanese, Korean, English, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, everything. As an actor 1689297747, the formula that you think you have done 100 times before, somehow just doesn’t work anymore. You have to change it around. You have to make it more like what you’re seeing everywhere else, rather than sticking to the typical Hindi format.”
“The Trial – Pyaar, Kaanoon, Dhokha” streams from Friday.
As revealed by Variety, Kajol will lead yet-to-shoot Netflix mystery thriller “Do Patti.” “It’s going to be very, very interesting and I hope and pray that you all find it as interesting because it’s very different from what I’ve done so far,” Kajol said.
The actor also has a pivotal role in thriller film “Sarzameen.”