The latest big offering on Netflix is Trial by Fire, based on the horrific Uphaar cinema fire in 1997 in Delhi. The series is inspired by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy’s book Trial by Fire: The Tragic Tale Of The Uphaar Fire Tragedy. The couple lost both their children in the fire. Created by Prashant Nair and Kevin Luperchio, Trial by Fire stars Abhay Deol and Rajshri Deshpande in the lead roles. The series also features big names like Ashish Vidyarthi, Ratna Pathak Shah, and Anupam Kher along with Shilpa Shukla, Rajesh Tailang, Shibani Bedi, and others.
We all know the story of the Uphaar fire and the criminal activities that led to the loss of 59 lives including children. But this series invokes renewed anger against the perpetrators, decades after the tragedy. While initial investigations decided that the Uphaar tragedy was an accident, the Krishnamoorthys fought relentlessly to reveal the truth behind the fire. Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy organised the legal fight against the Ansals, the owners of Uphaar cinema, and brought the families of other victims together. The legal case against the Ansals carried on for decades amid allegations of evidence tampering and loopholes in the law.
Abhay Deol and Rajshri Deshpande deliver excellent performances as grieving, angry parents who are grappling with a monumental loss and finding the strength to fight against a powerful nexus of elite businessmen, politicians, police officials, and criminals. Together and individually, both actors show why they were the perfect choices for these roles.
Ashish Vidyarthi is back to what he does best–deliver performances that chill the viewer to the core. As Niraj Suri, a dry fruits trader and goon acting on behalf of the Ansals, Vidyarthi portrays a complex role as a man trying to make money fast and keep his own conscience at peace.
The series is a riveting yet intensely uncomfortable watch that shows how the system, at every level, is rigged against those who suffer the most at the hands of powerful criminals. The lack of empathy in our institutions, whether it’s the police or hospitals, adds to the already unimaginable pain of victims and their families. And this continuing tragedy is at the heart of Trial by Fire.
Streaming now on Netflix.
Featured Image Source