Trial by Fire trailer is out now. Ahead of its January 13 premiere, Netflix has dropped a trailer for the Abhay Deol-led limited series, which traces the aftermath of the 1997 Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy which claimed 59 lives. The non-linear dramatisation looks into the 24-year-long trial for civil compensation from the affected families, as documented in the bestselling book, “Trial by Fire: The Tragic Tale of the Uphaar Fire Tragedy,” written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost their children in the harrowing incident.
The trailer for Trial by Fire opens by highlighting the enthusiasm with which the Krishnamoorthy kids left to watch the 3pm screening of Border, with hopes to return by 6:30 in the evening. “A few more years, then they’ll be gone,” Shekhar (Deol) tells his wife Neelam (Rajshri Deshpande), unaware of the fact that it would be the last time they ever saw the children. It’s interesting and somewhat poetic to see Deol take on this role, given his cousin, Sunny Deol led the aforementioned film, which at this point, is synonymous with the tragedy to some people. The Trial by Fire trailer then cuts to show an explosion at the Uphaar Cinema, with families pushing past bystanders to get any survivors out.
“The doors were locked from the outside!”, Shekhar yells in agony, as a few police officers tackle him, presumably to prevent him from creating a larger commotion. The Trial by Fire trailer shifts focus to the aftermath of the incident, with affected parents wanting some kind of answer from the authorities. “There is no shortage of culprits in the Uphaar Cinema fire, but my clients are not among them,” an unnamed lawyer presents his case to the court, much to the dismay of the affected families, the Krishnamoorthys among them. “They’re going to get away with it. No one wants to listen,” says Neelam, who strongly believes that the owners of the theatre should be held responsible. And this forms the crux of the story, mirroring real life in how the Krishnamoorthys alongside other heartbroken families formed the Association of Victims of Uphaar Fire Tragedy (AVUT) for civil compensation.
“They think they can push us around and there’s nothing we can do about it. That we’re too small to matter. But little do they know, that when we come together, we give each other strength,” Shekhar says in a voiceover, now preparing for what will become a 24-year-long trial and co-writing the book that documents everything. The Trial by Fire trailer also features glimpses of a chase sequence, likely involving the theatre owners, the Ansal brothers, who evaded arrests for many days. The limited series also stars Rajesh Tailang (Delhi Crime), Ashish Vidyarthi (Rudra: The Edge of Darkness), Anupam Kher (The Accidental Prime Minister), Ratna Pathak Shah (Thappad), Shilpa Shukla (Chak De! India), and Shardul Bharadwaj in undisclosed roles. Prashant Nair (Umrika) co-directs the series with Randeep Jha — the former also serves as showrunner.
All episodes of Trial by Fire drop January 13 on Netflix.
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