In the heart of Delhi’s CR Park resides Anamaya Roy Choudhry, fondly known as Ana (played by Genelia Deshmukh), a dedicated single mother to her son Romi (Zidane Braz). Ana, an architect, does her best to provide for Romi’s needs, supported by her loving neighbors, Mamaji (Shakti Kapoor), and Mamiji (Sheeba Chadha). However, Romi longs for a father figure in his life and struggles with bullies at school, keeping it a secret from Ana to protect her from additional stress.
One day, Romi stumbles upon Mamaji’s obsession with a channel called Tele Mandli, where viewers can buy various products during a thirty-day trial period. Romi, yearning for a father, innocently demands that Mamaji order one from Tele Mandli. In an attempt to dissuade Romi’s longing, Ana decides to bring in a trial father, believing that Romi will dislike him and eventually give up on the idea of having a father altogether. This decision leads Ana to Prajapati Dwivedi (Manav Kaul), a teacher from Ujjain seeking employment in Delhi.
Aleya Sen’s story is filled with humor and potential for a lighthearted comedic adventure. However, the screenplay by Kunwar Shiv Singh, Akshat Trivedi, and Aleya Sen falls short of fully realizing that potential. While some scenes are well-written, others lack depth and fail to engage. Aleya Sen and Akshat Trivedi’s dialogues are decent, adding some charm to the narrative.
Though the film has its moments, Aleya Sen’s direction doesn’t quite hit the mark. Nevertheless, she handles certain aspects of the story sensitively, such as Ana’s heartfelt conversation with PD, Romi’s questioning of “Talk time” not being part of their schedule, and Ana’s father raising valid concerns about Romi’s emotional attachment during the trial period. The budding relationship between Ana, Romi, and PD, despite their cultural differences, is heartwarming.
On the downside, the introductory scenes lack impact, taking some time to reach the core of the story—the employment of a father. The editing feels uneven, and some sequences appear to imitate poorly executed scenes from other films. The sequence with a drunk Ana talking to PD starts promising but ultimately falls short, and the ending becomes somewhat predictable, lacking that “Wow” factor.
Turning to performances, Genelia Deshmukh delivers a sincere and endearing portrayal of Ana, earning the audience’s affection. However, it is Manav Kaul who steals the show with his excellent performance, particularly as he takes on a comedic role. Zidane Braz impresses as Romi, though some of his dialogues might be challenging to understand. The supporting cast, including Shakti Kapoor, Sheeba Chadha, and Gajraj Rao, deliver reliable performances, with Rao making a significant impact in a limited role. Barun Chandra and Swaroopa Ghosh, playing Ana’s parents, deliver commendable performances.
The film’s music is rather forgettable, with only “Gole Male” leaving a mark. The background score by Anupam Roy fares better, adding depth to the emotional moments. Manoj Khatoi’s cinematography is simple yet effective, capturing the essence of the story. Rohini Sen’s production design brings authenticity to the scenes, while Karishma Gulati’s costumes reflect real-life attire, with Genelia’s saree in the Diwali song standing out as particularly beautiful. Shahnawaz Mosani’s editing could have been smoother, especially at the beginning, where transitions felt rushed.
In conclusion, “Trial Interval” thrives on the strength of its cast’s performances and some heartwarming scenes. However, the lackluster script and direction prevent it from reaching its full potential. Nonetheless, the film manages to convey the importance of family, acceptance, and finding connections in unexpected places. If you’re in the mood for a touching story of a unique family, “Trial Interval” might just be worth your time. Streaming Free on JioCinema from 21st July.