Ashish Vidyarthi on Trial By Fire: 'Human story of people who stood up and said that a wrong has happened'
Actor Ashish Vidyarthi, in an interview with Hindustan Times, shared his experiences of working on the hard-hitting drama series which is based on the 1997 Uphaar cinema fire.
The Netflix web series Trial By Fire has been acquiring much acclaim since its release on January 13. The compelling drama looks at the events that led up to the 1997 fire at the Uphaar theatre in Delhi and the aftermath on those who were left behind. Ashish Vidyarthi, who is part of the series' terrific ensemble cast, reacted to the overwhelming response they have received since the show's premiere. (Also read: Ashish Vidyarthi on Aar Ya Paar: Aditya Rawal isn't sitting on the laurels of his father Paresh Rawal)
In an interview with Hindustan Times, the actor spoke about the brilliant writing behind the series, combined by the sensitive direction by Prashant Nair and Randeep Jha that brought it all together. Ashish, who has previously worked with Prashant on the anthology film Tryst With Destiny, shared, "He has this ability to not tell voyeuristic stories. He's written it as a human story of people who stood up and said that a wrong has happened and we'll do something about it. It's not just heroism stories. It's a story about stoicism, what happens about the system, even each one of us who we say are good people, then what do we deal with?"
Praising the casting and performances of each of the ensemble cast, the actor went to laud his co-star Rajshri Deshpande who plays Neelam Krishnamoorthy and loses her two teenage children in the fire tragedy. He stated, "Rajshri, I think has given one of the finest performances I've seen in years of anyone across anywhere in the world. That sensitivity, jisko kehte hai, aap theatre mein, that moment of truth hum dondte rehte hain. I just texted her that it's an honour to have watched you perform while we were shooting and an absolute joy to watch the final result."
In the series, Ashish plays a fixer, Mr Suri, who is hired by the theatre owners' lawyers to 'handle' the grieving families. Initially heading towards villainous territory but as the series progress, the supposed bad guy begins to display his own conscience. Explaining his character's motivations, he said, "He carries his own demons. At some point, he has probably given up on those ways but he is called back. He wants a better life for himself and his family. He wants to do good things but he's sucked into it. For me, it's a bit of priceless writing that Suri wasn't a cardboard menacing character, he may have appeared menacing. But he's a reluctant menacing."
He also discussed a hard-hitting scene with the Krishnamoorthys, played by Rajshri and Abhay Deol that is quite pivotal in the show where Suri has a change of heart. Ashish shared, "They were heart-rending to perform I'll promise you this. When [projects] like this are written so well, your inners get scraped. I recall shooting that in Delhi and I felt so low like after this. It was hard."
He added, "I want to point out I've done 240 plus films across 11 languages, but it's only lately that I'm getting a whole lot of scripts that are so close to reality which allows me to connect with my inner experiences and portray things. And therefore it's very painful, they're not cardboard that one just comes and speaks lines and goes away."