The much-awaited Human is Shefali Shah’s latest venture in the OTT world…and what a ride it is!
Based in Bhopal in a post-Covid world, Human is the story of how dark the business of healthcare and pharma can get. Human portrays a relevant topic as more and more people around the world question the practices of those who make the most commonly marketed drugs. The series begins with a big pharmaceutical company hiding the alarmingly high casualty rates of a new drug in order to recover from their losses in trying to make a Covid vaccine and failing. While deals are being struck in board rooms, the drug is being tested on patients in government hospitals and camps by exploiting their crippling poverty. Even though the series generously uses the trope of evil politicians and money-hungry corporates, the story does not disappoint in its uniqueness.
Shefali Shah plays Dr Gauri Nath, a philanthropist and neurosurgeon who runs the biggest hospital in Bhopal and is at the centre of a controversial drug trial. It’s obvious that there is something sinister about her character but the noticeable flaw here is that this quality is made far too obvious from the very beginning. But, since this is Shefali Shah we’re talking about, the character is still fascinating to watch.
Kirti Kulhari plays Saira Sabharwal, an idealistic young doctor who joins Gauri Nath’s hospital as a cardiac surgeon and is equally mesmerised and confused by her mysterious employer. She takes up the cause of one patient who dies as a result of this secretive drug trial and makes it her mission to bring those responsible to justice while dealing with her own messy personal life. As she comes closer to the answers she needs, Saira, who was once Gauri’s golden hire, slowly becomes an obstacle.
A stellar supporting cast of Seema Biswas, Ram Kapoor, Atul Kumar, Vishal Jethwa, and many more, ensures that Shefali Shah and Kirti Kulhari don’t have to carry the whole series.
The visuals and soundtrack are appropriately haunting for a dark series that pulls out all the stops in its depiction of big, bad pharma. Human moves at a good pace and keeps you engaged in the story. The series is as gripping as it is horrifying, so be prepared.
If you’re tired of all the one-dimensional characters we typically see in medical dramas, watch Human for the complete opposite of all the angelic goodness. And if you enjoy a thriller on foggy winter nights in bed, you might find Human to be right up your spooky alley.
Directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, Human is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.