Human: An engrossing thriller about dark underbelly of medical profession
New Delhi, January 29, 2022
In a scene in the medical thriller Human, being streamed on Disney Hotstar, Gauri Nath, the protagonist of the series, is heard telling her mentor Roma Maa (Seema Biswas) that deaths of poor people in trials on a drug called Saviour, a drug developed ostensibly to save people from heart problems, is not a matter of concern for her.
"Some people invariably die in drug trials all the time. In any case , what is the value of the life of a poor person? So, how do the deaths of a few such individuals matter?" she says.
The statement made by the top doctor of such a renowned institute aptly sums up the story of Human, which takes viewers into the dark underbelly of the medical profession where poor people are invariably used as guinea pigs by pharmaceutical companies for testing their new drugs which are a means to reap lucrative profits.
Vayu Pharma, a pharmaceutical company, is looking to introduce in the market its new drug S 93 or Saviour, that saves people from heart problems. However, trials of the drug on humans throw up adverse symptoms, leading many of these people to die. What follows is a massive operation by Vayu Pharma headed by Ashok (Aditya Srivastava) and Manthan which is conducting the trials, to cover up the failed experiment.
The story of Human is about how the failed experiment opens up a can of worms which swamps the whole system.
At the centre of the controversy is Dr. Gauri Nath (Shefali Shah), a renowned neurosurgeon of Bhopal and the founder of Manthan. A renowned neurosurgeon seen to be loyal to her profession, Gauri is actually hand in glove with the pharma companies in their illegal drug trials. Embarking on an ambitious expansion plan for her hospital, Gauri Nath will stop at nothing to achieve her ambitions. An example is her employing cardiac surgeon Saira Sabharwal (Kirti Kulhari) to checkmate her opponent in the Board of Manthan, Dr. Shinde.
Human is an engrossing medical thriller that takes an insightful look into the murky world of drug trials. As the series delves deeper, fascinating details are unraveled to the audience like the fudging of data to certify the success of the drug trials. The director, Mozez Singh, also shows how the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy became handy victims of these fake drug trials due to their poor financial condition.
The screenplay by Mozez Singh and Ishani Banerjee is engrossing and keeps you glued to the proceedings.
Performances are a high point of this medical thriller. Shah is brilliant as Dr. Gauri Nath whose image is of a punctilious and principled neurosurgeon whose aim is to save human lives. Hiding beneath it is a manipulator who will stop at nothing to realize her dangerous ambitions and her megalomaniac designs. Most of the times, it is her eyes that do the talking, conveying her inner emotions.
Kulhari leaves an impact as Dr. Sabharwal who adulates Dr. Gauri Nath oblivious of the fact that she is just a pawn in a battle of egos between Dr. Gauri Nath and her rival Shinde. She perfectly conveys Saira's confusion over the efficacy of the drug trials being carried out by Manthan.
Vishal Jethwa impresses as Mangu who initially sees drug trials as a means to turn around his fortunes but is devastated when the reality of these fake trials emerges. He perfectly symptomises the plight of the victims of these drug trials.
Seema Biswas does a fair job as Gauri Nath's Roma Maa. Indraneil Sengupta is competent as Saira's husband Neil.
The rest of the cast, including Ram Kapoor, Aditya Srivastava, Mohan Agashe, Gaurav Dwivedi, Shruti Bapna and Sandeep Kulkarni lend able support.
My Rating; 3.5/5