Streaming on Disney+Hotstar 14th January 2022
Vipul Amrutal and Mozez Singh’s Human is a deeply disturbing portrait on how the poor become sacrificial lambs at the secret clinical trials. The people in this case are victims who belong to the families of Bhopal gas tragedy. Most of the medical professionals that you meet in the show are manipulators of different kinds with few exceptions. It is true that the show presents a rather bleak picture of the medical community, however, at the same time the underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry is something which cannot be ignored either. The show is not making a statement that all doctors are evil, it only wants to show how some medical professionals lure the poor in order to test the drugs on them.
The story of Human revolves around a pharma giant that is trying to fast track the development of a new drug in spite of fully knowing its side effects. Kriti Kulhari plays Dr Saira Sabharwal. She lands a dream job in Bhopal’s premier hospital under the mentorship of the famous 45- year old Dr Gauri Nath (Shefali Shah). Saira looks up to Gauri as an inspiration, she feels that Gauri is an embodiment of goodness. However, she doesn’t know that Gauri is not what she appears to be on the surface. Saira grows a lot under Gauri’s tutelage as the two women start to form a deep bond. However, her life turns upside down when a shocking discovery throws her life into a chaos. This discovery is intertwined with that of a young migrant worker Mangu (Vishal Jethwa of Maardani 2 fame). Another important character is that of Roma ma (Seema Biswas). Roma and Gauri share a special relationship.
The most striking aspect of Human is the writing of Mozez Singh and Ishani Banerjee. It is not easy to showcase the ills of a profession that is considered very sacred but the writers do a wonderful job in exploring the hierarchy that exists in our society. They don’t confine themselves to just illegal drug tests, they expand the story by showcasing a number of societal evils. There are many times where the audiences will be deeply unsettled but in a good way.
The Bhopal gas tragedy has also been smartly integrated into the plot. It is not used for mere technicality. The directors deserve a huge appreciation for the sensitivity with which they have showcased the plight of the numerous generations which have been effected because of the gas tragedy.
However, it also has to be said that certain subplots don’t quite land. For example, the lesbian track of Saira feels convoluted and doesn’t really serve much purpose. The show could have also done with some trimming. The last few episodes after Saira’s expose of Gauri feel like a drag. Instead of ten, eight episodes would have been better.
The technical team of Human also does a wonderful job in creating the right atmospherics. The cinematography, production design and background score play a major part in the audiences being invested.
Shefali Shah scores the highest marks for her performance as Gauri. We don’t first see Gauri as a villain but as the show progresses several layers come out. By the end the audiences go from ‘Oh so good lady’ to please someone stop her’. The range that she shows is incredible to say the least. On a personal note can’t wait to see Shefali Shah and Alia sharing screen space in Darlings. It will be a pleasure to watch the two dynamite actresses together.
Kirti Kulhari is also in good form as a woman who is working hard to give her life a meaning. There are many emotional moments where the actress makes a striking impression. Vishal Jethwa is another standout performer. It is a far cry from what he played in Mardaani 2. Unlike Mardaani 2’s character, Mangu is vulnerable and helpless here. The actor does a good job in bringing out the nuances.
Watch Human for the performances and the reality it portrays.
Also read: The expectations have come true