What is the story about?
Dr. Saira Sabharwal joins the famed Manthan hospital in Bhopal, which is run by the mysterious Dr. Gauri Nath. The Vaidyas of Vayu Pharma develop a controversial drug for the human heart without proper testing. Mangu, an undertaker for a morgue, is in need of money and directs other poor people for drug trials. What happens when their paths collide?
A shadowy pharmaceutical company, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, develops a drug for India which has been banned in Europe. A well-known doctor pulls out all the stops in her quest to set up another establishment. And caught in the middle of all this are India's unsuspecting poor, who become guinea pigs for medical advancement, even as crores of money keeps exchanging hands. The very premise of Disney+ Hotstar's Human is explosive enough. Unfortunately, what we see over 10 episodes are just glimpses of what the show could have been. What comes through, sadly, in the screenplay by Ishani Banerjee and writer-director Mozez Singh, is a thriller that gets too big for its boots at times. Human works best when it sticks to the main plot of how Saira and Mangu struggle with the ethics of their actions, but the writers seem to pile on contrivance after contrivance for shock value. It's only the central performances which rescue the show, otherwise this series could have been very hard to digest at all.
Shefali Shah makes Human engrossing for the most part in spite of its faults, sending chills down your spine through her precise, pitch-perfect portrayal of the cold Dr. Gauri Nath. Kirti Kulhari is very good as Saira, although you wish the writers had not gone overboard with the contrivances in her case. Vishal Jethwa is terrific to watch as Mangu, and his growth over the series is charted very well. Aditya Srivastava and Mohan Agashe lend heft as the Vaidyas, while Seema Biswas is in sinister form as Romi Ma. The rest of the cast is solid.
Music & Other Departments
The production design expects you to take Mumbai for Bhopal, which is slightly bizarre. The background score and cinematography are okay.
Performances by Shefali Shah and Vishal Jethwa.
A number of sequences and narrative tracks are added unnecessarily for shock value, dragging the narrative pace of the series.
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?
Watch it for the spellbinding performances by Shefali Shah and Vishal Jethwa.