High: Watch only if you have the patience for a slow burn

The story

Shiv (Akshay Oberoi) is a junkie, who has lost track of what is going on in his life. His past proves to be a roadblock, disallowing him from moving ahead. One night, during a reunion with his college friends, Shiv faints in the bathroom due drug overdose. His supportive friends immediately send him to a rehabilitation center. Scientists there are intensively working on a certain drug that has medicinal properties. This drug can fire an individual's neurones helping him/her restore their lives, especially if they are drug addicts. However, on learning this a renowned company chases after the scientists and wants to end their lives.

The review

The plot might be fictitious, but it borrows heavily from real life with a similar incident that had taken place in Mexico. The series evolves at a snail's pace, almost putting viewers to sleep. This could have been better as movie instead of a series.

Interestingly, the director delivers to viewers the reality of the situation by giving them a detailed insight into how drug cartels act as catalysers allowing pharmaceutical industries to prosper. What we are oblivious of is how do Dr Nakul (Nakul Bhalla) and Dr Shweta (Shweta Praad Basu) enter the scene. How are they related to Roy (Prakash Belawadi)? What do they have to do with the research center? This isn't clearly explained in the series. To some extent it feels as though they are put there just to take the series forward.

As an actor, we have seen Akshay Oberoi evolve progressively. From playing a business lawyer in ‘Illegal’, to a junkie in ‘High', Akshay dabbles with his roles with great ease, making a consistent effort at putting his best foot forward. Even in the series he showcases an evolutionary transition from that of a junkie to becoming a mindful businessmen, guiding Dr Roy, Dr Nakul and Dr Shweta out of a tricky situation that almost led them to their deaths.

Prakash Belawadi is a renowned actor from the South. He has directed a couple of films. As an actor he plays Roy very convincingly. He displays the typical mood swings of a scientist who is absolutely capable of going completely crazy if any of his equipment is touched.

Shweta Basu Prasad’s role has been undermined again just as in ‘The Serious Men’. Here she is only seen screaming and shouting. Her potential as an actor hasn’t been explored. Perhaps she needs to choose her roles with a little more insight. We look forward to seeing her in the 'Comedy Couple' that releases soon.

Mrinmayee Godbole has made quite a name in the Marathi film industry. She was appreciated for the role she in the film PadMan. In ‘High’ she gets noticed for her bindaas attitude when she questions the ongoings of the vicious circle that the pharmaceutical industry has been going by for years.

The flashback that is typically played in the first few minutes of each episode is very helpful as it plays an essential role of setting the tone of the series, giving viewers an insight into the history of how and why contraband were levied on certain botanical products. A good series, but watch only if you genuinely have the patience for slow series.

Name of the series: High

Platform: MXplayer

Number of episodes: 9 (Approx. 35 mins each)

Cast: Akshay Oberoi, Ranvir Shorey, Mrinmayee Godbole, Shweta Basu Prasad, Nakul Bhalla, Kunal Naik, Madhur Mittal, Prakash Belawadi, Mantra and Subrat Dutta

Director: Nikhil Rao

Rating: 2.5 stars

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