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REVIEW HIGH (MXPLAYER)

67

Jyothi Venkatesh

Shiv Mathur (Akshay Oberoi) though rich falls into the vicious trap of drug abuse. After he has a near-death experience triggered by an overdose , when he is sent off to a research facility-cum-rehabilitation centre, he chances upon this greenherbal pill called Magic, which is an alternative healing product discovered by doctors and scientists back in the 70s. ‘High’ talks about drug addiction and the tiff between pharma giants who resort to desperate measures to stay afloat and herbal healthcare, which sets out to save mankind from perils of the drug abuse.

Interestingly, the story is divided in two timelines: one set in the 70s and the other in the current time. While the 70s era is mostly dedicated to the hunt for the ghost of Madhubani forest aka a magical herbal product, the second part of it is about a bunch of fervent doctors who are faced with a plethora of hurdles – from goons, politicians and even pharmaceutical companies. The very idea of bringing alternative healing to the forefront is commendable and the plot instantly reminds you of Munnabhai MBBS which set out to depict the loopholes of the medical system in the contemporary society

The nine episodes (each of 40 minutes duration) of High deal with the ugly upshots of criminality, corporate lust and the frenzied media madness while delving into the debilitating pressures exerted upon the righteous . Among these thwarted individuals is a practical TV news anchor Asheema (Mrunmayee Godbole) who wants to take her job seriously but isn’t allowed to, this character has a significant presence in the plot – and an old scientist (Virendra Saxena) summarily branded a Naxalite just because he works for the helpless downtrodden.

akshay-oberoi

Akshay Oberoi and Ranveer Sheorey stand out in the crows with their arresting personas. Other actors who need to be praised for their performances include Kunal Naik and Nakul Bhalla, besides Virendra Saxena as the old scientist are Faezeh Jalali as a 1970s doctor, Bhumika Dubey in the role of a coke-snorting prostitute, Preeti Hansraj Sharma as a kinky gangster’s moll, the spirited Shweta Prasad Basu, Prakash Belawadi (whom we see very less) Anoushka Jehani as Shiv’s ex Neha, Samridhi Dewan and Vijay Nikam as an imperturbable but ruthless mafia don.

Nikhil Rao commendably puts together a complex subject keeping you on the edge fo your seat without flinching your eye lids and riveted though he sets out to tackle a known menace and a plot which has been done to death earlier. The camera has been shoddily handled by K.U. Mohanan, John Jacob and Payyapalli . To sum up, High is a riveting and kinky web series which passes the test of the times.