Ranvir Shorey, Akshay Oberoi, Shweta Basu Prasad, Mrunmayee Godbole
The most controversial entertainment business, Bollywood is heated up with the drug angle these days that has created a havoc in the Hindi film industry with scandals, controversies, and exposes one after the other. And now MX Player has 'High' to offer, a crime thriller web series which will take you to the depth of the drug business and how things get ugly when it cost your life. Directed by Nikhil Rao, 'High' is a 9-episode series where you'll witness a major change in the organized business of drugs in a city like Mumbai. It digs deeper into the drug menace that is affecting so many people in the state. The series gets gripping when a new substance hits the streets and turns the existing drug business upside down.
'High' starts with the year 1972 where four scientists friends roam into a forest to research about a plant that has an amazing medicinal value. Then the series takes us back to the present time introducing Shiv Mathur (Akshay Oberoi), who is a spoiled drug addict with an emotional back story. Shiv is a lost addict who never misses a chance to be high whether it's taking drugs with street spoilers or drinking with his grandmother. All this wrecked life of Shiv Mathur becomes more intense with the touch of background music. His life almost comes to an end until his old friends take him to a research rehabilitation center and that does wonder for him.
Meanwhile, Ranvir Shorey, the clean shaved packed with a formal suit enters the plot as a crime agent who is a pro in investigating and firing gunshots.
The rehab changes Shiv's life when he takes a powdered substance and suddenly he starts feeling like a kid who finds joy in every tiny thing. Unaware of how all this happened, Shiv struggles to find out what the doctors gave him that changed his life overnight.
Shiv gets filled with happy emotions when he finds out that research by Mr. Roy has experimented with him. Now comes the main twist in the plot when Shiv and his doctors Shweta (Shweta Basu Prasad), Mr. Roy (Prakash Belawadi), and Nakul Bhalla decides to help the drug addicts by supplying the substance in the form of a pill called 'Magic'. As a new pill 'Magic' hits the streets of Mumbai, it creates a blunder in the existing drug business of drug mafias.
The most intriguing part of the series begins when Ranvir Shorey starts looking for the suppliers of 'Magic'.
The actual crime, suspense, and thrill start when Mumbai mafias run after Shiv and his team and try everything to stop them.
The introductory part has been amazingly shot as it increases your knowledge about different drug substances, its consumption, addiction, and what blunder it can cause to one's life if taken in excessive quantity. The series looks at the issue of drug abuse and how it impacts people from different walks of life. As the name 'High' suggests, all the characters are literally high from episode one until you watch further.
The screenplay gets fast-paced with the rat race, increasing the excitement of the audience. The series is surely worth of appreciation for the top-notch acting skills of the characters. Whether it's Kunal Naik playing a drug mafia or Akshay Oberoi who trembles the whole city with a smile on his face, the performances are incredible. Akshay Oberoi gives a strong screen presence as he further enthralls the audience with his tranquil performance.
Ranvir Shorey delivers a justifying performance as a blemish agent who has no personal life. However, the use of violence has been portrayed harshly because Ranvir Shorey knows nothing but firing on people who don't listen to him at once. But hello, every time he also offers you straight a 2000 rs note as a bribe depicting the typical standard of people.
Shweta Basu as Shweta and Prakash Belawadi as Mr. Roy has also justified their short-lived screen times. Poverty and people with a Transient lifestyle are not used as a gimmick and manages to be a good one without any heart-break and without any melodrama.
'High' is basically about drug trafficking spinning off into several threads, some really solid, a few comparatively weak, but managing to keep its hold on us. Nikhil Rao has portrayed the different angles of the same story very sharply as one will not get confused with the parallel angles. Though the series becomes a bit sluggish in the second episode, however, it takes on another level from the third episode from where all the suspense, thrill, and crime starts.
The series has stunningly showcased how drug trafficking works and what it leads to when goes in losses. 'High' has also made some subtle commentaries on the social environment of the crime business.
The primary focus of the series is on the network of drug suppliers that roam about freely in the state. Nikhil Rao has presented one of its best offerings on the table. And one should try it to get something literally exciting and unique about drug abuse, especially when drugs are all that is been discussed around the country.