Netflix India has been rolling out some great content this year. Kohrra is easily one of the best shows so far in the OTT space. This was followed by the unprecedented success seen by Scoop, Guns & Gulaabs, and Choona. The streaming giant has, for the past few months, boasted of delivering shows in various subjects and genres that have captivated the audience. The brand new Kaala Paani is a callback to the 1996 Mohanlal starrer period film of the same name, directed by Priyadarshan. Meanwhile, this show is a medical drama set on Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is interesting to see Netflix India’s foraying into this genre, as there is already Disney+ Hotstar’s Humans and Amazon Prime Video’s Mumbai Diaries. Both are fine examples of good medical dramas.
Story And Plot
The name Kaala Paani takes everyone back to the stories of Cellular Jail, located in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which was known to have hosted many Indian freedom fighters as prisoners. Set in the city of Port Blair, the epidemic breakout is the central plot of the show, which will begin with doctors supervising new cases with similar symptoms. Checking up on the pattern of the symptoms in the patients is the only way to understand what the ailment could be. There will be extensive checkups done to comprehend what could have caused this outbreak. Dr. Singh is the lead and will be monitoring the sick patients and investigating the root cause of the ailment.
The sequence of events in the show could mirror the COVID-19 outbreak and the Nipah outbreak in Kerala, India. Many officials, including the police, might not believe Dr. Singh’s findings because that would mean all the essential forces will have to be put on high alert in case a lockdown is announced. The trailer for Kaala Paani also mentions an event of monumental scale that will bring tourists from across the country. The epidemic might become another pandemic if the disease is not contained. This is probably the biggest worry for all the doctors. The hospital might also have to deal with a shortage of supplies if the number of cases increases.
There are scenes of crowds gathering at various places in the trailer, which could be an indication of mass testing being carried out. The public gathered at the event could likely escalate into a mob-like situation. There are police officers, on the other hand, who are keen to escape the island rather than helping the government and people face the crisis. Since the story is set in the year 2027, COVID-19 could be a thing of the past. Here, the characters will be dealing with a virus or bacteria that could potentially be more harmful than the COVID-19 virus. The audience is expecting the story to be tense and gripping, keeping in mind they are dealing with stories around the outbreak and how the natural environment in and around the Andaman Islands could be a contributing factor in mutating the virus or bacteria.
The trailer puts a lot of emphasis on the Andaman Islands being a nature haven where many can find different kinds of flora and fauna. There is a possibility that the cure for the outbreak could be found in the forests of Andaman. The characters in the show might go on the lookout for an antidote which will most likely be found in some local plants. The characters will have to deal with the indigenous tribes that refuse to cooperate with mainlanders and other locals on the island. The tribes and their way of life will most likely become one of the subplots.
The story of the tribes will likely be inspired by the real-life tribal communities that live deep in the forests of the island and do not interact with civilization outside of their territory. In Kaala Paani, the tribes might come across as antagonists in the beginning, but they might turn out to be helpful.
There will be an evacuation plan for the people to avoid getting infected, but the government will face many obstacles, and one of them could be the lack of proper disaster management support. There is a chance that the tribes might also be affected by the epidemic, but they will come forward to help the other locals find a cure.
Cast And Characters
- Mona Singh has created quite a splash with her back-to-back appearances in several web series. Her last outing as Bulbul Johari in Made in Heaven season two garnered a lot of appreciation from critics and audiences alike for playing the role of a mother who teaches her son to be respectful of every girl he meets. She is an excellent actor who began her career in television and has been a known face ever since. Mona Singh will be portraying the role of a doctor who is adamant about dealing with the growing crisis at hand and finding a solution before the situation goes out of control.
- Ashutosh Gowarikar began his stint in films as an actor before he became a director. He restarted his acting career with a Marathi drama film, Ventilator, which became a huge success. In Kaala Paani, Ashutosh could be playing the role of a high-ranking government official who will be assigned the job of controlling the population in the wake of a viral or bacterial outbreak.
- Amey Wagh is a prominent Marathi actor who has delivered many successful films and has been a part of many web series since the advent of the OTT platforms. He was seen in Shashank Khaitan’s Govinda Naam Mera, where he portrayed the role of Govind’s lawyer friend. Amey also made an appearance in Sacred Games season two and The Great Indian Murder. In Kaala Paani, Amey plays the role of a police officer who wants to get out of the island soon, and there could be many reasons behind this.
- Amit Golani is one of the members of the original Viral Fever, aka TVF. He is one of the creators of Humorously Yours and The TVF Pitchers. These shows have achieved cult status in the OTT space. Amit Golani, after delivering lighthearted content, brings a survival drama in Kaala Paani that will talk about various subjects surrounding the island and the people living in it.
- Sameer Saxena is the creator of crowd-favorite shows Permanent Roommates and Yeh Meri Kahaani. He is one of the directors of Kaala Paani, and this time, the audience expects tense storytelling from a collective that has always delivered coming-of-age shows.
- Biswapati Sarkar is the face of the Viral Fever and one of the leading writers and actors of the collective as well. Biswapati’s last outing as a writer was for the Netflix original Jaadugar, which received positive reviews. It will be interesting to discover Biswapati’s skills as a writer for a show that deals with grave subjects.
Where To Watch
Kaala Paani is a Netflix India original that will release on October 18, 2023. The subject matter of the show is an epidemic outbreak and how the people of the island come to deal with it. The show is produced by Posham Pa Pictures, which has previously delivered projects like Home Shanti, a Disney+ Hotstar special and Jaadugar, a Netflix India original film.