This had to be done... There aren't enough cynics around

The Blind Trial- A Critical Analysis

For any story to be successful, the central conflict should be intriguing. But in this tale of what seems to be the masturbatory fantasy of a second year medical student, the conflict doesn’t work. It isn’t because the reveal in repugnant and filled with idiocies (which it is) but because of the fact that if the hero was a good doctor, there wouldn’t have been a conflict at all. He misdiagnoses a drug induced arrhythmia subtype and uses a drug that might not work in that condition only to see the patient die. Any self respecting doctor would review his mode of management to prevent a second death. But our dude senses a conspiracy and thinks that the world is against him. How naive!

For any story to be successful, the motives of the characters should be well sketched. Here <SPOILERS ALERT> a corporate hospital wants to eliminate a handful of guys. Three I think. In a plan more convoluted and stupider than any Bond villain schematic, they decide to use a single blinded trial as a cover to administer a banned drug (with molecular alterations, apparently). The drug causes the ventricles to contract at a very high rate leading to death. You can see why this plan is stupid. Not only does it leave a very obvious paper trail but when you have the bloody means to alter the molecular structure of a bloody drug, you surely have the muscle and the brain to use any of the 3471 means shown in Tamil cinema. But no. They stick to their stupid plan. How naive!

For any story to be successful, the lead character should connect with us on some level. Nitin is an arrogant, ignorant and apathetic doctor. How he manages to woo a girl successfully or how he passed MBBS successfully or why a pharmacology researcher is roaming in the emergency department or whether he even works on his study or how he lives with himself are a few questions that the book leaves unanswered. But when he shouts at a resident and mocks him all the while using adenosine for V-Tach (possibly torsades de pointes), you lose respect for him. But also realize that it has been a long time since you read about them and had to re-read to get the facts right for this review and also disturb a physician for his opinion (Procainamide or Defibrillator over Adenosine). When he ‘forgives’ the girl who actually saved his girlfriend, you feel belittled by his bigotry and male chauvinistic attitude.

For any story to be successful, the characters should develop during the course of the story. Here they are just caricatures. They don’t even have one dimension, meaning, they are absolutely inconsistent with their behaviour. And they have no awareness of reality. Imagine there is a widow and some dude suddenly knocks her front door, speaks a foreign language and has a translator ask for the reason behind her man’s death and when she slams the door in his face, he wonders why she wasn’t cooperative. That would have been acceptable if he hadn’t killed her husband by not following the protocol properly or if he had at least learnt the local language rather than expecting the locals to know Hindi. Such arrogance. He then bugs so many places and turns into super iron spider-man in the climax to rescue characters we had long forgotten about. Also he is a part of the least sterile C-section. Apparently, the guy that hit the pregnant lady, forcing her to take sleeping pills and have a surgery in the lift helped Nitin because of a moral code. I think she died of infection and her hubby was returning Nitin the favour. Perhaps.

For any story to be successful, it should have consistency. I don’t blame the author... to some extent. But I think the editors were on a break. Tenses jump around like two naked teens on amphetamine during spring break. Typographic errors are seen more frequently than events that move the plot forward. Science in this tale, specifically medical science takes a back seat pretty much like logic, common sense and grammar. We have people alter molecular structures left and right, but with such a premise, predominantly lifted from Robin Cook’s ‘Coma’, a little more effort in plot development and lot less effort in showing off medical jargon might have made this work passable. The book should have been called double blinded trial for neither the reader nor the author seem to have any clue whatsoever as to why Nitin exists and how he got that grant. If only I could sue the publishers for the mental agony!

No comments: