Available On: SonyLIV
Language: Hindi, Gujarati
Duration: 10 Episodes / 40 minutes
Story: Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story follows the rise and fall of Harshad Mehta, who was known as the Big Bull for the bull run of the stock market in 1991. It later ended in a massive crash and caused many to lose their hard-earned money and some even lost their lives.
Review: Hansal Mehta's directorial paints The Big Bull as a single courageous man in a big stock full of criminals ready to weigh themselves over the system. The only difference was, Harshad felt bound by his arrogance, took too many risks and made too many enemies. Harshad himself in the show, can be seen saying that there are many who use the loopholes in the system for their benefit but his biggest crime was, "I am Harshard Mehta."
The web series is based on the book The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away written by Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu. It follows a young ambitious lad who already lost money in the stock market because of bigger companies ratting at each others cage. Instead of learning the lesson about repercussions he aims at becoming big enough so that he'd never have to face such consequences.
Pratik Gandhi As Hansal Mehta
Hansal Mehta in 1984 starts a consultancy firm by smooth-talking people into becoming his clients. He promises them something that companies like Motilal Oswal and Angle Broking now do to their huge clientele. He brings in a huge sum of money, makes a name for himself and his company Grow More. Even after reaching big heights, Hansal is not ready to stop unless he takes down everyone who looked at him weirdly. His arrogance and greed is what cost so many people their hard-earned money and a few even lost their lives. But Harshad does it with such finesse and reason that none of it feels wrong.
Shreya Dhanwanthary As Sucheta Dalal
Neither did the people who made money, thanks to his crazy unconventional theories, people are often heard saying ‘Harshad Bhai nu raaj ma, sab maja ma!' while Harshad is at his peak. Until Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu work tirelessly to find a paper trail and pin his crimes. It is Sucheta's dialogue "Since when did we journalists stop going after criminals because nobody has reported them to the authorities?" that brings a clear line of good and bad into the show that was thriving on a grey backdrop where everyone is bad.
Scam 1992 Is Directed By Hansal Mehta
Other than how the Scam took place, how Harshad got caught and its effects, Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story also shows the other aspects like personal vendettas, political aspirations, and media coverage, which played a big role in bringing down Mehta's reign in the Bombay Stock Exchange.
What makes the show more enjoyable for all type of audiences is the work and energy put into the backdrop. Hansal Mehta not only gives the audience enough time to understand Harshad Mehta and his crazy theories, but also enough information for everyone to actually understand the stock market and in turn what the scam was.
The screenplay feels effortless with a talented cast of Pratik Gandhi, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Satish Kaushik, Sharib Hashmi, Anant Mahadevan, Nikhil Dwivedi, KK Raina and Lalit Parimoo. Not only do the leads, Pratik Gandhi and Shreya Dhanwanthary, give an impactful performance but the director has also given space for the other supporting cast to shine.
Scam 1992 Is Now Streaming On SonyLIV
However, Pratik Gandhi as Harshad Mehta outshines others, and it is hard to remember that his character is supposed to be bad. Even when you see him losing his way drunk on his arrogance, you don't seem to hate him. As Harshad sweet talks people into doing his bidding, so does Partik with the audience. I would have loved if Shreya Dhanwanthary got more screen time and more scenes with Pratik. The two as the epitome of good and bad in the show have an interesting chemistry.
Overall, there are many reasons to watch Scam 1992 like the screenplay, cast, performances, nostalgia, direction and even information to some extent but it is also important to remember to perceive it only as an art form. It can widen your horizon but it should not lead you to believe that there is only bad in the world and good is just a part of what you chose from it.