Scam 1992 : The Harshad Mehta Story

This absolutely enthralling series tells us the story behind India’s first biggest financial scam; the story of Harshad Mehta, his meteoric rise and fall along with an all rounded view of his personal life, brass tacks of stock and money market and the politics surrounding it all.

Directors – Hansal Mehta, Jai Mehta

Writers – Sumit Purohit, Vaibhav Vishal, Karan Vyas, Sourav Dey

Cast – Pratik Gandhi, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Hemant kher, Nikhil Dwivedi, Chirag Vohra, Anant Mahadevan, Rajat Kapoor, Satish Kaushik , Anjali Barot, Jay Upadhyay, Shadaab Khan, Vivek Vasvani, Sharib Hashmi, Mamik, KK Raina, Faisal Rashid, Jaimini Pathak

Based on – Book “The Scam : Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away” by Sucheta Dalal, Debashish Basu 

Theme Music – Achint Thakkar

Plot

The story opens to Harshad’s life as a struggling but ambitious common man living in a one room shanty in a joint family.

It then chronicles his journey right from when he joins the world of stock market as a mere jobber, learns the ropes, and laden with extreme ambition and a shrewd mind, manipulates the markets, uses the chinks in the system to climb the ladder and fly high before being caught up with.

Analysis

Writing is the backbone of any cinematic piece. What I found wonderful about the series is that it handles all aspects of the story in a well rounded way. In a superbly written and riveting narrative, it throws light on the personal life of Harshad and the person he was; his ambitions and dreams that drove him; his relationships and family values; an engrossing peek into the intriguing dynamics of stock and money market; the greed and politics of this industry; the loopholes in the banking system… and a very bold glimpse about eternal political angle to any such scam.

Last three episodes are mind blowing, revelatory & thought provoking… let you decide your verdict and leave you pondering if he was a bigger crook or the weak/corrupt system that he manipulated!

Their incredibly shining cast enhances the feel and pleasure manyfold. Each actor, irrespective of the length of the role brings admirable authenticity to the portrayal.

The dialogues and music is catchy. The pace is perfect, delving on aspects as and when required and never sagging anywhere.

The real locations, the wardrobe and the period era setting looks great and add effect and authenticity.

Performances

Kudos to Pratik Gandhi who brings alive the central character. In his Hindi cinema debut, he blows you away with the way he captures and holds your attention in almost every minute of the series. I was surprised to feel an incredible emotional connect and empathy with Mehta, a man who was painted as nothing but villain by the media so far. And believe me, that doesn’t mean that the makers have tried to paint him white.

Shyeya Dhanwantry, last seen in a small roll in forgettable Cheat India (Imraan Hashmi starrer), is so believable as the young passionate journalist Sucheta Dalal.

Hemant Kher as Ashwin Bhatt, Nikhil Dwivedi as Citibank India Chief Tyagi, Anjali Barot as Harshad’s wife were some of my other favourites .

So many more deserve mention like Sharib Hashmi as Sharad Bellary, Chirag Vohra as Bhushan Patel, Jay Upadhyay as Pranav Seth, Shadaab Khan as Kedia, Faisal Rashid as Debashish, Jaimini Pathak as Sitaraman, KK Raina as Pherwani, Anant Mahadevan as RBI Governor, Mamik as Citibank Top boss, Rajat Kapoor as CBI’s Madhavan and you will find many more of well admired actors in many small roles and they make their presence felt.

Overall, I would say his web series of 10 episodes is a must watch and completely worth your time for its brilliant story telling, all rounded approach ,bold stance and its stellar cast.

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