Take a bow, Pratik Gandhi. Phenomenal performance! This guy deserves an award with standing ovation for Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story.
After watching Scam 1992, one thought that I constantly had was: The Big Bull should be shelved because Abhishek Bachchan won’t be able to match the high standard that Pratik Gandhi has set for Harshad Mehta’s character in Scam 1992. I am not saying this because it’s Abhishek Bachchan. I truly believe that all AB needs to revive his career is a good director. I am saying this because I am 100% sure that after Pratik Gandhi, no other actor would be able to do justice to this character. What subtlety! What command over the character! What body language! What balanced performance! Mind-blown!
I remember seeing him the first time in Jacky Bhagnani’s Mitron. Even as a hero’s friend, he was impressive. Though lean, no physique or looks of a typical hero, back then I wished someday he gets to play a lead role in Bollywood. When I saw the first trailer of Scam 1992, I wanted to watch the web series for its storyline. The trailer was so impressive that I quickly Googled Harshad Mehta. Then there was silence for a while. After sometime came the second trailer. This time, it had Pratik Gandhi in it and now I wanted to watch it for him. By casting him, the makers had given a clear sign that they mean business. Their focus was the story and hence the cast was apt. Pratik Gandhi as Harshad Mehta is like a match made in heaven. I am so happy that he got the role he deserves. He is not a friend anymore, he is a hero.
Bollywood should now start redefining heroes. Actors like Pratik Gandhi should be next SUPERSTARS.
For a long time, I am not going to get over this excellent performance. I can write pages after pages about Pratik Gandhi. But I will stop here and talk about the web series now.
Should you watch Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story? Undoubtedly, YES. It’s a wonderful series. Mainly because IT MAKES YOU THINK. Firstly, films based on books are rarely good. I haven’t read the book but still I can tell you, this series is fantastic and might even be better than the book. All credit goes to the scriptwriters for covering the details so well even in the series and to Hansal Mehta for directing it so well. He has managed to simplify some of the most complicated concepts of the finance world.
I do not understand the stock market or the money market or its strategies. Only the ones who understand the business would be able to tell you how well the makers have handled the finance side of the story; I will talk about the other side of the story – the side that made me ‘THINK.’
From what the web series tells us about Harshad Mehta, though he committed a few ‘financial crimes,’ he comes across as someone who was trapped. Trapped by whom? Not just his competitors but by the system. And he was not only trapped, but he was harassed; harassed to the point that his health started to deteriorate, to the point that he finally died of a cardiac arrest. Talking of his death, the way Harshad Mehta’s scene was written, conceptualised, and filmed,it gives you goosebumps (tears, as well). You do not want to know whether Harshad Mehta was a criminal or not, your heart breaks at that moment. You know it’s the end of an era, and you just don’t want it to end. You want to give that man another chance. Another chance to defend himself and most importantly, to take names that he wanted to but later, did not.
Scam 1992 constantly makes you wonder if Harshad Mehta was the only criminal in the business. The entire system was flawed. If anything needed to be fixed, it was the system which I guess, they later did. But was there no one else who was benefitting from the loopholes? Agreed that many were questioned but then many were saved and who knows how many were spared? From the Scam 1992 web series, it looks like the real culprits were saved. It feels like the only purpose of bringing the scam to light and conducting the investigation was to break one of the smartest in the chain.
Harshad Mehta had the power to change the system. While there was a gang who did not let outsiders in the business, Harshad Mehta single-handedly changed the way the business functioned making way for himself, an outsider. And that, I am sure, neither the outsiders liked nor some of the insiders. To survive in the business, there was only one way – wipe off Harshad Mehta, destroy him completely – mentally, emotionally, and financially. That is what they did ‘systematically.’ Who was the real culprit then? Till the end, you would find yourself questioning the intentions of many key characters in the story and then keep wondering whether they were a part of the plan. Unfortunately, we are not going to get all the answers. As only the real characters know what went behind the rise and fall of The Big Bull.
No matter what the real story is, what unquestionably went against Harshad Mehta was his over-ambitious nature, overconfidence, and pride. He did not know when and where to stop. Though his brother and close associates warned him time and again to take a step back and analyze things better, he did not. That is where his downfall began.
See, this is how much I thought about the crime and the culprits while watching this series. Scam 1992 engages you mentally and keeps you engaged till the end.
What makes Scam 1992 an excellent web series?
First, Pratik Gandhi.
Second, attention to fine details like Harshad Mehta’s shaking of leg whenever he gets into trouble or is tense. Though he looks calm and composed on the outside, that constant shaking of leg says a lot about the character and his mental state.
Third, of course, is its cast. I am not talking about the lead actors here but every actor chosen for the series. You get to see some wonderful actors that we don’t get to see often in theatres or on TV these days: Satish Kaushik, Vivek Vaswani, and Mamik Singh are just a few names. When the entire casting was so perfect, I wonder what made them cast Nikhil Dwivedi in the show. He was a complete disappointment.
Before I end this review, a quick mention of Anjali Barot is a must. Who is Anjali Barot? The girl who played Harshad Mehta’s wife, Jyoti Mehta in the series. Though her role was short, she made her presence felt.
If you haven’t watched Scam 1992 yet, please go watch it now. It’s totally worth your time.
Where to Watch? Sony LIV