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Web Series | Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story review: Masterpiece!!

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Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story review is here. The Indian Hindi-language drama web-series directed by Hansal Mehta is based on 1992 Indian stock market scam committed by stockbroker Harshad Mehta in 1992, the series is adapted from journalist Sucheta Dalal and Debashish Basu’s book The Scam: Who Won, who Lost, who Got Away.

Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story stars Pratik Gandhi, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Hemant Kher and Nikhil Dwivedi in pivotal roles. The series premiered on SonyLIV on 9th October, 2020.

Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story review

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Will come straight to the point. Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story is a modern-day classic in Indian web series genre. It’s based on Harshad Mehta (was called The Lord of Bank Frauds), the man whose meteoric rise in the stock exchange and the terrible downfall is a classic case of how our ‘system’ worships greed over and over again.

The ‘Amitabh Bachchan of Dalal Street’, ‘The Raging Bull’, ‘Big Bull’ ‘Einstein’, ‘Cobra Killer’ ‘Cheetah’ these were the terms used for Harshad Mehta when he ruled the stock market and called the shots at his will. But don’t be mistaken for the series being an image cleaning exercise. It’s as ‘real’ and human in those reels as it can be.

Adapted from journalist Sucheta Dalal & Debashish Basu’s book The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away for screen by Sumit Purohit, Vaibhav Vishal and Karan Vyas, the series is a clear eyed perspective of a smart but over ambitious and greedy businessman who started believing that the world is at his feet.

Scam 1992 - The Harshad Mehta Story
Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story
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The author before entering the world of cinema as a journalist was partially active in stocks and has seen the Harshad Mehta era with his naked eyes. Visited the stock exchange and saw how crazy it is at the ‘the ring’.

Sumit Purohit, Vaibhav Vishal and Karan Vyas script is laced with details, punches and layers. The complexity of human nature, the growing level of greed amongst people, the laid back and ‘chalta hai’ attitude of the ‘system’, the unhealthy human tendency to earn quick bucks, to become a millionaire in just one go, the craziness to want more and more.

Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story has everything a terrific web series based on financial fraud will ask for – rags to riches saga, power, money, fraud, investigation, trust, betrayal, drama, thrill, foul language everything but no skin show.

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Hansal Mehta redeems himself after the disasters called Simran and Omerta. Classic days are back again yeah! Like a master narrator, Hansal churns an incredibly cohesive, flawless web series that is brilliantly detailed and nuanced with outstanding performances.

Pratik Gandhi as Harshad Mehta is a class apart, he seems so effortless in those entire shrewdness and Guajarati accent, is a treat for learners.

Shreya Dhanwanthary who plays the spirited journalist Sucheta Dalal excels. Ivan Rodriguez as her friend is fantastic. Hemant Kher as Harshad’s younger brother is brilliant.

Satish Kaushik as Cobra – Manu Mundra is incredible. Ananth Mahadevan as the RBI Governor Venkitarajan is superb. Nikhil Dwivedi as Citibank’s treasury chief A.S. Thiyagarajan is outstanding. Rajat Kapoor as the CBI officer Madhavan – is excellent. Anjali Barot is fine.

Cinematography by Pratham Mehta is pure class. Editing by Kunal Walve and Sumit Purohit is sharp. Special mention for the production design by Payal Ghose and Tarpan Shrivastava plus the art direction by Akbar Khan, Niranjan Sahu and Nida Shaikh is a must. Music by Achint Thakkar is in sync.

Flaws

The series though doesn’t paint Harshad in any frame – ‘hero’ or a ‘villain’. It’s for us to decide, it strangely doesn’t dwell much on the ‘deadly’ impact of the fall of Harshad on the ‘common man’. Maybe the makers don’t want to be righteous but the consequences of such greed, the pain and suffering of the common people who trusted this stock exchange hero – a ‘common man’ should have found space. Plus, the continuous financial frauds – scams by the same banks involved in the Harshad Mehta scam should have found some more footage. And the changes in the Stock exchange after SEBI received extra powers; the BOLT trading should have been highlighted.

Final words

Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story is a masterly developed web series about greed and corruption. A modern-day classic is a brilliantly performed masterpiece that shows how greed takes over our ‘system’. How blindly we start worshipping fraud, dubious individuals.

pic/poster courtesy: Sony Liv

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