What: ‘Scam 1992—The Harshad Mehta Story is 450 minutes of sheer brilliance in almost every department
Scam 1992 - The Harshad Mehta Synopsis
Adapted from journalist Sucheta Dalal Debashish Basu's book The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away, the series is based on The Big Bull – Harshad Mehta – man who rose from a chawl in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar to a sprawling spacious flat in Mumbai with swimming pool, the man who made the stocks run at his will and claimed that he gave former PM of India Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao a suitcase filled with cash worth 1 crore to bail him off from the mega stock market scam.
Scam 1992 - The Harshad Mehta review
The series begins with a tip-off received by Sucheta Dalal (Shreya Dhanwanthary ) from an unknown SBI (State Bank of India) employee, Sharad Bellary (Sharib Hashmi). The immortal ‘common man’ – R.K. Laxman is also a bit instrumental as well in bringing the whistle blower to the rare female financial journalist. The scam worth 5000 crores that time opens up the huge ugly Pandora box of the nexus between India’s bank (national and international), banking institutions, finance companies, the system, the entire machinery and the fraudulent practice of credits and financial/banking transactions and manipulation/monopoly by some players.
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.
Dialogues by Vaibhav Vishal and Karan Vyas are real strength working at different levels – playing at the gallery and having an effect on the thinking mind as well.
Performances are of highest order. Pratik Gandhi - a big name in Gujarati Theater (last seen in Loveyatri) as Harshad is class apart. His mannerisms, body language, pitch perfect accent and that cunning infectious smile is a winner all hands down. A master class in acting without any iota of doubt.
Shreya Dhanwanthary as Sucheta Dalal is sheer brilliance.
Hemant Kher as Harshad’s younger brother is outstanding.
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.
Shadaab Amjad Khan as Ajay Kedia is very natural.
Anjali Barot as Harshad’s caring wife is very good. Chirag Vohra as Bhushan Bhatt is fantastic.
Incredible support comes from Mithilesh Chaturvedi as Ram Jethmalani, K.K. Raina as Pherwani. Kumkum Das and Ramakant Dayma impress as Harshad’s parents are competent as well.
Production is of highest order. The camerawork (Pratham Mehta) is pure class. Production design (Tarpan Srivastava and Payal Ghose) authentic.
Achint Thakkar smartly mixes those old and retro songs with the narrative.
Any memorable dialogue/scene
Risk Hai Toh Ishq Hai
Scene that should have been deleted at once
The sear words by Rajat Kapoor doesn,t go with his aura/personality
Some more footage should have been given to the losses/pain suffered by common people who went in the flow and suffered heavily. The series is terrifically realistic and uses real names as well but surprisingly at certain places some names are changed.
You may or may not have a bucket list of movies that you must see before you die. In case if you make a list of web series to see before you die then Scam 1992 - The Harshad Mehta Story should top the list at present. It certainly the best in India right now.