The Big Bull Movie Review: Abhishek Bachchan is not Pratik Gandhi, The Big Bull is not Scam 1992 and the film crashesModified On: 09 April 2021 | Reviewed By: Saurabh S Nair
The Big Bull failed to show the story of man from rags to riches and to his downfall. The film has not researched anything about stock marketing, Harshad Mehta is from the picture.
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Sohum Shah, Saurabh Shukla, Ram Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, Nikita Dutt
Directed By: Kookie Gulati
The Big Bull's timing was quite bad because the Scam 1992 web series released last year starring Pratik Gandhi was pathbreaking for his portrayal of the rising and fall of a stock broker and the world of the stock market with a sensational theme score. Hansal Mehta's career-defining show always plays in the back of your mind with its lack of romantic song sequences, rap music blowing in your ears, and zero shots of Pratik Gandhi laughing hysterically in his lair.
Hemant Shah, played by a chubby Abhishek Bachchan, has been made into a messiah of the masses, but only at the very end. For most of the film's duration, Kookie emphasises Hemant's devious ways, hammered home by Abhishek's unprovoked, maniacal laughter at three separate instances. That's three more than there should ever have been.
Hemant is a Gujarati man in Mumbai who speaks next to no Gujarati. He lives a middle-class life with his brother (Sohum Shah) and mother (Supriya Pathak). First to clear his brother's debt, than to impress his girlfriend's father, Hemant figures out ways to sink his feet into the world of stocks and shares.
The Big Bull scores with its message that everybody has the right to dream and try and realise it – the way Shah himself made the long leap from a modest home to a palatial mansion. And all because he dared to think big, take even bigger risks, firmly believing in the dictum that there cannot be progress and prosperity without these.
The Harshad Mehta saga was essentially about ambition, greed, market manipulation, political chicanery, banking industry malfeasance and the birth of the post-liberalization get-rich-quick-at-any-cost culture that has been the bane of India ever since. Neither the banks nor the nation's economic practices have been able to shrug off the bad habits picked up during that frenzied phase.
Abhishek Bachchan leads a cast that cannot hold a candle to the one that was assembled for the web series that landed in our midst last year and blew us away with its sharp-eyed lucidity. In the absence of a genuine atmosphere in The Big Bull, the actors struggle. The rudimentary writing that they have to make their way around achieves more obfuscation than illumination.
Nothing acquires meaningful tangibility in The Big Bull - not the bourse, not the banks, not the firm that Hemant Shah (modelled on Harshad Mehta) runs with his brother Viren (Sohum Shah), not the Mehta home, not the city of Bombay, and certainly not the newspaper office where the journalist who blew the lid on the scam - she is named Meera Rao (Ileana D'Cruz) - works.
Comparisons may be unfair, but the web series, Scam 1992, also about Harshad Mehta was proficiently paced, scripted with subtlety and performed by Pratik Gandhi with a flourish. Bachchan pales here, and The Big Bull in the end looks like, well, “bull”.
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