Director: Kookie Gulati
Writers: Kookie Gulati, Arjun Dhawan; Ritesh Shah
Cinematography: Vishnu Shah
Editor: Darmendra Sharma
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Ileana D’Cruz, Saurab Shukla, Ram Kapoor, Mahesh Manjakar, Sohum Shah and Samir Soni
Streaming on: Disney + Hotstar

Comparisons are unfair, but inevitable. The big bull, a feature-length biographical film based on the (non) life of the famous broker Harshad Mehta, comes six months after the critically acclaimed long-running series, Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story. The titular performance of the newly arrived Pratik Gandhi was the highlight of the breakthrough year for Indian web television. But The big bull, betting on an almost identical narrative journey, he lacks nothing more than an advantage for the first time. One suspects that even if the solid 155-minute film appeared in the same week as its well-constructed 10-episode counterpart, the gap in class, style, and viewer satisfaction may have reflected the difference between ODI cricket and test cricket. When the object is common, it is the means that makes everything different. Ironically, this is not the first time co-producer Ajay Devgn has starred in a twinning saga. In 2002, his biographical film about Bhagat Singh (The Legend of Bhagat Singh) hits theaters the same day as Bobby Deol March 23, 1931: Shahid. Another issue is that none of them succeeded.

As with most Hindi biographies, the limitations of The big bull are a direct consequence of its rapidly compressed form. It is not as simple as recommending this film as a crash course in Harshad Mehta-ness to those who do not have the patience and bandwidth to consume the series. There is a more basic problem. While 1992 fraud won the luxury of gray – Gandhi’s Mehta had time to be projected as a high-ranking victim and a charismatic villain – The big bull deals in strictly black and white shades. Abhishek Bachchan’s mech is Hemant Shah, a man whose legacy is so heavily romanticized that he stops only citizens from declaring “he is not the hero we deserve, but the one we need” at the climax. The film mistakenly injects its virgin palette from the 90’s with narrative wisdom backwards – it repeatedly makes its characters declare that Shah was the only trigger for economic liberalization and that his crimes by Robin Hood were necessary to eradicate the systemic crimes that left India. titration of the edge of bankruptcy. Although the protagonist is portrayed as a selfish middle-class man, the film itself whitens India’s ultimate icon of moral ambiguity. Although the power-drunk chess has been shown to climb like a Bollywood villain behind closed doors, history refuses to acknowledge this duality – instead of choosing to serve the patriotic image he he even circulated the narrator of the film (the version of financial journalist Sucheta Dalal with a note by Ileana D’Cruz) to view him as a universal national savior (“perhaps he taught a country how to dream”). In short, I would not be surprised to learn that a hymn featuring Hemant Shah, a jog on Dalal Street wrapped in tricolor, is part of the original theatrical cut.

The big bull opens in 2020 with veteran journalist Mina Rao (D’Cruz wearing her gray Barfi! hairstyle), presenting his book The Big Bull at a luxury MBA institute. She suggests that the students there have a good three hours to kill, and so she begins to tell the story of Hemant Shah’s life. Unfortunately, even this flashback is divided into two timelines – the “present” featuring a rich chess player who is already battling his case through the Ram Kapoor booth, which allows a scene for a hero to enter a purple silk robe. , and The Past with a meteorite rise to a penthouse that progresses too fast to register the change in Shah’s way of life and attitude. Blink and you will miss Shah’s conception of domestic trade, his first “scheme” involving a local right-wing leader, his monopoly on the trading floor of the BSE, and his access to government funds the size of Sitaraman. Blink and hopefully miss a romantic song between Shah and his wife at a five-star hotel in Delhi on one of his early business trips. Blink, and you may not miss the absurd editing that accidentally emulates the blinking of the human eye, using eclipses as visual transitions.

Dozens of supporting characters are distilled into tribal personalities – Saurab Shukla (who again uses eating / belching as an invaluable character trait) as a disgruntled mandate of Manu Mundra, Samir Soni as the sheepdog of the ruling party and worst of all, Shah’s Brother ( played by Sohum Shah) comes down to the cowardly Yin to the fearless yang of Hemant. There is no room for silence in the film; the background score is everywhere, but it radiates the urgency of an action thriller about a plane crash instead of a decade-long financial thriller.

In this cinematic equivalent of the pre-pandemic Virar Fast at rush hour, Hirshad Mehta’s version of Abhishek Bachchan is far more compelling than the story he defines. The Guru the hangover is obvious, but not bad for the Bollywood Gujarati-businessman-hero landscape. Bachchan’s image actually raises the inherent nervousness of someone like Mehta. There are times when he seems to swim against the simplistic perception of the film’s protagonist – especially in scenes that explore the noise of Hemant Shah in the face of a crippled economy. The film ultimately reduces Shah to an idea, but Bachchan’s individual sincerity is perhaps the only thing he does. The big bull with periodic viewing.

It is not so much a sense of authenticity or accent as the cultural spirit of his role. His confidence often turns into obsession and back into righteousness within the same scene, which alludes to Shah as something of a hypocritical character who makes a philanthropic act for the world. If only the directors recognized that, too, maybe The big bull it may be a fairer picture of a figure that undermines the notion of justice. And maybe the film may have become more than a famous accent.



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