Times of India
The Big Bull Story:
Predicated on a real story, The Big Bull follows the life and times of Hemant Shah – a small-time stockbroker who manipulates the loopholes in the country’s archaic banking system to produce a massive bull run on the stock exchange. But when the Indian economy was taking its big vault toward liberalization, it was only a matter of time before Hemant Shah’s dream run ended in agony.
The Big Bull Review:
It’s a true rags-to-riches story that has captured the cooperative heart of the world. Told successfully ahead in a bestseller and a monstrously successful web series, there is little we don’t know formerly about India’smulti- crore stock request ‘swindle
Pen and director Kookie Gulati had a mammoth task at hand to crunch the highs and lows of an enigmatic character into a two – and-a-half-hour-long point film. And for a film that’s ‘kindly
inspired by true events,’ Gulati succeeds only partly, as the real story is far more fascinating and provocative. Also, we are snappily taken through Hemant Shah’s ( Abhishek A Bachchan) trip from a salaried middle-class man to a seasoned stockbroker without actually seeing him slug it out in the stock request. The base of his gradual rise from the common man to the Messiah of the common man feels rushed and underwhelming. Casts of his modest life in a Mumbai Chawl, his relationship with his family, and Priya( Nikita Dutta), the girl his heart beats for, take up farther than his stock request shenanigans. In the alternate act, the film’s narrative still picks up pace, as Hemant Shah’s rising popularity and riches earn him name, fame, and adversaries. Writers Arjun Dhawan and Kookie Gulati manage to make conspiracy and pressure around various circumstances of Hemant’s run-sways with police, politicians, and media, as he brazenly goes about manipulating everyone. Some scenes stand out for their argumentative value. Also, the thenon-direct fabricator helps in breaking the humdrum of repetitive conflicts. While it’s always a delight to see Mumbai when it was Bombay, the cinematography of the numerous south Mumbai locales is just about alright. Abhishek Bachchan delivers a decent performance, despite the fact that his character could have done so much further depth and detailing. For starters, his appearance remains fairly constant from his youth to middle- age, making it hard to believe that his character has indeed come a long way. The repeated loud and fake laughter shots, look forced and his chemistry with Nikita Dutta is agonizingly lacking. Their scenes and an odd love- song shot in Delhi, only brake down the pace further. The film’s dialogues too are fairly ineffective like, ‘hamare pass bhagwaan se bhi zyada paise hain.’ ultimate of the dialogues don’t propel the characters to make them look important indeed when the scenes demand so. Ileana D’Cruz as the intelligencer Meera Rao, digging after Hemant’s scams, puts up an honest performance. Sohum Shah as Hemant’s youthful family Viren is decent and so are utmost of the most seasoned character actors like Saurabh Shukla and Ram Kapoor. Overall, ‘The Big Bull’ is a decent attempt to tell a dramatic story of one of India’s biggest financial scams, orchestrated by a man, who sounded more like a common man than a con man. Watch it if you’re an Abhishek Bachchan addict, but don’t let the stock of your prospects rise too high.
Granted, comparisons are odious, but The Big Bull, with Abhishek Bachchan mimicking someone like Harshad Mehta without ever attempting to eclipse Pratik Gandhi, simply isn’t in the same league as the superbly penned, expertly performed Scam 1992. The web program, loosely based on the lives and times of the controversial stockbroker, is unable to escape the shadow cast by the film.
If the series was a deep, discursive dive into the ways of the Indian banking system and the Bombay Stock Exchange, this stodgy, meandering two-and-a-half-hour feature, which is streaming on Disney+Hotstar, is a cursory swim on the surface of the early 1990s stocks scam that shook the nation. By the end, the viewer is no wiser about the market dynamics that Harshad Mehta exploited when the going was good.
The strangest thing about Kookie Gulati’s co-written and directed The Big Bull is that a lot appears to be happening on the screen, often at a rapid pace, yet none of it generates any waves of emotion or enthusiasm. This is a stodgy, facile biopic that is hesitant to call itself one. It swings ahead and backward, like a sputtering engine in need of an overhaul, from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, the period that saw Harshad Mehta’s ascent and fall.
The Harshad Mehta debacle was primarily about ambition, greed, market manipulation, political sleaze, banking industry misconduct, and the emergence of the post-liberalization get-rich-quick-at-any-cost attitude that has been India’s curse ever since. Neither the banks nor the country’s economic policies have been able to shake the poor habits acquired during that frenetic period.
The Big Bull Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Ileana D’Cruz, Nikita Dutta, Sumit Vats, Mahesh Manjrekar, Ram Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla
The Big Bull Director: Kookie Gulati
Rating: 1.5 Out of 5
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