Release Dates : 9th August, 2020
Genre : Financial thriller, Biography, Drama
OTT Platform: SonyLIV
- latestmoviesreview Rating : (5/5)
- IMDb Rating : (10/10)
Based On : 1992 Indian stock market scam
Written By : Sumit Purohit, Saurav Dey, Vaibhav Vishal, Karan Vyas
Directed By : Hansal Mehta, Jai Mehta
Production Companies : Studio NEXT, Applause Entertainment
Star Cast : Pratik Gandhi, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Hemant Kher, Satish Kaushik
Music By : Achint Thakkar
No. of seasons : 1
No. of episodes: 10
Based on the book written by former Times of India journalist Sucheta Dalal and her husband Debashis Basu, “Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story” traces the controversial stockbroker Harshad Mehta’s meteoric rise and unintentional fall from grace. Mehta was the face of the 5,000 crore rupee stock market scam that rocked India in 1992.
List Of Episodes:
Episode 1 : Risk Se Ishq
Sucheta Dalal tells the story of the growth of the Indian economy and the Bombay Stock Exchange in the 1990s at the start of the episode. Sharad Bellary, a State Bank of India employee, visits the Times of India office on April 22, 1992, to expose a fraud that cost 500 crores. He informs Sucheta (Shreya Dhanwanthary) about the fraud and blames Harshad Mehta (Pratik Gandhi). Early in his life, Harshad shared a middle-class home with his wife Jyoti, brother Ashwin, parents Shantilal and Rasilaben, as well as his brother. Shantilal ran a fabric business, but it wasn’t very profitable. As a result, Harshad was forced to work odd jobs to support the family. The issue with the money made him angry.
He therefore considered working in the stock market. He obtained employment at the Bombay Stock Exchange as a jobber. He made friends with Bhushan Bhatt, who gave him some fundamental lessons. Even though Harshad had trouble on his first day, he eventually rose to become one of the top jobbers in the industry. He then started gathering insider information, which enabled him to target particular stocks for profit. But he sought to raise his earnings. He ultimately left his job and started his own trade business with his brother Ashwin, which angered their father. Following Ashwin’s marriage, the entire family moves into a new apartment.
Harshad started disseminating false insider information about the stocks he was targeting in an effort to boost his profits. He was able to gain Pranav Sheth’s support in this way, one of the BSE bulls who was undeniably impressed with his abilities. Due to the BSE Bear Cartel’s operations, the market plummeted on Black Friday in 1982, causing losses of 10 lakh rupees for Ajay Kedia, Harshad, and his brother.
Episode 2 : Cobra Killer
With family gold, they may pay off a portion of their debt. Until the entire sum is reimbursed, Harshad’s trading account is suspended. Harshad had pledged before his father’s passing that he would never give up on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Ashwin tells Harshad that he intends to travel to Sri Lanka to look for employment following the passing of his father. Harshad, who is dissatisfied with his lack of success in the stock market, decides to launch his own consulting company, through which he will make money through commissions.
They first concentrate on the tea market and call their consultancy company Growmore. Due to unseasonal rains, Africa, the world’s top supplier of tea, has decreased its output, which would help Indian tea firms. They are successful in paying off their debt and getting back into their trading accounts. With the promise of excellent service and higher profits, the company reaches out to a large number of prospective customers to create accounts with them so they can use extra money in the stock market under their portfolio management scheme. With the support of Pranav, he was able to impress corporate clients and within six months they had a number of in-house clients. Harshad was able to grow their firm and acquire Bushan while Sucheta was studying stock market ideas.
Rajiv Gandhi replaces his mother Indira Gandhi as prime minister of India after her murder. Pranav Seth and Manu Mundra both think the market will crash, while Harshad is still optimistic. Harshad buys all he can since he has faith in the current liberalization measures and has no other plans. Due to their low cost and expected growth, they opt to invest in oil and petroleum firms including Indrol, Zuari Agro, and SPIC. Manu Mundra fabricates an impression that Harshad has lost more than a crore, which will lead traders to sell Harshad’s stocks in an effort to damage Harshad’s reputation. Harshad makes the decision to pay all of his debts in full as soon as he hears about it.
Episode 3 : Paise Ki Dukaan
Once Harshad becomes interested in the money market, he forms his own cartel of brokers and begins doing business with banks. He soon loses SBI as a client, and destiny does a U-turn.
Episode 4 : Harshad Mehta Is A Liar
The financial journalist Sucheta Dalal notices Harshad’s newfound success and begins actively hunting for evidence to bring him down.
Episode 5 : Kundli Mein Shani
The RBI Governor requests that the bank keep a tight eye on Harshad’s financial movements after noticing suspicious activity in his SBI account. In an effort to protect himself, Harshad tries to remove 500 crore from the books.
Episode 6 : Stop Press
While Harshad pays off the majority of his debts to SBI, Sucheta is determined to expose the 500 crore fraud after receiving a tip from Bellary. Each party has 24 hours to change the situation.
Episode 7 : Dalal Street Ka Dariya
Venkitarajan learns that numerous banks are participating in the money swindle and that it is far more significant than it first appears to be. An investigation committee is set up by RBI.
Episode 8 : Matador
When Sucheta learns from Venkatarajan that NHB was involved in the scam, she breaks the news and prompts CBI to begin questioning Pherwani. Harshad worries Pherwani will be honest. Following Pherwani’s passing, the CBI conducted a raid on Harshad’s home and arrested him.
Episode 9 : Ek Crore Ka Suitcase
The government engages in negotiations with Harshad and his attorney, but they ultimately fail. And one day, Harshad holds a news conference with his attorney Mr. Ram Jethmalani, during which they openly admit that Harshad sent the then-Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao a bag containing Rs. 1 crore to help finance the by-election campaign.
Episode 10 : Main History Banana Chahta Hoon”
Both Mehta and the Growmore clientele are under pressure from CBI, who scares the majority of them into going to prison. Harshad and Delhi come to an agreement, and as a result, he retracts his press release. Despite the majority of Harshad’s assets being frozen, Growmore resumes its existence. But Bhushan’s admission is about to upend Harshad’s entire universe. As a result of the torture by the Central Bureau of Investigation, Bhushan sells all of Harshad’s shares.
Ashwin and Harshad are furious with Bhushan for doing this. Harshad alerts the CBI to some fraud in his company without being aware of Bhushan’s plan beforehand. The CBI suspects Harshad of being involved in a fresh scam as a result of this fraud and detains him. After being detained for a short while, Harshad Mehta developed a heart condition that ultimately led to a heart attack and his death. The cops are keeping his lifeless body in the lobby of the Thane cops Station as the episode comes to a close.
Director Hansal Mehta introduces us to a large billboard that declares, “Harshad Mehta is a liar,” right in the first scene. But the situation is more complicated than that, and it becomes abundantly evident with each new scenario that you will need to brush up on your knowledge of bulls, bears, and banks before you can understand the hows, whats, and whys of Mehta’s elaborate fraud. Like every rags to riches tale, Harshad Mehta’s tale also starts out fairly modestly. The Mehtas are a typical Indian family that resides in a small one-room apartment in the Gujarati-dominated neighborhood of Ghatkopar in Mumbai.
However, Harshad’s aspirations are too great for this place to contain them. After doing a variety of odd jobs, Harshad comes to the conclusion that the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is his path to unparalleled achievement. Harshad quickly establishes himself as the market wizard of Dalaal Street thanks to his intelligence, cunning, and ability to pick up new skills quickly. And this is the 1980s, when the BSE operated like a fish market and major brokers used ‘jobbers’ to physically close deals worth millions of dollars for them. Since digitization was still more than a decade away, all financial transactions had to be physically entered, leaving the system with significant vulnerabilities that could be easily abused.
Starting out as a menial “Jobber,” Harshad quickly establishes his own consultancy company called “Growmore” and starts exploiting each chance to have an advantage over the system for himself. He bribes his way through corrupt means to engage some of the largest banks in his get-quick-reach schemes. A Times of India journalist named Sucheta Dalal (Shreya Dhanwanthary) is hot on Harshad’s trail as he quickly rises to prominence, but obtaining any evidence against him is difficult. As her voiceover narration frequently narrates the scenes where she is not present, the story is told from her point of view.
The ten-part series by director Hansal Mehta and writers Sumit Purohit, Vaibhav Vishal, and Karan Vyas seems to have aired every page of the book due to its length and level of detail. It provides us with more than a glance into each and every character who was involved in Harshad Mehta’s financial wrongdoings as it details the twelve most significant years of Mehta’s growth (from 1980–1992).
You will experience little bursts of tension every time it appears as though the enormous bull is being pulled closer and closer to the noose. But Hansal never really presents Harshad as a menacing or evil figure. He has an almost heroic character, which is emphasized by his extravagant lifestyle and aspirations. Because he was the traditional “outsider,” he was sometimes referred to as “BSE ka Bachchan” and occasionally even presented as a victim with too many enemies.
The nostalgic old world beauty of Bombay in the 1980s and 1990s is delightful to see visually. The production quality is flawless, and Pratham Mehta’s cinematography is captivating with expansive Ariel perspectives of the city that make it appear much cleaner than it really is. While many inside locations are faithfully replicated (such as The Times of India office and SBI headquarters), the majority of the Chroma shots are somewhat obvious.
Like the rest of the background music, the opening track by Achint Thakkar is upbeat and funky. In a few episodes, the end credits have retro numbers, which adds to the impact. There are many film-like dialogues, but they are effective for delivering a dramatic story like this. There are also numerous business jargons and Gujarati phrases included for good measure.
Like its source material, which is so fascinating in and of itself, the show doesn’t hold back when mentioning people. The pace occasionally slows down as Harshad encounters recurring issues and the overpowering stock market jargon. However, the fact that it is a true event that has captivated the nation’s attention makes for an engrossing film. It’s almost like ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ in our own desi adaptation, and we have high hopes that it will keep you invested.