The Big Bull
The Big Bull is finally here. A movie which was to have a theatrical release before the pandemic set in, later scheduled for an OTT release last year kept getting pushed back. One of the reasons was the super success of the webseries Scam 1992, based on the life of Harshad Mehta that threw the audience in a dizzy and made Pratik Gandhi an overnight star. I still remember when the trailer of The Big Bull was out, people being what they know best started trolling the trailer without even giving it a chance. It was when the director of Scam 1992 Hansal Mehta had to intervene that the tension was diffused. When finally based on the same subject, The Big Bull has arrived. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Loosely based on the life of Harshad Mehta, The Big Bull follows the story of the rise and fall of a man in the stock market sector. The first things first. Do not compare this to Scam 1992. This is a fresh take on the same subject. Also a point to remember is that Scam 1992 was a 10 episode web series which had documented the life of Harshad Mehta in detail. On the other hand, The Big Bull is a 2 and a half hour movie and naturally you cannot cram every detail here. Blame it on the medium but this is not an even playing ground in the first place. But coming back to its story, the names of the characters are changed here, something that did throw me off. So Harshad Mehta is now Hemant Shah. Not sure if that was needed or if the makers wanted to steer clear of a controversy. Now coming to the screenplay, it begins on a wobbly note with the initial life of our protagonist just rushed through. Even though this was a film, I had an issue with its pacing, only this time it was far too quick. Soon though the writing finds its groove and there are a few interesting sequences in the first half amidst some dull ones too. Come the second half, the writing is a little more assured. I really enjoyed the twist at the end and the circumstances that led to Hemant’s downfall. No matter how much I say not to compare it with Scam 1992, a part of me was still transported to the brilliance of it that make this screenplay look slightly insipid. Had I watched this before Scam 1992, then probably I would have given it a higher rating. For the moment, the screenplay is decent that explains the ‘finance’ terms in a very simple manner.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
This is where the comparison can be justified. Scam 1992 had some epic dialogues and that BGM was terrific(I still have it as my ring tone). Here, the dialogues are definitely good but many notches below the webseries. The BGM shpuld have been better, I found it too loud. The Yalgaar song is a rage already but the other song was not required. Infact the love angle added crucial minutes to the screenplay that exceeded its length, that could easily have been chopped off thereby limiting the movie to just about two hours. The song breaks the flow of the drama and this one one flaw that needed to be ironed out, this way or that way. Director Kookie Gulati starts off on an indifferent note but soon finds his groove. His direction is pretty good for most parts.
The performances again stand nowhere close to Scam 1992 but they still are good. There are some good cameos by Lekha Prajapati, Supriya Pathak(although wasted), Mahesh Manjrekar, Samir Soni and Saurabh Shukla that add an interesting layer to the drama. Ram Kapoor is excellent as Ashok Mirchandani. Nikita Dutta as Priya looks so pretty and has done a pretty good job. Ileana DCruz as Meera is also quite good. I was very happy to see Sohum Shah get such a meaty role and here as Viren he gets the job done well. And for people trolling Abhishek Bachchan and comparing him to Pratik Gandhi, do not do that. I felt as Hemant Shah he is excellent and definitely adds his own style and element to the drama. He is simply brilliant.
The Big Bull is a good one-time watch if you do not compare it to Scam 1992. Available on Hotstar.