The cast of the Big Bull movie: Abhishek Bachchan, Sohum Shah, Ileana D’Cruz, Saurabh Shukla, Ram Kapoor, Sameer Soni, Nikita Dutt, Mahesh Manjrekar and Supriya Pathak Kapoor
The Big Bull film director: Kookie Gulati
The Big Bull Movie Review: 1.5 stars
The first line in the disclaimer reads: “This film is somewhat inspired by real events and more is fictional work…” What does that mean “something”? And what about “and more”? Either it is a fictional story inspired by real events, a standard practice for most Bollywood biographies, or it is fictional work. It can’t be both, can it? Or is it just an example of the sloppy script that permeates the entire Big Bull?
Just a few months earlier, Hansal Mehta’s great replica of the Harshad Mehta story had gained the first mover advantage, with Pratik Gandhi doing a brilliant job getting into the shoes of the stockbroker responsible for this most memorable bull run in India was markets. In the films, as in life, timing is everything: The Big Bull comes off badly in both tenor and tone compared to Scam 1992, a jumbled mixture of stodginess and melodrama.
Authenticity is an issue from the start. Why in the name of heaven is Abhishek Bachchan’s main character who keeps repeating that he is “the only great bull” named Hemant Shah and not Harshad Mehta? After that it is open season. The Sucheta Dalal character is Meera Rao (Ileana D’Cruz). And Ram Jethmalani becomes Ashok Mirchandani (Ram Kapoor). Why could the series give us the names and not the film?
It’s not just Hemant Shah who falls in love with the Big Bull line. Meera Rao, the journalist who tracks down Shah’s gadgets and tells the greatest story of her career, is asked to repeat the sentence as well. I felt the re-creation of the newsroom in Scam 1992 was a bit wrong (it’s nearly impossible to get a real feel for the news floor if you’re not in one; about the only one getting it right is Alan Pakulas All The President’s Men). but it’s completely shaky here. When Rao’s editor tells her, regarding what happened on Dalal Street, something is happening here. I’m the editor in chief, ”I collapsed. You show me an editor who speaks like that and I’ll show you a blue sun. And Dalal’s partner, Debashish Basu, who was just as important to the story, was completely removed from the film. Why?
Shah’s early life, which includes a romance with a pretty girl (Nikita Dutt) who lives in the same claw, is clearly a prologue to his amazing rise and rise: during his dizzying rise, he was the man with the Midas touch and every stake that he touched turned to gold. But if you’re looking for adequate detailing of his journey, which of course includes the socialmediagossips who have shared it most closely, you won’t find it here. Major events are summarized and the most important socialmediagossips in Shah’s life, mother (Supriya Pathak Kapoor) and younger brother (Sohum Shah), look like they are only there to strengthen him. They are good actors, but they cannot rise above lazy writing.
Bachchan looks like this with his hair combed back, fat rings and comfy belly. His patented sincerity is expressed in places, but like the rest of the film, his Hemant / Harshad isn’t convinced: breaking out into loud, exaggerated laughter, which his character does more than once, doesn’t quite cut it.