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Producers- Ajay Devgn and Anand Pandit

Director- Kookie .V. Gulati

Star Cast- Abhishek A. Bachchan, Sohum Shah, Mahesh Manjrekar, Ram Kapoor, Sameer Soni, Ileana D’Cruz, Kannan Venkatachalam, Supriya Pathak, Saurabh Shukla and Panjaj Vishnu

Genre- Social

Rating- ***1/2

Inspires & entertains too!

Jyothi Venkatesh

The producers very safely do not claim that this film is an actual biopic on Harshad Mehta but just an inspired tale based on a real story.

The film follows the life and times of Hemant Shah – a smalltime stockbroker, who cleverly and successfully manipulates the loopholes in the country’s archaic banking system to create a massive bull run on the stock exchange.

At a time when the Indian economy was taking its big leap towards liberalization, it was only a matter of time before Hemant Shah’s dream run, ends in a big nightmare.

It is the saga of Hemant Shah’s (Abhishek A Bachchan) journey from a salaried middle-class Gujarati guy to a seasoned stockbroker, without actually seeing him slug it out in the stock market.

The basis of his meteoric rise from the common man to the Robinhood of the common man, feels very rushed and underwhelming.

Born and brought up in a modest Mumbai chawl, Hemant’s relationship with his family and neighborhood girl friend Priya (Nikita Dutta), the girl his heart beats for, is cut short when we are shown how he makes millions in the share market by manipulating things in his favor.

It is out and out to the credit of the director Kookie .V. Gulati that he has been able to whip up a very appetizing fare which makes you stay glued on your seat as you watch what is unfolding on the OTT platform Disney Plus Hotstar, though the same plot had earlier been unfolded on yet another OTT platform as an intriguing web series.

Writers Arjun Dhawan and Kookie Gulati manage to build intrigue and tension around various episodes of Hemant’s run-ins with the cops, politicians and media, while he brazenly and unflinchingly goes about manipulating each and every one.

The non-linear storytelling helps in breaking the monotony of repetitive conflicts. While it’s always a delight to see Mumbai when it was Bombay, thanks to the innovative cinematography of the film, few South Mumbai locations are a treat to watch today in the 2020’s.

Abhishek Bachchan delivers a very able and honest performance, though at times you are reminded of his gait and way of dialogue delivery in Mani Ratnam’s epic film Guru two decades ago.

On the flipside, the repeated loud laughter shots look forced and his zero chemistry with Nikita Dutta leaves a lot to be desired.

Ileana D’Cruz as the journalist Meera Rao, digging after Hemant’s scams, puts up an honest performance, reminding you of the fiery film journalist Devyani Chaubal of the 70’s and 80’s.

Sohum Shah as Hemant’s younger brother Viren is underwhelming and so are the seasoned character actors Saurabh Shukla as Mannu Malpani and Ram Kapoor.

Mention also ought to be made of Kannan Venkatachalam who has put in a very spirited performance as a banker though his dialogue delivery as a Tamilian is very unconvincing.

Mahesh Manjrekar is unconvincing as Rana Samant the Union leader while Supriya Pathak has hardly any role to crow about.

Watch the entertaining as well as inspiring film for Abhishek A Bachchan’s inspiring performance