Scam 1992 TV Series Review - In The Business Of Creating Wealth
Updated: Oct 16, 2020
Director Hansal Mehta took a detailed, realistic, and brutal dissection to showcase the meteoric rise and fall of the devilish stockbroker, Harshad Mehta. It is based on the book by Debashis Basu and Sucheta Dalal. The authors plays a key role in uncovering one of the biggest scams India has seen. The meticulous screenplay is observational and the director adds dramatic shape by highlighting the core theme of greed and ego beautifully. There are too many technical jargon's in the show which may sound initially over the top, but slowly all those are explained. To give an idea on the scam, Mehta procured bank funds using forged receipts in a large magnitude and used them to rig up prices of stocks creating an artificial bull run. The security scam was around a whopping 4K cr.
Being an avid follower of the stock market, I must admit that this was a fascinating watch. This is an excellent front row account of the operating model of the Indian markets and the flaws that was prevalent at that time (where everything was manual in nature) for people to manipulate the system. It takes weeks to reconcile what has been bought and sold and money will be with brokers in the interim. The relationship between the Mehta brothers, their family, friends circle were glued in nicely and the drama was checked in control. The parallel story of his rivals also added a great punch. The show avoided over sensationalism and took a more restrained deconstruction of a white-collar crime.
Pratik Gandhi as Harshad Mehta and Shreya Dhanwanthary as Sucheta Dalal were a treat to watch. Gandhi infused his character with his charisma and manipulative charm while Shreya as an relentless investigative journalist was brimming with energy. The movie is smartly cast and makes the most out of even the smallest actors.
There are few issues to point out. To a great extent the show clearly draw some sympathy for its protagonist which may seem like taking a biased approach. And towards the end, it did drag quiet a lot especially few episodes. At times the film struggled to hold my attention, as its overlong despite my interest in stock market. For people who are new to stock market this may sound like a technical film and the pay off may be less. A 6 to 7 episode max would have been a perfect for this kind of show.
In closing, the show is a brutal dissection of a compromised system and banker-broker greed. In the end no matter what, the the truth will out (at least some of it) and everything which goes up has to come down one day. Personally I feel, the only the year part changes every time and the keyword "Scam" is a constant factor. Even with so much regulatory policy and procedural changes the system continues to have loop holes and sophisticated ones improvises and evade the net. The reactive approach always proved costly and the mehta scam eroded crores of rupees from aam aadmi and ruined life of many.
Remember, no single person is capable of committing such huge scams, its always a collective effort of a poor governance model, selfish acts from group of greedy people who find loop holes and a supporting corrupt ECO system. A proactive approach , a rigorous scrutiny, the fast tracking cases and unbiased punishment is the only saving factor, else we will continue to witness more of Ketan Parekhs, HM and Nirav modi to name few. And the list will continue as long as ambitions grow beyond our moral reasoning. Eventually the fate cannot be changed for bad acts, they all will fall one day but it will be too late and massive damage must have been done by that time.
Verdict - 4/5 (The battle of Kismat vs Keemat)