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Director: Kookie Gulati

Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Nikita Dutta, Ileana D’Cruz, Sohum Shah

Written by: Arjun Dhawan, Kookie Gulati

Streaming on: Disney+ HotStar

THE BIG BULL is the story of a man’s journey from rags to riches and is an inspired story from the life of Harshad Mehta. The year is 1987. Hemant Shah (Abhishek Bachchan), a resident of Bombay, is working at Bal Kala Kendra on a modest salary. He is in love with his neighbor, Priya (Nikita Dutta), but he is hesitant to ask her father for her hand as he is not earning well enough. One day, a parent of one of the kids who comes to bal Kendra tells him that after selling the stock of Bombay textiles he was able to earn good money. After this he starts taking an interest in stocks. At the same time, his brother  Viren Shah (Sohum Shah) loses a large amount of money in stocks.He is in debt and Hemant at the same time decides to invest in stocks. But he does his homework before he goes ahead with it. Due to this, not only he helps his brother clear his debt but also helps him make a good little profit. This is how he enters the world of politics and soon starts working for a stock broker named Kantilal (Hitesh Rawal). He aspires to become a trader but as per the rules he needs to pay 10 lakhs for it; and hence joins hands with union leader Rana Sawant (Mahesh Manjrekar) of Premier Auto and his insider trading activities help him earn the amount. He starts manipulating the stock as well as the loopholes in the system and even gets banks on board. This makes sensex reach crazy heights and soon becomes a hero for the stock brokers. Now since his financial situation has also improved he marries Priya too. While all hail him as a hero, Meera Rao (Ileana DCruz), the finance journalist at India Times newspaper, is least impressed. And thinks he is doing something illegal. She writes negative articles about him and one day stumbles across shocking evidence about Hemant’s activities. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

The plot of the film is inspired from the life of Harshad Mehta. Since this is not a straight out biopic on his life like SCAM 1992, the writers had a lot more creative liberty and freedom to write this one. But they really can’t make full use of it. Having said that, the film is indeed quite entertaining, but a bit more paced than it should have been. The dialogues are sharp and witty as well. But the film will be affected by comparisons with SCAM 1992, but in all honesty comparisons shouldn’t be made.

Technically, the film is good. Cinematography by Vishnu Rao is good and he captures the shots of South Mumbai really well. Editing by Dharmendra Sharma is fine, but he could have done something about the film’s pacing. The costume design and the production design are authentic and realistic. VFX is good too. The songs in the film are average and the film would have been better without them. The background score is nice.

Performance wise, the film is good. Abhishek Bachchan plays his role with earnestness. He is brilliant as Hemant Shah. He is a joy to watch on screen. Although there were certain scenes of him that could have been done away with, they don’t belong at all in the whole film. Ileana D’Cruz doesn’t have a lot to do in the first half but she makes her presence felt and impresses with her performance in the second half. Nikita Dutta is good and leaves a mark with her performance. Sohum Shah plays his part with ease. Supriya Pathak Shah (Amiben; Hemant and Viren’s mother) is dependable as ever. Ram Kapoor (Ashok Mirchandani) has less screen time but he’s good. The rest of the cast offer good support.

Director Kookie Gulati executes the film well as well as gets some good performances from the actors while delivering quite an entertaining film.

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