Thursday, June 30, 2022

Scam 1992 Review: The Harshad Mehta Story

Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story is a SonyLIV Originals Indian Hindi-language crime drama web-series directed by Hansal Mehta. Based on 1992 Indian stock market scam committed by stockbroker Harshad Mehta, the series is adapted from journalist Sucheta Dalal and Debashish Basu’s 1992 book The Scam: Who Won, who Lost, who Got Away. Starring Pratik Gandhi, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Hemant Kher and Nikhil Dwivedi, the series premiered on SonyLIV on 9 October 2020.

Real story of Harshad Shantilal Mehta

Harshad Shantilal Mehta was an Indian stockbroker. Mehta’s involvement in the 1992 Indian securities scam made him infamous as a market manipulator. Although, as reported by the Economic Times, some financial experts believe that Harshad Mehta did not commit any fraud, he had “simply exploited loop holes in the system”.

Harshad Mehta
Born29 July 1954
Paneli Moti, Rajkot (now in Gujarat), India
Died31 December 2001 (aged 47)
Thane, Maharashtra, India
OccupationBusinessman, stockbroker
Criminal penalty5 years rigorous imprisonment

Of the 27 criminal charges brought against him, he was only convicted of four, before his death (by sudden heart attack) at age 47 in 2001. It was alleged that Mehta engaged in a massive stock manipulation scheme financed by worthless bank receipts, which his firm brokered for “ready forward” transactions between banks. Mehta was convicted by the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court of India for his part in a financial scandal valued at ₹100 billion (US$1.4 billion) which took place on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The scandal exposed the loopholes in the Indian banking system and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) transaction system, and consequently the SEBI introduced new rules to cover those loopholes. He was on trial for 9 years, until he died at the end of 2001.

scam 1992 web series review

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Based on1992 Indian stock market scam
Written bySumit Purohit
Saurav Dey
Vaibhav Vishal
Karan Vyas
Directed byHansal Mehta
Jai Mehta
StarringPratik Gandhi Shreya Dhanwanthary Hemant Kher Nikhil Dwivedi
Theme music composerAchint Thakkar
Country of originIndia
Original languageHindi
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
CinematographyPratham Mehta
EditorsSumit Purohit
Kunal Walve
Production companyApplause Entertainment
Original networkSonyLIV
Original release9 October 2020

scam 1992 the harshad mehta story sony liv

Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story traverses highs and lows in the life of a promising entrepreneur who would later introduce the word scam to the public of India. Directed by Hansal Mehta, the 10-part series is slow paced at 50-minutes per episode run and takes its time to grow on you. But the innumerable dramatic turns, like the ones encountered by investors in stock market on daily basis, are thoroughly enjoyable and make the latest Sony LIV original series a riveting yet eye-opening watch.


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Pratik Gandhi plays Harshad through the early 80s and 90s. While the advanced technological means available to us today were scant then, the ambition to make surplus money was stoking Harshad’s sharp mind and many of his kind. Initially, we see the Mehta family of five living in a rented chawl. Harshad and Ashwin (Hemant Kher) aspire to make it big in the city of dreams and take a plunge in trading stocks. As years pass by, one realises that through their intelligence and street smart ways, the ‘outsider’ Mehta brothers would meet eye-to-eye with India’s biggest businesses and their owners and trample down on some of them on the way to top.


In showing Harshad’s life, Scam 1992 does not paint a target on his back nor does it make him out to be a messiah of the middle class. It does the balancing act nicely and leaves it to us on which facet of Harshad to rely on or take cues from. Judgements are kept away as director Hansal Mehta and his camera become observers and facilitators to the country’s most exciting and controversial market trade personality.

Apart from the real life of a risk-it-all stock broker and his maverick, unorthodox ways, the most ingenious part of Scam 1992 is its casting. The ensemble is like a bouquet of carefully selected flowers which add the essence of novelty and realism to this dramatic story. While Pratik leads the pack with his suave and confident play act, others compliment him in every way possible. Rajat Kapoor and Satish Kaushik’s extended cameos add comic relief to this rather serious series.


A stern look into the ‘Harshad Mehta Scam’ has been presented though the voice and character of Sucheta Dalal (Shreya Dhanwanthary), a feisty financial journalist, who would also co-write The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away, from which the series is adapted for web. In a man’s world’s, where rules only exist in books and no one plays by them, Sucheta makes sure that both her voice and exposé don’t go unnoticed. Shreya has played the role with utmost sincerity and imparts an objective view on corrupt institutions and palm-greasing businessmen, who crook their way to the top echelons of power.

Initially, Scam 1992 may seem like a socialist story of taking back power from the resourceful and re-distributing it amongst the public, where it emerges from and rightfully belongs. Caution, it comes out to be far from that. Rather, it captures the spirit of Bombay beautifully, which is that the city does not slumber even at night and rises like a phoenix from its ashes.



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