WITH ‘SCAM 1992’, HANSAL MEHTA PROVES WHY HE’S OUR OLIVER STONE - The Daily Guardian
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WITH ‘SCAM 1992’, HANSAL MEHTA PROVES WHY HE’S OUR OLIVER STONE

Murtaza Ali Khan

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SCAM 1992

When Gordon Gekko, Michael Douglas’ predatory investor and corporate raider character in Oliver Stone’s 1987 film Wall Street, declares “Greed is good,” he must have had insatiable people like Harshad Mehta in his mind. After all, for mere mortals, even greed has its limits. But then mere mortals aren’t deified with monikers like “The Big Bull”. For the uninitiated, a bull is a stock market player who buys a holding in a stock hoping that in the very short-term it will rise in value so that it can be sold to make a quick profit on the transaction. A bear, on the other hand, is an investor who attempts to make a profit from a decline in stock prices. In other words, a bull wants the market to soar high whereas a bear wants the market to take a dip. A major part of the 10-episode SonyLIV series, helmed by Hansal Mehta, titled “Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story” focuses on the constant tussle between the bear and the bull lobbies vying to control the market. 

 When a young and ambitious Gujarati man named Harshad Mehta takes up a low-level job at the BSE (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange) during the 80s, he quickly understands the enormous control that the bear lobby exercises on the stock market. He is also smart enough to understand that bears propagate pessimism, instilling the hearts of investors with fear. And that the only way to counter their negative tactics is by selling hope in abundance. But for that, he must first show them that it’s possible to make the market rise despite best efforts of the bear lobby, whether by hook or by crook. And the rest, as they say, is history. In the years that follow, Mehta’s reputation as the spearhead of the bull lobby grows to a point that the media starts referring to him as the Amitabh Bachchan of BSE aka “The Big Bull” until his methods are finally questioned by a journalist named Sucheta Dalal whose 1993 book, co-authored by Debashish Basu, “The Scam: Who Won, who Lost, who Got Away” forms the basis of Hansal Mehta’s series. The part of Dalal is essayed with conviction by Shreya Dhanwanthary.

 Scam 1992 stars Pratik Gandhi in the central role of Harshad Mehta. It’s a breakthrough role for Gandhi who has been associated with Gujarati theatre for over a decade. He has also acted in Gujarati films. He played the lead character in Wrong Side Raju, which won the National Award for Best Gujarati Film. The choice of Gandhi as Harshad Mehta is an inspired one. It’s so heartening to see a talented actor from one of the regional entertainment industries attaining national recognition while portraying a real-life character. It’s been a long struggle for Gandhi whose career has seen the ebbs and flows for the last decade and a half but the 40-year-old actor has finally announced himself with a knockout performance. It’s a reminder of how democratic things are becoming owing to the advent of the web. Quick-witted and oozing with an air of confidence and charm, Gandhi looks so natural during his portrayal of Harshad Mehta that one never really doubts that it’s not Harshad Mehta on the screen but merely an actor essaying him. 

 Now, Hansal Mehta deserves a lot of credit for choosing to make a series on Harshad Mehta. Credit must also go to the co-director Jai Mehta and the writing team comprising Saurav Dey, Sumit Purohit, Vaibhav Vishal, and Karan Vyas. The supporting cast comprising the likes of Anant Mahadevan, Sharib Hashmi, Satish Kaushik, K.K. Raina, Lalit Parimoo, Rajat Kapoor, Vivek Waswani, Shadaab Khan, and Mamik also deserves a special mention. Mehta’s has been a rare voice in the country that seems to have taken interest in documenting real-life characters and actual events through his films. He truly came into the limelight with Shahid based on the life of lawyer and human rights activist who was assassinated in 2010. Aligarh was based on a gay professor who was Marathi and was suspended by the Aligarh Muslim University on grounds of morality. He subsequently made a web series on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose titled Bose: Dead/Alive, based on Anuj Dhar’s book India’s Biggest Cover-up. And by making a well-researched series like Scam 1992, Mehta has further boosted his reputation as a storyteller interested in documenting reality. In a way, he can be compared to the great American filmmaker Oliver Stone who is known for making films about the Vietnam War, Assassination of President Kennedy, 1980 military dictatorship in El Salvador, American Stock Market and 9/11. He has also made biographical films on the likes of Richard Nixon, Edward Snowden, Ron Kovic, Jim Morrison, George W. Bush, and Alexander the Great. Given what Mehta has achieved by courageously documenting real-life characters and true events, it wouldn’t be a hyperbole to call him the Oliver Stone of Indian cinema.

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DEEPIKA PADUKONE DROPS AESTHETIC MONOCHROME PICTURE

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NEW DELHI: Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone on Sunday treated her fans to an aesthetic monochrome picture of her that had a chiaroscuro effect on it.

Deepika took to her Instagram handle and shared the picture that featured her silhouette, while she stood behind translucent curtains. Though she did not write anything in the caption, she dropped a half-moon emoji there. Her husband and actor Ranveer Singh was blown away by his wife’s beauty and commented “Gorg” on her post.

Not just Ranveer, fans also showered love on Deepika’s photo, with many dropping heart, heart-eyes and fire emojis. “So beautiful ji,” one wrote, while another said, “You are heart.” A third one added, “Sunshine on the gloomy day.”

Meanwhile, on the film front, Deepika will be seen next in Shakun Batra’s yet-to-be-titled film.

The actor also has an impressive line-up of projects in the pipeline including ‘83’, ‘Baiju Bawra’, ‘Fighter’, ‘Sanki’, ‘Pathan’, and ‘K’, which is the Indian adaptation of Nancy Meyers’s 2015 hit Hollywood film ‘The Intern’, and will also feature megastar Amitabh Bachchan.

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MUMBAI: Superstar Ranveer Singh and former Indian national cricket team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who are part of the All-Stars Football Club, were spotted playing football together at a stadium in Mumbai. After their gaming session, Ranveer took to his Instagram handle and posted a picture with Dhoni. The duo can be seen sitting on the ground and sharing a light moment. In his post, the actor showered love on MSD, indicating that how much he admires the legendary cricketer.

“Bade bhai ke charno mein hamesha. My Jaan,” Ranveer captioned the Instagram post. Ranveer, known to be a lover of sports, also posted a photograph with cricketer Shreyas Iyer, who took part in the match. The ‘Ram-Leela’ actor also heaped praise on Iyer as he wrote, “There was no other way to stop him (Shreyas).” Meanwhile, on the work front, Ranveer will be seen in a cricketer avatar in Kabir Khan’s ‘83’ film, which is based on India’s iconic win at the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

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KANGANA GIVES GLIMPSE OF HER ‘DHAAKAD’ FIGHT

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MUMBAI: Actor Kangana Ranaut is preparing hard for her role in the upcoming film ‘Dhaakad’. On Sunday, Kangana took to Instagram Story and posted a video of her rehearsing fight moves for ‘Dhaakad’.

“Ladako number 1, Baaghi ladki #Dhaakad rehearsals,” she captioned the clip.

For the unversed, Kangana is currently in Budapest for the above-mentioned movie, which is being helmed by Razneesh Ghai.

Arjun Rampal and Divya Dutta are also a part of ‘Dhaakad’, which is based on issues like child trafficking and crimes against women. Apart from ‘Dhaakad’, Kangana will also be seen in ‘’Thalaivi’ — based on the life of late politician Jayalalithaa. 

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PRIYA BAPAT STARRER CITY OF DREAMS SEASON 2 TRAILER RELEASED

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The trailer for the much-awaited City of Dreams season 2 starring Priya Bapat is out and the series will release on July 30. The Priya Bapat starrer City of Dreams Season One was a runaway hit and was one of the finest web series from India. Priya Bapat played a girl who went from being a housewife to be a leader and she portrayed that with absolute conviction. It was directed by decorated director Nagesh Kukoonoor.

Season 2 will see a see-saw battle of power between Priya Bapat and Atul Kulkarni from the looks of the poster. The cast also includes Sachin Pilgaonkar, Sushant Singh, and Eijaz Khan. The trailer for Season 2 has been received with a rousing welcome and it goes on to show the kind of love season one garnered.

Priya Bapat spoke to The Daily Guardian and here is what she says, “It’s an intense show with some incredible performances. I am so happy, proud, and lucky to be doing such a project. A huge thanks to my director Nagesh Kukoonoor sir for placing his trust in me. The trailer for Season 2 is out now and the series would be coming on July 30 and I can’t contain my happiness”.

“The audience reaction and feedback for Season 1 have given me such validation and fulfillment as an actor. The satisfaction is huge. There are some seriously good actors in it and some legendary names. And it’s all like one happy family. The trailer has got some great feedback and it’s time for the show to come. Stay safe and much love to all,” she further added.

Priya Bapat made her debut with Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. She is also remembered for her roles in Munnabhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munnabhai. Her role in Kaksparsh and Timepass 2 acclaimed her good response from critics.

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AKSHAY REMEMBERS CAPT VIKRAM BATRA, SHARES THE TRAILER OF ‘SHERSHAAH’

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NEW DELHI: The power-packed trailer of Sidharth Malhotra’s upcoming movie based on the life of Param Vir Chakra awardee Captain Vikram Batra was released on Sunday.

Sharing the trailer, superstar Akshay Kumar penned a heartfelt note in remembrance of the Kargil war hero.

Taking to his Instagram handle, Akshay shared the much-awaited trailer with his fans and followers. Sharing the video and praising Sidharth for playing the war hero, he wrote, “Shershaah Trailer. What possible tribute can a reel hero give to a real hero.” Continuing with the caption, the National-Award-winning actor further noted, “Except to say that your sacrifice inspired us for life, Param Vir Chakra Awardee Captain Vikram Batra!”

Akshay added that he had always felt honoured that he shares his birthday with the war hero that is- 9th September. “And now feel privileged to share the trailer of #Shershaah that will tell the story of your heroic sacrifice to millions of us. Jai hind!”, Akshay said.

‘Shershash’ is a true story of Kargil war hero, Captain Vikram Batra who died during the war in 1999. The movie has been helmed by Vishnu Varadhan while Karan Johar, Hiroo Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Shabbir Boxwala, Ajay Shah, and Himanshu Gandhi are producing the film. Kiara Advani who will be seen playing the love interest of Sidharth will portray Dimple Cheema in the film that will release on 12 August on Amazon Prime Video. 

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MUMBAI : Actors Angad Bedi and Mouni Roy will be seen together in an upcoming music video titled ‘Baithe Baithe’.

Taking to Instagram, Angad shared that the new song will be out on July 28. He also unveiled the first poster of the song, wherein he and Mouni are seen dressed up in ethnic attires.

“Do you believe in love at first sight? Baithe Baithe releasing on 28th July 2021,” Angad wrote. ‘Baithe Baithe’ is sung by Stebin Ben, Danish Sabri and Aishwarya Pandit. Meet Bros have composed the love track.

Mouni has also shared the poster of the song on her Instagram handle. With the announcement, congratulatory messages and best wishes have poured in for the actors. “Congrats beauty,” actor Vidya Malwade commented.“Best of luck. Can’t wait to hear the song,” a fan commented.

On the film front, Mouni will be seen in ‘Brahmastra’ and ‘Bole Chudiya’. The details of Angad’s upcoming film and shows projects have not been announced yet.

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