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FILM REVIEW: The Big Bull : Hero or villain?

Abhishek Bachchan despite not having a screen release since 2018 has been active on OTT platforms. His zany comedy LUDO released in 2020 was...

Abhishek Bachchan despite not having a screen release since 2018 has been active on OTT platforms. His zany comedy LUDO released in 2020 was acclaimed more for the storyline and quirky performances and now he comes up with THE BIG BULL directed by Kookie Gulati who for some reason has assumed that people have seen the Hansal Mehta’s mega hit web series SCAM 1992. Where SCAM 1992 scores is the detailed depiction of Harshad Mehta, somehow Gulati’s film doesn’t really do justice to the subject as lot of people don’t really understand how the stock market functions and so comparisons are bound to be drawn between SCAM 1992 and THE BIG BULL, with the latter sadly paling into insignificance.

The story starts in 1987 where Hemant Shah (Bachchan) works at Bal Kala Kendra with a modest salary with a dependent mother Ambiben (a much wasted Supriya Pathak Kapoor) and his younger brother Viren played supportingly well by Sohum Shah. By sheer chance when a parent of one of the kids in the school tells him that he is going to send his kid to Doon School because the shares of Bombay Textiles he had sold has made him a lot of money, Hemant’s mind starts ticking and gets him curious about the world of stocks. To make matters worse his brother Viren loses a lot of money in the stock market and his girlfriend Priya (played effectively by the beautiful Nikita Dutta) cannot get married to him as her father wishes her to get married to someone with his own house, car and a healthy bank balance. So to make Viren debt-free and marry Priya, Hemant enters into the world of stocks albeit after doing his homework on Bombay Textiles and starts working for a trader Kantilal. But to aspire to have a trading account he must have Rs. 10 lakhs as per rules. So he joins hands with a union leader Rana Sawant (Mahesh Manjrekar in a two scene special appearance). From here Hemant starts to manipulate the stocks to dizzying heights. He marries Priya in the meantime but his success catches the eye of India Times journalist Meera Rao (Ileana D’Cruz) who is convinced that Hemant is unscrupulously making money and starts writing articles against him. One day she finds shocking evidence against the nefarious activities of Hemant’s fortunes.

The film belongs to Abhishek Bachchan and he puts in a commendable performance. To his credit he underplays his part in some places despite him playing the flamboyant and egoistic man to the hilt. But the most disappointing part of his character is the maniacal laughter which could have been edited out. As Meera Rao, Ileana D’Cruz makes her present felt in the latter half of the film though she looks a total misfit as the old lady with one strand of grey hair in the present day track. Also she is hardly there in the first half of the film. Saurabh Shukla as Manu Malpani and Ram Kapoor as Hemant’s lawyer Ashok Mirchandani leave their mark behind.

Director Kookie Gulati has made the film at such a brisk pace that sometimes it leaves viewers bewildered as things happen so fast and move from one scene to another suddenly. But the unexpected finale surprises you.

Rating: 2.5/5





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