Abhishek Bachchan and Ileana D’Cruz starrer The Big Bull stands out at several places and works due to the performances, the dramatic moments and the unexpected finale.

The Big Bull Review {3.0/5} and Review Rating

Actor Abhishek Bachchan’s career has seen a lot of ups and downs. But it cannot be denied that he is a powerful performer, as proved by his work in films like Yuva [2004]sputter [2004]Government [2005], Teacher [2007], Friendship [2008], paa [2009], Movie – Bol Bachchan [2012]Etcetera. After taking a break of almost two and a half years, she returned to the big screen with a stellar performance in Manmarziyaan. [2018], In the last one year, he has made his mark on digital with the web series Breathe: Into the Shadows. [2020] and crazy comedy ludo [2020], Now he is back with another web venture, The Big Bull. The trailer has been loved and curious to see what it has to offer, even though the theme is similar to Scam 1992, arguably India’s most successful web series. So does The Big Bull manage to stand out and impress the audience? Or does it fail? Let’s analyze.

Movie Review: The Big Bull

The Big Bull is the story of a common man’s journey from rags to riches. The year is 1987. Hemant Shah (Abhishek Bachchan), a resident of Bombay, is working on a nominal salary at the Bal Kala Kendra. He is in love with his neighbor Priya (Nikita Dutta), but since she is not financially secure, he is apprehensive about asking her father for his hand in marriage. One day, the parents of one of the children, who come to practice at the Bal Kala Kendra, tell Hemant that after selling Bombay Textile’s stock, he is able to earn a decent income. This makes Hemant curious about the world of stocks. Meanwhile, his brother Viren Shah (Soham Shah) loses a huge amount of money in shares. Viren is in debt and Hemant decides to invest in Bombay Textile shares. But before doing that he does his homework. This enables Hemant to not only make Viren debt free but also earns a small profit. In no time, Hemant enters the world of stocks and starts working for a stock trader named Kantilal (Hitesh Rawal). Hemant wants to have a trading account, but as per the rules, he has to pay Rs. 10 lakhs for this. To earn the said amount, Hemant joins hands with Premier Auto’s union leader Rana Sawant (Mahesh Manjrekar). His insider trading activity soon helps him earn Rs. 10 lakhs. Hemant now starts manipulating stocks and even joins banks to take advantage of loopholes in the system. All this takes the Sensex to the heights. Thus, he becomes a kind of hero amongst the stockbrokers. When his financial condition improves, he marries Priya. While everyone is praising Hemant Shah, finance journalist Mira Rao (Ileana D’Cruz) of India Times newspaper is least impressed. She is convinced that Hemant is making money illegally in the stock exchange. She writes critical articles about him. And one day, he comes across shocking evidence about Hemant’s nefarious activities. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

The story of Kookie Gulati and Arjun Dhawan is interesting. It is inspired by the life of infamous stock broker Harshad Mehta, and his experiences were cinematically engaging. Kookie Gulati and Arjun Dhawan’s screenplay is effective at most places. The writers have tried their best to make the goings-on as entertaining and dramatic as possible, to the best of effect. They succeed for two reasons, but not entirely. One, he has edited many important events of Hemant Shah’s life and made it very fast paced. Secondly, the comparison with Scam 1992 removes the impact somewhat. Although Ritesh Shah’s dialogues are sharp.

Kookie Gulati’s direction is good. They had the challenge of not only keeping the goings-on entertaining, but also easy to understand. This is because not everyone understands the concept of stocks and shares. And Cookie succeeds to an extent on both aspects. On the other hand, one cannot help but draw parallels with the scam 1992. Even if one tries his best, one cannot forget the Prateek Gandhi-starrer web series as it was extremely memorable. And it was handled very well. One wishes that if The Big Bull Scam had been released before 1992, it would have been more entertaining and interesting for the audience. Now, since most of The Big Bull’s target audience has already seen Scam 1992, more or less the whole story is already known. Therefore, one knows in advance what is about to happen. Thankfully, the writers have fictionalized some plot points and added a twist at the end that will leave the audience amazed. Even if one scam puts 1992 comparisons aside, there is another big hitch in the film. It moves very fast. Some developments have never been properly explained. For example, one gets a hint that Hemant’s father was angry with him and even kicked him out of the house. But what actually happened is never explained in the film. Then, Hemant starts his own consultancy called Mile High, suddenly it happens, leaving the audience bewildered. The character of Sanjeev Kohli (Sameer Soni) is important to the narrative, but the writer and director do not give him the necessary due.

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The opening average of The Big Bull is . Abhishek Bachchan’s entry scene should have been strong but instead, it is dull. The film thankfully gets better with the scene where Hemant walks in with Priya at night and the former learns about Viren’s debt. While Hemant’s rise is portrayed neatly and quickly, the scenes that come just before the end of the first hour are what stand out. Song ‘Ishq Namaz’ Shot very well and continues to pique the interest. Hemant’s experience at the party in Delhi is interesting. The Income Tax department raid scene and Hemant and Meera’s interview scene run parallel and is the best part about the first hour. In the second part, things get better as Meera tries to uncover the truth based on the clues she finds. This is when Hemant becomes unsteady and tries his best to get out of the mess. The last 30 minutes are when the movie really gets better. The press conference scene is treated theatrically and is bound to attract attention. The twist in the climax is unexpected.

Abhishek Bachchan’s acting is commendable and he also underplays at many places. He’s playing a brash, cocky guy, but he understands that doesn’t mean he has to go overboard. Interestingly, the actor had earlier played a similar role in Guru as well. [2007], and the actor makes sure not to miss that performance when they watch The Big Bull. However, the brief shots of him laughing madly sound unintentionally funny and ideally should have been removed. Ileana D’Cruz barely gets any scope in the first half but shines in the second half. However, she looks very unconvinced as an old lady in today’s track. Nikita Dutta is lovely and leaves a huge impression. Sohum Shah is, as expected, dependable and maintains a strong position from start to finish. Mahesh Manjrekar and Sameer Soni are good in their special appearance. Supriya Pathak Shah (Amiben; Hemant and Viren’s mother) is intrigued. Saurabh Shukla (Manu Malpani) corrects his actions. Ram Kapoor (Ashok Mirchandani) has limited screen time, but he has rocked the show. Shishir Sharma (Rajesh Mishra; Meera’s boss) is neutral while Lekha Prajapati (Tara; Viren’s wife) and Hitesh Rawal get limited scope. Same goes for Sumit Vats (Hari). Kanan Arunachalam (Venkateswara) is especially great in the scene where he spills beans. Trupti Shankhdhar (Ashima; who meets Meera in the train) and Rio Kapadia (NCC MD Singh) register an impact despite being there for just one scene.

Music is average but in good condition. ‘Ishq Namaz’ It is soulful and shot beautifully. The title track plays in the background in some important scenes in the first half. ‘In the Winds’ Played during the end credits. Sandeep Shirodkar’s background score adds to the drama.

Vishnu Rao’s cinematography is apt. Durgaprasad Mohapatra’s production design is rich. The costumes of Darshan Jalan and Nilanchal Ghosh are reminiscent of the late 80s and early 90s. NY VFX Wala’s VFX is commendable. Dharmendra Sharma’s editing is very slick and quick at times.

Overall, The Big Bull is affected by the comparison with the 1992 scam. Still, it stands out in many places and works because of the performances, dramatic moments, and unexpected finale.

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