Hansal Mehta’s web series Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story seems to have triggered off an interest in our film and web series makers in the subject of scams. As many as five projects are on the way, which talk of the biggest scams to have hit the headlines in India.
Hansal Mehta is, however, reluctant to slot films and series based on the subject as a specific genre. Talking to IANS, he says: “Don’t put stories into boxes. All you have to do is tell a good story, whether it is about a scam or love. A story well told, well acted-out and directed in an all-round manner is what counts. A story done in the right way resonates with the audience. It doesn’t have to be about a scam or a biopic.”
Producer Vipul Shah, who is co-directing the upcoming series Human based on drug testing scam, went into intense research to bring authenticity to his story.
“We went to various medical drug testing camps to see how they are administered and also understood the processes and what kind of security measures are taken to ensure that drug testing is safe for people. We met victims and subjects, doctors and pharma companies. That kind of double research resulted in the script that we have today. I would say it was a detailed process that went on for two and a half years,” says Shah.
Talking about the developing trend for such stories, trade analyst Atul Mohan says: “That happens in every industry. If one person launches a good product, others follow. The same thing happened after “Scam 1992″. It was very well made and word of mouth was good. All these big scams have already happened in our country and there is a lot of masala in it. They take good actors, dramatise and present it, and the audience likes it.”
Here’s a list of recent and upcoming web series and films, based on scams in India:
Scam 2003: The Curious Case Of Abdul Karim Telgi
The makers of Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, have announced a new story in the series. The new season will tell the story of the 2003 stamp paper scam and its perpetrator, the late convicted Indian counterfeiter Abdul Karim Telgi. The script will be adapted from the Hindi book Reporter Ki Diary authored by journalist Sanjay Singh. Hansal Mehta returns to direct the show.
The Telugu film starring Vishnu Manchu and Kajal Aggarwal released on Friday. The film is based on a $300-million IT scam that took place in Mumbai a couple of years back. The film is directed by Jeffrey Gee Chin.
The Big Bull
This Abhishek Bachchan-starrer is directed by Kookie Gulati. The film is reportedly about the securities scam of 1992, which has already been narrated in Scam 1992. The film is also said loosely narrate stockbroker Harshad Mehta’s life and his involvement in financial crimes over a period of 10 years, from 1980 to 1990.
The series is co-directed by Vipul Shah and Mozez Singh. The drama is about underbelly of human drug testing and the world of medical scam, and is currently under production. The series stars Shefali Shah, Ram Kapoor, Kirti Kulhari, Seema Biswas and Vishal Jethwa.
Art Of War: No Retreat No Surrender
The web series is a fictional story produced by Feroz A Nadiadwala. It explores money counterfeiting operations that take place near India’s borders. Recently announced, cast and crew for the film is yet to be decided.