The Big Bull is a 2021 Indian Hindi-language biographical crime drama film that delves into the life and times of Harshad Mehta, a stockbroker who became infamous for his involvement in financial crimes during the 1980s and 1990s. Directed and written by Kookie Gulati, the movie stars Abhishek Bachchan, Ileana D’Cruz, and Nikita Dutta in pivotal roles. It offers a gripping narrative about the intricate world of stock trading and financial fraud.
‘The Big Bull’ follows the life and times of Hemant Shah, a small-time stockbroker who skillfully exploits the loopholes in India’s archaic banking system to orchestrate a massive bull run on the stock exchange. However, during an era when India was undergoing significant economic liberalization, a pivotal character named Meera Rao intervenes and puts an end to Hemant’s rise. Despite his use of the ace of hearts, the Prime Minister of India, he is ultimately found guilty of his financial misdeeds.
The film boasts a talented ensemble cast, with key characters including:
- Abhishek Bachchan as Hemant Shah (based on Harshad Mehta)
- Ileana D’Cruz as Meera Rao (based on Sucheta Dalal)
- Nikita Dutta as Priya Patel Shah (based on Jyoti Mehta)
- Sumit Vats as Hari Vyas
- Mahesh Manjrekar as Rana Sawant
- Ram Kapoor as Ashok Mirchandani, Hemant’s lawyer (based on Ram Jethmalani)
- Sohum Shah as Viren Shah, Hemant’s brother (based on Ashwin Mehta)
- Lekha Prajapati as Tara Shah, Viren’s wife
- Supriya Pathak as Amiben Shah, Hemant’s mother
- Saurabh Shukla as Mannu Malpani, Chairman of Bombay Stock Exchange
- Samir Soni as Sanjeev Kohli
- Shishir Sharma as Rajesh Mishra, Meera’s Boss
And many more talented actors bring this gripping story to life.
In 2018, it was reported that Ajay Devgn would produce the film, with Abhishek Bachchan in the lead role. Directed by Kookie Gulati, the movie sheds light on the financial crimes and life of Harshad Mehta. Nikita Dutta and Ileana D’Cruz were brought in to play supporting roles.
Filming commenced on 16 September 2019, with many scenes shot at Gautam Buddha University.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was released for streaming worldwide on 8 April 2021 on Disney+ Hotstar.
The film’s music was composed by Gourov Dasgupta and Mehul Vyas, featuring lyrics by Kunwar Juneja and Anil Verma. The rap single “Yalgaar” by CarryMinati, with music by Wily Frenzy, served as the theme song.
- Ishq Namazaa – Lyrics by Kunwar Juneja, Music by Gourov Dasgupta, Singer Ankit Tiwari (Duration: 4:25)
- Yalgaar (The Big Bull) – Lyrics by CarryMinati, Music by Wily Frenzy, Singer CarryMinati (Duration: 3:15)
- Hawaon Ke Sheher Mein – Lyrics by Kunwar Juneja, Music by Gourov Dasgupta, Singer Yasser Desai (Duration: 4:57)
- Paise Ka Nasha – Lyrics by Anil Verma, Music by Mehul Vyas, Singer Sunidhi Chauhan (Duration: 2:56)
Total Length: 15:33
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV rated the movie 1.5 out of 5 stars, citing problems with the screenplay, stilted dialogues, and arbitrary character arcs. Rahul Desai of Film Companion called it a “rushed portrait of a slow-burned legacy” and praised Abhishek Bachchan’s performance as compelling. Jyoti Kanyal of India Today gave it 2.5 out of 5 stars, describing it as an interesting watch that oscillates between boredom and excitement.
Ronak Kotecha of Times of India gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, cautioning against setting expectations too high. He appreciated Abhishek Bachchan’s performance and concluded that “The Big Bull” is a decent attempt to tell a dramatic story of one of India’s biggest financial scams, orchestrated by a man who seemed more like a common man than a con man.