In the era of OTT, no amount of content or trends is ever enough. Creators have to consistently churn out original films and web series that keeps the audience on the edge. Anti-heroes always court instant attention, and one of the themes that has captured imagination of OTT makers is the scam. Drama based on true stories of scams set up an interesting cocktail of crime and drama, and many such shows and films caught the interest of the audience during the lockdown.
Various digital streaming platforms have encashed these dark stories to create captivating content. The subject continues to inspire storylines, and many more shows based on scams are on the way. Here is a list of a few shows and films that have made a mark, and ones that are coming up.
SCAM 1992: THE HARSHAD MEHTA STORY
Although there were other scam stories before this, Hansal Mehta's "Scam 1992" is widely being seen as a trendsetter of sorts. The series on Sony Liv was adapted from journalist Sucheta Dalal and Debashish Basu's book "The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away". The series is one of the biggest hits of 2020. "Scam 1992" follows the life of Harshad Mehta, a stockbroker who took the stock market to dizzying heights and his catastrophic downfall. Pratik Gandhi portrayed Mehta as a charismatic scamster as well as a high-profile victim, in the process establishing himself as one of the most exciting new faces in the OTT scene.
Prakash Jha's "Aashram" seasons one and two garnered a lot of interest among the audience, which awaits season three on MX Player. Bobby Deol portrays Baba Nirala Kashipur wala, in a series that captures the journey of the imposter from a small-time soothsayer to India's top Godman. Propped by some exceptional acting by Chandan Roy Sanyal and Anupriya Goenka, besides Jha' trademark pulsating execution, series makes for a gripping tale.
The recent series "Maharani" had Huma Qureshi in lead role, and is set in Bihar of the 1990s. The SonyLIV show is inspired by the controversial fodder scam and loosely based on Rabri Devi's tenure as the state's chief minister after Lalu Prasad Yadav had to quit. In the series, Rani Bharti played by Huma is shown to become chief minister after her husband and Bihar CM Bheem Singh Bharti (Sohum Shah) becomes paralysed after being shot by assassins.
JAMTARA: SABKA NUMBER AYEGA
An ensemble cast of new actors took the series to the next level. The Netflix show takes the audience through the dark crime of credit card scam operated from the small town of Jamtara. The fictionalised show is inspired by true events, narrating an engrossing tale of a sleepy district in Jharkhand that emerged as the biggest den of cyber-crime a few years ago.
THE BIG BULL
Another adaptation on Harshad Mehta's scam, Abhishek Bachchan starrer "The Big Bull" was meant to be a theatrical release. Hence, the film's plot was inclined more towards fiction based on the life of Harshad Mehta, replete with his love life, melodrama and songs. Owing to lockdown, the film dropped on Disney+ Hotstar.
Taking a cue from the success of scam stories, the makers of "Scam 1992" are readying "Scam 2003: The The Curious Case Of Abdul Karim Telgi". The show will be adapted from the Hindi book "Reporter Ki Diary" authored by reporter Sanjay Singh, who is credited with breaking the story of the scam back in the time. The story is inspired from the 2003 Stamp Paper Scam masterminded by Abdul Karim Telgi. The show will release in 2022 on SonyLIV.