-With Harshita Dagha
Gripping audiences by its horns, the systematic rise and fall of Harshad Mehta’s stock market journey has endorsed how a slice of scam-to-death reality is acknowledged by the viewers, however brutal and/or complex it be.
While the crime-drama unravels various traits of Mehta which suggest betrayal, crooked wit and a tainted personity, Jyoti, his wife was the only person who bought out faith, loyalty, maturity and kindness swiftly of the man.
A loyal scam-ster in the same breath is impossible yet true as far as Harshad-Jyoti chemistry is concerned.
Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story opened to a positive response from critics as well as the audiences who applauded the engaging screenplay of the series and solid performances of the cast. In fact, the series now has the highest ratings (9.6 out 10) for a Hindi-language web series on IMDb.
Locha-Lafda vs Jalebi-Fafda
Harshad Mehta, a real-life enigma, was quite the complex public figure, so there had to be a balance between the man showed up in public versus the man who was just a caring husband.
While the locha-lafda of the market kept Mehta on his toes, his wife, his jalebi-fafda kept him grounded.
It was challenging yet smooth, particularly, for Anjali Barot, who had to play the calm and collected role of Jyoti Mehta.
Was it difficult to maintain this calmness, knowing very well how Harshad was? Anjali says, “Firstly, I always had this in my mind that I’m not gonna judge, as a character, what Harshad was doing outside. For me, it was very clear that I love my husband, no matter what.”
Basically she loved her without any bias, which she did wonderfully. “Secondly, I loved how, on one side, they showed Harshad to be like this big, bold guy with charm and charisma but with his wife, he was vulnerable.”
When Real Meets Reel
Pratik chimes in, talking about real-life instances, “I have seen a lot of real-life couples like this, they don’t talk about the work, they are different when they’re together. Harshad had two very distinct lives, for work and for home.” That’s indeed true.
We know of couples who are formidable in a boardroom but are just a husband and wife when they aren’t in an office. Gandhi continues, “His emotional graph was intriguing. He keeps saying “office ki baat ghar pe nahi karni”.”
As a married man, did it help Pratik to incorporate his life experience into Harshad? Pratik agrees, “Hansal sir was very clear, make a part of your life into him.” And his ease in portraying this duality probably led to the amazing chemistry we see between Anjali and Pratik on screen.
Mehta and Mehta
Hansal Mehta has been quite the craftsman while designing a project such as Harshad Mehta’s, smoothly raising the bar for content films.
Moving to the question of the hour: how was it working with such an industry stalwart like Hansal Mehta? Pratik expresses his awe, “He’s a magician. He gives freedom to an actor that any actor will enjoy. He talks you through a character. He’s so fun to be with, the coolest guy ever.” He is pleasantly amused as he smiles, “Anjali would keep going to him for selfies! She must have 50 pictures of him!”
Barot obviously adds to this with her own appreciation for Mehta, “I’m extremely fond of him—I love that man and how! He never told the actors this is how you’re supposed to do a scene. He would explain the emotions, never tell us how to make the expression. He let the actors be spontaneous, it showed how much he trusts you. He’s a dream director. You feel like iske upar kuch nahi.”
The Wrap With A Rap
On a closing note, we probed into the rather amusing rap video posted recently. It is a song from Pratik’s latest venture, Luv Ni Love Storys, of which Anjali is a big fan of. Pratik laughs, “Anjali loved the rap and she wanted to do it. I gave her the lyrics and she practised!” Anjali is not one to stay behind and says with her usual energetic way, “I was always looking forward to working with Pratik and I loved the song from Luv Ni Love Storys, so he sent me the Gujarati lyrics. It took me one hour to learn it!” As expected from this talented actor.