In the ever-expanding world of financial crime dramas, “Scam 2003: The Telgi Story” enters the scene as the second installment in the Scam franchise. This new series takes a departure from the flamboyance of its predecessor, “Scam 1992,” by delving into the life of Abdul Karim Telgi, a man who operated in the shadows, keenly aware of the dangers of drawing attention to himself.
The first five episodes of the series, directed by Tushar Hiranandani, introduce us to Telgi, portrayed by the focused and talented Gagan Dev Riar. We meet Telgi as a humble fruit seller on a train, whose journey from selling fruit wrapped in photocopies of his B.Com degree certificate to becoming a mastermind in the stamp paper scam is the central theme of this narrative.
One of the strengths of “Scam 2003” lies in its attention to detail regarding the mechanics of the stamp paper scam. The series meticulously shows how Telgi and his team manufactured and distributed fake stamp papers across the country, with plans that included daring heists on moving trains. Telgi’s ambition extends to working with corporate companies and obtaining an official license, which introduces higher risks into his criminal enterprise.
However, while the central thematic concerns of ambition, greed, and the divide between the wealthy and the marginalized are present, the narrative occasionally falls short in delivering these messages effectively. Unlike “Scam 1992,” which brilliantly portrayed the pursuit of power alongside wealth, “Scam 2003” sometimes struggles to maintain this context throughout its storytelling.
One aspect that leaves much to be desired is the depth and attention to certain sequences. For example, an extended scene where Telgi meets a politician and offers a bouquet filled with money feels hollow due to its distant and unfocused framing. The overall framework of the series seems to miss the much-needed groundwork to truly immerse viewers in the world of Telgi’s scams.
Gagan Dev Riar’s performance as Telgi is a standout in the series. His portrayal infuses the character with restless energy, balancing moments of wryness and confidence effortlessly. However, Riar’s stellar performance is occasionally hindered by a screenplay that feels rushed and at times overly explanatory, detracting from the depth of the character.
The decision to split the series into two parts, with the first five episodes focused on Telgi’s rise, raises questions about how the story’s conclusion will be received. Viewers may find the “To be continued” tagline at the end of these episodes to be somewhat jarring, as the narrative’s strength lies in its exploration of Telgi’s ascent and potential fall.
In conclusion, “Scam 2003: The Telgi Story” offers a glimpse into the intricate world of white-collar crime, with Gagan Dev Riar’s performance as the highlight. However, the series struggles to maintain its depth and attention to detail in certain areas, leaving room for improvement. As the series continues to unfold, only time will tell whether it can deliver a satisfying conclusion to this intriguing story of ambition and deceit.
Sources By Agencies