Maharani (Season 1)
It has been a while since I have reviewed a political drama, a genre that is only sparingly explored especially in recent times. After Tandav that had released earlier this year had run into a controversy, I did not think I’ll get to watch another political drama/thriller anytime soon. But SonyLiv did spring up a surprise when it announced Maharani, a political drama set in Bihar. Well finally I have finished watching it and am out with my review. So is it worth watching, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Set in Bihar, Maharani follows the story of Rani who is forced to become the new Chief Minister of State following an unfortunate incident involving her husband who was also the CM earlier. The story uncannily resembles a true story from the 90s. If you have been following Indian Politics then you would know exactly who the main characters are and what scams they were a part of. And the story is excellent. The screenplay standing at 10 episodes of 45 mins each(approx) might seem long to begin with. But there are no dull moments throughout. Infact, the writers maintain a grip right from the very first sequence. The narrative is non hurried and leisurely that allows you to be acquainted with the characters and form your own judgement based on their actions. Also certain issues pertaining to caste is also cleverly integrated in the plot. There are several twists and turns that will sure give you a sneak peek into the politics and also increase your acumen to read between the lines as the plot has many subtexts. The screenplay is excellent with a right amount of humour too but the only downer being its length, which maybe could have been slightly trimmed but otherwise a wholistically written plot nevertheless!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are powerful and leave a lasting impact. Also, it was refreshing to witness the dialect in the dialogues which somehow has been missing in a few potboilers recently. The BGM is sparingly used and it definitely heightens the drama. Subhash Kapoor who had earlier directed a political drama Madam Chief Minister that tackled a similar subject has conceptualised this and it is Karan Sharma who has taken up the director’s chair. And the direction is spot on! It is everything that was lacking in Madam Chief Minister. The grip in the narrative is maintained throughout and that will keep you hooked and booked.
The performances are top notch and it is Mukesh Chhabra that yet again deserves distinction marks for the casting. Inaamulhaq as Parvez Alam is spectacular with an outstanding Bengali accent. Sushil Pandey as Kunwar Singh is intimidating and has done a good job. Vineet Kumar as Gauri Shankar and Atul Tiwari as the Governor are stupendous. Pramod Pathak as Mishraji is simply outstanding. The ease with which he has performed is truely remarkable to watch. This year belongs to Kani Kusruti. I had earlier watched her in Ok Computer and Biriyani, two distinct roles performed beautifully by her. Here as Kaveri she is wonderfully restrained and I just wish she keeps getting meatier roles. Here is a talent that I am slowly becoming a fan of and wish to watch more of her. Amit Sial as Navin is excellent. Another actor who is slowly creating a niche for himself and doing so well! Sohum Shah as Bheema also manages to impress. He has good screen presence and he does a fine job. But the series belongs to our Maharani Huma Qureshi who manages to impress twice in two weeks. A week ago I had watched her in The Army Of The Dead where she looked at ease. Well, she is simply brilliant here too. There is a likable quality to her from the very first scene and it is that innocence that she carries throughout in a character that has a brilliant arc. This is a memorable outing from a highly underrated performer who has yet again outdone herself.
Maharani is the finest political drama you will ever see. Available on Sony Liv and Highly Recommended.