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Maharani 2

Farhad Dalal
By-
Farhad Dalal
Rating
4 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

It is still a Thursday but the new releases have started rolling with as many as 4 new webseries to cover this weekend. So without wasting any time lets get to the first of the four webseries. With that I finished watching the second season of Maharani streaming on SonyLiv. I remember watching the first season of Maharani about a year or so ago and was absolutely blown away by the drama. Since then my political acumen has also increased and that does become a bit of a challenge for me as a viewer. This is based out of the fact that I am able to see and penetrate between the layers as far as the political dramas are concerned. So even a twisted political drama to many might seem pretty straight forward to me.

Another reason for it might stem from the fact that the writers of political dramas may not intend to go too deep perhaps to avoid a controversy and that doesn’t help its cause. One of the most important aspects of a political drama should be how layered and deep the drama actually wants to be. But considering the success of the first season of Maharani, I did have hope from its second season as well. So then does it manage to impress, stay tuned.

Story & Screenplay

The second season of Maharani traces the journey of Rani who currently being on the chair meets with many obstacles including her husband. This is as vague I can be about the story without letting out any spoilers. But the story is layered and deceptive and more than what meets the eye. The screenplay standing at 10 episodes of around 40 odd minutes each meant that it was straight up daunting. This is a minor flaw wherein the series could have easily been a couple of episodes shorter for a crisper viewing. But this flaw is overpowered by the writing which is supremely layered.

The drama opens almost like a foreshadow, preparing the audience for that twist towards the end, almost teasing them without really revealing it. The drama then cuts to a flashback which was more of where the first season had ended. Another interesting bit is the world building which is crucial especially in the second season. It becomes an important aspect wherein the drama needs to kick off again with a new chapter but in the same universe. This can often get tricky but the writers have ensured that the audience is instantly soaked into the world. There are various incidents which tie the screenplay together and help in aiding the drama forward.

The proceedings are interesting as it is majorly cerebral amidst the one-upmanship which continues right throughout. The layered storytelling is engrossing although the drama is almost entirely conversational and the buildup is slow. A little bit of patience will really help as there are Easter eggs to be had towards the last three episodes.

I did feel that the drama was slightly meandering and getting too typical for its genre. But the twist in the tale changes the entire scenario. A assumingly predictable whodunnit keeps getting murkier by the minute. Every time you think you may have guessed the culprit, a new twist is introduced. It was delicious to see it getting compared to the Shakespearean play Julius Caesar which was a clever reference. But the final act is jaw dropping where all the pieces start coming together. It is really written powerfully and I appreciate the writers for making it layered thus setting up a nice little path for the third season. Overall, the screenplay here is layered, deceptive and brilliant.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are conversational but extremely cerebral and engaging. The flavour of a political drama is through the dialogues and here it is excellent. The music and BGM go splendedly with the drama. The cinematography also is excellent and depicts the mood of the drama perfectly. Director Ravindra Gautam had a stiff task of carrying the legacy of the franchise(the first season was directed by Karan Sharma) and the direction is unassuming and rather brilliant. He cleverly plays his cards of purposely highlighting a few sequences and underplaying the others so that the viewers have their focus elsewhere whereas the actual game was always right in front of you. The direction is top notch.

Performances

The performances are excellent here. Dibyendu Bhattacharya as Martin is such an underrated performer who lights up the screen in the final act. Sushil Pandey as Kunwar has his moments to shine as does Atul Tiwari as Governor Goverdhan and Aashique as Prem Kumar. Anushka Kaushik as Shilpa shines despite a limited screen time. Neha Chauhan as Kavita is a welcome addition to the series and she does a pretty good job although in a slightly underwritten character. Kani Kusruti as Kaveri is brilliant with a wonderful screen presence.

Anuja Sathaye as Kirti is outstanding in a layered role which definitely packs a punch. Pramod Pathak as Mishraji is endearing and does a swell job. Vineet Kumar as Gauri Pandey is splendid and does a brilliant job. Kumaar Saurabh as Sanyasi is a wonderful actor whom I had last discovered in Nirmal Pandey Ki Ghar Waapsi and he is phenomenal here, absolutely natural to the core. Amit Sial as Naveen Kumar is shrewd and a character who is unpredictable. And he is brilliant here. Sohum Shah as Bheema is quite an underrated actor and he does an excellent job here. But it is Huma Qureshi who shines as Rani. She is well dignified and a lot more powerful this time around and I absolutely loved how she carried herself this time around. She has a prolific screen presence which is put to great use here in a memorable outing for her.

Conclusion

The second season of Maharani is a gripping follow-up to the first season with stellar performances. Available on SonyLiv and Highly Recommended.

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