Maharani, a political drama starring Huma Qureshi, Sohum Shah, Amit Sial, Kani Kusruti and Inaamulhaq released on SonyLIV today. Created and written by Subhash Kapoor, Karan Sharma has directed the web show. There are ten episodes of at least 40-45 minutes in the series. The story is loosely based on the life of Rabri Devi and Lalu Prasad Yadav during the 1990s in Bihar.
During Chhath Puja, Bihar CM Bheema Bharti (played by Sohum Shah) gets attacked by some goons. Everyone around is power-hungry and hopes to be the successor of his CM post. But Bheema appoints his wife, Rani Bharti (played by Huma Qureshi), as the Chief Minister. The party members and Rani are shocked by his decision, especially because she is neither educated nor has any political experience.
The plot sounds interesting and Huma Qureshi is praiseworthy as Rani. Her character hails from a village and is uneducated, but she is fierce and unafraid to take the right stand. But it is the 90s when people can’t stand a woman in a powerful position. Hell, it’s not even comfortably accepted today without sexist jokes being cracked. But SonyLIV’s Maharani is more than the sexism. It shows us Rani’s journey from a wife to the CM and how at every point, people around her reminded her that she is just ‘technically’ a Chief Minister and not deserving of the post.
In 10 episodes, we see some transition in Rani as a person, but that’s the only element that keeps you hooked to the story. As a CM, Rani Bharti tries her best to eradicate corruption, expose a huge scam, and find the culprit behind her husband’s attack. But these secondary plots are scattered and weak. Considering that it is a political drama, I expected it to be powerful and staggering. But Subhash Kapoor decided to go easy, probably to avoid any controversies. Hence, it’s unconvincing to see the transformation of Huma Qureshi as Maharani from Rani.
Rani’s decision as the CM of Bihar also starts to bother her husband, Bheema Bharti. His party members ask him to resume the office soon once he recovers entirely. On the other hand, for Rani, being the Chief Minister is not about the prominent position anymore but her self-respect. So what will happen once Bheema recovers? Who attacked him, and who is behind those big scams? Will Rani give up on her CM post? I’m not telling you this in my Maharani review, as you will get the answers when you watch the show.
Huma Qureshi gives a stellar performance as Rani. But sometimes, her performance feels restricted and underwhelming because of the weak script. Actors Amit Sial and Sohum Shah also play their parts well.
Maharani: Is it worth watching?
Overall, Huma shines in this weak and scattered political drama. At times, the story is gripping but mostly, you wish to scroll ahead because the scenes can’t hold your attention. So watch it for the actor’s performance.
Maharani series is currently streaming on SonyLIV.