Web Series Review: Maharani

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Maharani is a political drama centered around the twisted Bihar politics. After an assassination attempt, Bihar's Chief Minister Bheema Bharti is paralysed, creating a power void in the state. His rivals are stunned when the paralysed CM appoints his wife, Rani Bharti, as the new Chief Minister of Bihar. The story then takes the audiences on a journey of purity stuck in a ditch of corruption. The 10-episode series is directed by Subhash Kapoor and Karan Sharma. Starring Huma Qureshi, Sohum Shah and Amit Sial, Maharani does give you a taste of how a political illiterate Rani rises as a triumph of the lower castes against the brahmin elites. The plot is not entirely fictional as a similar event took place in Bihar when the then Chief Minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav picked his wife Rabri Devi as the new CM when he was named in a multi-crore fodder scam. Huma Qureshi undoubtedly steals the show with her brilliant performance, but the confusing screenplay does end up creating a mess of ideas that are, at times, frustrating to watch. The plot derails around halfway, making us think, shouldn't the 10-epsiode series be concluded in 7 episodes? The transition of an angoothachhap women becoming a strong-headed politician is not entirely smooth! In the first two episodes, Rani is more interested in tending her cows rather than attending her first cabinet meeting; cut to two episodes later, she's issuing strict orders and understanding the value of her position. Agreeing with the fact that the plot demands this transition, but not much attention has been paid to make it look more authentic, making you think is the uneducated character trait a scripting flux to describe her later actions? Coming to where Maharani wins is narrating the effect of casteism on Indian politics. The power game in politics and a profoundly iniquitous system is well established in the series. Whether it's a wedge between Bheema, a CM belonging from the lower caste and Navin, the brahmin governor of the state or a Maoist outfit headed by Shankar, the series will hit you with the reality that casteism is so deep-rooted that it has become inevitable from the arena of Indian politics, let alone Bihar politics. Maharani is streaming on SonyLIV. Watch the trailer here:  https://youtu.be/IuDv6B075Kc  

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