Political thrillers are one of the most popular genres on OTT, and Maharani is definitely among those that have managed to capture the audience’s imagination. In season 2, we see Rani Bharti (Huma Qureshi) come into her own and fearlessly face seasoned politicians. But in the attempt to be the most righteous, she ends up her making an enemy out of her own husband.
At times it feels like Rani Bharti is too far away from the politics being played around her, most of which is beyond her control. She does roar and thunder in some scenes, but they are few and far between. The subplots often overwhelm the main story and the narrative seems to digress.
The twists and turns, revelations of political schemes play out in a dramatic manner, and are quite entertaining to watch. What is frustrating as an audience is that we do not get as much insight into Rani’s political strategies as we get of the people conspiring around her. For the longest time it seems she is also watching the puppet show as an outsider, instead of pulling the strings herself.
Huma’s transformation into Rani Bharti has been remarkable, and she seems more comfortable in season 2. She brings in the right amount of confidence into her body language, never going over the top. Like she confessed to News18 in an interview, this is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime role for her.
Sohum Shah does a brilliant job acting as a villain who doesn’t look like one. The layers of his character take the most time to be peeled off. Amit Sial pretty much carries forward in the same tone that was set in the first season – desperate for the CM’s position which keeps eluding him.
From season 1, Atul Tiwari in the role of the governor, and then ex-governor in season 2, has been one of the most interesting characters with his sly deceiving smile and secret schemes. Another remarkable cast member is Vineet Kumar as Gauri Shankar Pandey.
The story flows in a smooth pace, making for an easy watch despite being a thriller. The screenplay holds up the suspense well, and the twists, if not shocking, are quite unpredictable. The drama intensifies in episode 6 when Rani goes up against her own husband at elections. It is the contest the audience has been waiting for.
We also see Kaveri (Kani Kusruti) evolve from being just being an aide to the CM to actually participating in the political moves. The moments of her bonding with Rani are heartwarming.
As a heartland based political thriller, Maharani is definitely a success. Where it lacks in production value and larger-than-life setting, it makes up with the relatability factor, straightforward storytelling and praiseworthy performances. Besides portraying the realities of political battlegrounds, the show also makes an attempt to capture the mood and ambience of the locations where the show is based.
The effort to tell the story of a woman trying to selflessly do the right thing among manipulative, self-serving men is laudable. And that is the biggest takeaway from this SonyLIV show.
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