What: This 10-episode Saheb, Biwi Aur Bihar created by Subhash Kapoor and directed by Karan Sharma starring Huma Qureshi in lead is a solidly mounted and powerfully acted political drama on caste and politics that sweeps with a terrific ode to womanhood.
Inspired by what happened in Bihar in the 1990s when ex Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav made his homemaker wife Rabri Devi his successor, Maharani is a thoroughly engaging fictional journey of a simple homemaker to a brave Chief Minister of a state which is ruled by casteism and corruption.
Creator Subhash Kapoor (Phas Gaye Re Obama, Jolly LLB) fame Subhash Kapoor gets it better and smarter from his previous Madam Chief Minister, the Richa Chadda starrer was inspired from Mayawati – the former UP chief minister and this is inspired from Rabri Devi – the ex-Chief Minister of Bihar and wife of Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Creator and writer Subhash Kapoor with his team - Nandan Singh (story, screenplay), Umashankar Singh (dialogues and additional screenplay) displays a better understanding of Bihar.
The upper-caste Ranvir Sena (called Veer Sena here) and the armed Maoists (called Lal Salaam) at logger heads.
The chaara ghotala aka fodder scam (called as some beej (seed) scam here) in the pashu palan (animal ministry), festivals like Makar Sakranti, Chhath. Dahi chooda.
If it was tilak, tarazu.. in Madam Chief Minister, its Swar diya hai, swarg nahin,” from Maharani.
The series remarkably juxtaposes the reality of Bihar into this absorbing fictional series.
Like said earlier in the review of Madam Chief Minister Subhash Kapoor had made a good use of his earlier days as a political journalist during the 90s for both the movies and here in Maharani he gives the megaphone to Karan Sharma and he gets it bang on target right from the word go.
Maharani gives a sense of identity, reality, it probes, provokes, entertains and enlightens one after the another.
The Delhi born Huma Qureshi excels in her carer best role. She is incredible and this role will remain one of her most memorable one.
Sohum Shah is terrific.
Amit Sial is a cracker of an actor.
Atul Tiwari is awesome.
Kani Kusruti is superb.
Pramod Pathak is excellent.
Kannan Arunachalam as DSP is outstanding.
Ranjana Sinha is fantastic.
Inaamluhaq as the honest bureaucrat is perfect.
Vineet Kumar as Gauri Shankar Pandey is fabulous.
Sushil Pandey as Kunwar Singh is brilliant.
Harish Khanna as Shankar Mehto is fantastic.
Mohd Ashique Hussain as prem Kumar is noteworthy
Maharani is a homage to Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth modelled on Rabri Devi and told through populist Prakash Jha meets Madhur Bhandarkar kind of political drama with added Shubash Kapoor’s own personal nuances. SonyLIV’s best after Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story. Interestingly SonyLIV’s and probably India’s best series are based on real life scams – first came the bull, then came the fodder. Order Order.