Cast: Huma Qureshi, Amit Sial, Soham Shah, Kani Kusruti, Anuja Sathe, Vineet Kumar & ensemble.
Creator: Subhash Kapoor.
Director: Ravindra Gautam.
Streaming On: Sony LIV.
Runtime: 10 Episodes Around 50 Minutes Each.
Maharani 2 Review: What’s It About:
So Rani Bharti has found her calling and continues to be the Chief Minister of Bihar as her husband Bheema Bharti continues to be in jail over the fodder scam. Season two begins from the point where the first season ended, the boiling enmity between the man and wife while the price in this competition continues to be Bihar. Plans are laid, prisons are broken but Rani is strong enough until one day the master plan is executed against her. Will she survive the bolt or succumb?
Maharani 2 Review: What Works:
How often do you come across a show with a second season illustriously better than the season one? What is the probability that it will turn out to be more three dimensional than the predecessor? Well, make way, because Huma Qureshi and team have definitely pulled their socks up and have given Maharani a way better second season and one that looks like reviews were taken under consideration, and efforts were taken to only make it better.
Story and Screenplay by Subhash Kapoor, Nandan Singh with Umashankar Singh’s additional help, Maharani season 2 walks the path with burning coals of not just the political story pressure, but the fear of not ending up becoming another mediocre product. The writers and the new director Ravindra Gautam have kind of explored the deeper grounds of the characters to find their inner voices. Rani Bharti now is not just the CM with ‘some’ back story, but a character that feels close to home.
Season 2 begins with her in the investigation box and continues to put her in one throughout the season. Here is a woman who while has an entire state to run, also has a home with three children and a Man who is now her enemy and is even cheating on her. The writers make sure Rani’s emotions and her dilemma takes the centre stage and you feel every bit of the drama that happens around her. She no longer has the nervousness, but neither there is a guiding spirit. She is left in the wild without a guard. All of this is visible.
The new season as said is breathing and isn’t flat and dead. Unlike the first season where the actors were fabulous but the world building was below average, this one goes an extra mile in bringing that realness to it all. The conflicts look real, reactions look human and none of the people baring a few are caricatures. The attempt is to grow the premise rather than the scale and that really wins because if it was just the scale, the loopholes would have been wider.
Even Mangesh Dhakde gets better with his music as he finds the roots and makes it culturally strong without the fear of catering to modern sensibilities. The cinematography by Anup Singh is pretty well when in the present. Flashbacks fail to impress.
Maharani 2 Review: Star Performance:
Huma Qureshi is the Queen you don’t mess with. The actor only gets better because now she understands where Rani comes from completely. She walks like her, she behaves like her, even the mannerism is on point and the continuity is never broken even for a minute. In two key moments, the camera zooms into her face, and Huma without uttering a single line explains the pain of losing everything with her gaze! You will see.
Soham Shah is kind of cake walking through Bheema Bharti at this point. The actor has to be more negative this time and he accepts the challenge. So does Amit Sial who has done a PHD in playing a politician by now. Kani Kusruti while does a good job with her part, we definitely deserved more of her.
Rest of the cast members are highly seasoned actors who only know good work and they prove that.
Maharani 2 Review: What Doesn’t Work:
I wish the ‘aam janta’ that the show talks about often was also included in the storyline. They only come in when the course needs to change in a drastic way. Like someone is r*ped, or a boy burns himself in middle of the street. But never in subtle situations. We are never taken inside any of the houses on the lanes where these ministers are rallying to ask for votes. So technically our exposure to Bihar are the 10 characters, but what are they fighting for? Where is the population of the Kingdom? Where is their voice?
Similarly the show takes brilliant digs at the class system and how it is ingrained even in children who don’t eat the mid-day meal at school because it is cooked by a woman from the lower class. But that conversation is buried there never to be addressed in a much bigger manner.
As for the plot, Bheema Bharti’s end is kind of abrupt. I understand the idea of shocking the viewer, but it happens at a point where it doesn’t shock like it should. Maybe it needed more time to process.
Maharani 2 Review: Last Words:
The show has saved itself from the curse of the second season. It is one of those few where you have to survive the first to enjoy the second and it’s rare. I am curious where this goes next, because the story now gets even more interesting.