Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Maharani, hard-hitting political drama on SONYLIV, receives acclaim

Actor and green crusader Dia Mirza says even small measures by individual­s can go a long way in helping the environmen­t


As much as we love being transporte­d to an imaginary world replete with fictional characters, shows based on real life connect us to the past in a way unmatched. The newly released web series Maharani, streaming on SONYLIV, one of the leading OTT players in the country, does just that. It takes one back to the ’90s, into the turbulent politics of Bihar during that decade.

The story revolves around an uneducated homemaker-turnedpoli­tician, portrayed by actor Huma Qureshi, struggling to find a footing in a male-dominated world. The narrative also highlights

Actor Dia Mirza has been continuous­ly working to increase awareness about choices that all of us need to make at the macro and micro levels, collective­ly and individual­ly, to preserve, protect and if possible, restore the environmen­t. On World Environmen­t Day, Mirza, who is the United Nations Environmen­t Goodwill Ambassador and UN Secretary-general’s Advocate for Sustainabl­e Developmen­t Goals, and Global Ambassador, Internatio­nal Fund for Animal Welfare, feels the connection between sustainabl­e developmen­t and collective well-being has been undeniably establishe­d by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Sustainabl­e developmen­t is the key to a healthier planet. Environmen­tal degradatio­n and climate change impact each of us. The challenge is not just that subjects like eco-fragility and environmen­tal degradatio­n do not engage enough of us, but that even a pandemic seems not to have woken us up to the urgency of climate change,” she explains. the embedded class difference­s in Bihar’s feudal society.

The 10-episode show, created by Subhash Kapoor and directed by Karan Sharma, has garnered rave reviews. Filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari says, “It’s a story that strikes a chord with its brilliant script and performanc­e. The character of Rani Bharti, played by Huma, brings to life the obstacles faced by a woman in a patriarcha­l society, trying to find her place. Maharani is definitely a series to watch for its insightful storytelli­ng and performanc­e.”

And actors such as Sohum Shah and Amit Sial, besides Qureshi, have brought alive an interestin­g

Perhaps most people think climate issues are too overwhelmi­ng to tackle, feels Mirza, adding, all of us can start small. She suggests, “Something as small as segregatin­g your waste, cutting down on singleuse plastic, carrying your own water bottle and choosing green products can make a huge difference. We need to not look away from the problem when it is in plain sight. Unless we turn the clock back on climate change, we are headed towards devastatio­n.”

However, while signs of the damage are already visible all around, she says it’s heartening that many people are waking up to the danger. phase of Indian politics on screen, highlighti­ng every emotion be it anger, love, laughter, joy or grief.

While it is set in the ’90s, an era many young viewers may not be familiar with, its hard-hitting theme is relevant even in today’s time. As filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda says, “Maharani is a visually captivatin­g story that keeps you hooked till the end. Stories like these bring about a change and are important in today’s time. Packed with brilliant dialogues and a well-structured screenplay, each character shines as the story unfolds. Maharani is undoubtedl­y worth the watch!”

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