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!”