MAHARAJ – Bizarre Yet Brilliant!!! PK Verdict: Silver Plus 3.5*s

watch trailer of MAHARAJ – Bizarre Yet Brilliant!!! PK Verdict: Silver Plus 3.5*s Watch The Trailer
Release Date:
June 21, 2024
Junaid Khan, Jaideep Ahlawat, Sharvari, Shalini Pandey
Biopic , Drama , Entertainment , Historic , True Incidents
PK Verdict

MAHARAJ – Bizarre Yet Brilliant!!!

Director Siddharth P Malhotra brings us a story of Maharaj from the heartland of India. Inspired by true events Maharaj leaves one awestruck with its bizarre reality and it’s great writing. Proving Pen is mightier than the sword, they bring us a spell bound script rich in writing, its set-design, its execution and above all stellar performances by the leads Junaid Khan, Jaideep Ahlawat, Sharwari and Shalini Pandey. Marking the unconventional debut of Junaid Khan who is in the skin of the character he essays, giving us a great story of “Karsandas Mulji”. Wait for the end credits to further unfold the credits of Karsandas Mulji helping India live a wider perspective.

At the beginning one may have a regressive feeling for what one has signed up for, that too on Netflix. As the film looks out straight from our Doordarshan days. Giving us a deja-vu to Vikram Betaal and Dada Dadi ki Kahaniyaan, our great binge back then. Netflix along with YRF brings gives us a period drama that makes us wonder to why watch something so regressive and how it is relevant. Well, to answer that one shall sail through the entire film to unfold the way makers bring you the harsh reality from the past. The film has a progressive approach in its writing showcasing the journey of Mulji, who is a curios child since birth and how he ends up being in Bombay. Bombay to what we knew all this while leaves you spell bound to what it was, what journey Bombay has been other than just the name change. Bombay of 1862 gives us an unbelievable culture shock to what we see in Maharaj. Not to forget, it is a true story that leaves us spell bound.

A story coming from the Haveli of Kalbadevi, a worship place for devotees living around the Haveli, following their Maharaj with unfounded belief, living in the delusion to the idea of God, surrendering themselves in totality without any discernment. “Charan Seva” the ritual devotees follow and how, something that looks bizarre from conceiving the thought of the same was normal back then until it took a Man like Karsandas Mulji to question the Maharaj, devotees and the constitution led by British back then. The courtroom drama in the second half unfolds the accomplishment of the Legendary Man giving devotees a wider perspective, bringing that change of raising the bar of consciousness profoundly.

Karsandas Mulji essayed by Junaid Khan, with his earnest performance succeeds to steal the show. He succeeds to deliver and how. We all know what a performer Jaideep Ahlawat is, as Maharaj he succeeds to make us hate him, of course the character. For someone facing off with Jaideep in his debut film and shining high, is what showcases an actor’s love for the craft, his preparation. Junaid Khan, portrays rightful sternness, sticking to its human values and core principles, his character demands is commendable. His dialogue delivery, giving a Sanskrit shlok, along with its meaning with conviction enlightening its audience to what does it mean and how it is interpretated, makes you look up to the actor when he speaks.

We also get to see someone essaying the role of Legendary Dadabhai Naoroji supporting Karsandas Mulji with his vision. The world created of 1862 is believable. Maharaj is indeed a time travel journey too. Sharvari brings the breeze of much needed relief making us feel lighter with her humor as the idea of Charan Seva itself leaves you with a pounding heart. The writing is rich in its thought and execution and lands well along with its subtle humor at times. The louder humor “Maharaj ki Jai Ho” is thrown out of the court.

The vision of one man working greatly on social reforms; sharing his ideology giving India wings to fly high was the year 1862 when India was not free. Now, in free India, people are playing right wing and left wing trying to hold the film get its due release, is as regressive as India of 1862. One shall not forget; India has freedom of speech and expression and there is a governing body to decide the films fate on its release.

Glad to see Netflix and YRF bring us a harsh historic reality from the city of Bombay, backing it up with great production and brilliant team behind it. Maharaj can come as bizarre as one may think of and yet at the same time it’s a brilliant piece of cinema. A must watch, streaming now on Netflix.

PK Verdict: Silver Plus 3.5*s

PK Verdict
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