Maharaj: Junaid Khan’s Deeply Flawed But Brave Debut

Aamir Khan's son Junaid Khan made his debut on OTT with the historical drama Maharaj. The film directed by Siddharth P Malhotra, also features Jaideep Ahlawat and Sharvari Wagh in pivotal roles.
Maharaj: Junaid Khan’s Deeply Flawed But Brave Debut

Maharaj: Junaid Khan’s Deeply Flawed But Brave Debut

狈别迟蹿濒颈虫’蝉 Maharaj, which had its delayed streaming debut this afternoon, is the kind of cinema you sincerely want to recommend. With a powerful real-life litigation at its backbone from 1862 where a prim social reformist took on a lascivious godman, Maharaj should have been far more powerful in impact than it actually is.
Tragically the lionhearted justice-seeking drama turns out to be much ado about nothing. More a molehill than a mountain,stifflipped and inflexible both the reformist and the narrative come across as tragically unappealing.
One factor that plays against the presentation is its ingrained staginess. The characters are so conscious of the camera that they seem to be performing for it. The sets look like, well, sets. The props have a life of their own and the characters seem to be part of a streetplay rather than a very serious subject on the politics of sexualized religion wherein a godman Jadunath(Jaideep Ahlawat) exploits the women of his village under the pretext of Charan Seva, meaning offerings to the Gods, where the Charan(feet) have little to do.
Adding a sheen of extra cheesiness to Jadunath’s activities is the voyeurism: villagers can peep in at a price while the show must go on, so to speak.
All this voluminous sleaziness required far more tact skill and grace to be palatable as cinema. Grievously, the presentation cannot sift the sleaze of the situation from its cinematic representation. The sexual exploitation that reformist Karsan Das brought out into the open, seems too far entrenched into the presentation for us to stand apart from it.
In brief, the Godman’s sexual exploitation seems more ironic than culpable. A stronger directorial hand would have provided the film with the requisite mood of detached . disdain. Given the scenario, the mood appears more gratuitous than cavillous.
Adding to the stiff stagey mood are the actors. The women dressed like junior artists from a Bhansali film, strut around with the posturing precocity of representational figurines: one is Kishori(Shalini Pandey) who triggers the hero’s reformist zeal, the other (Sharvari Wagh) a “liberal” woman of 1862 who wears tight barebacked cholis and swings her hips unabashedly. This character creates a history of her own.
This brings me to the film’s biggest problem. Junaid Khan’s choice of such an unconventional subject and character as his debut is commendable. However, he is not up to the task. He has long passages of dialogues which he rattles off in teleprompter style, punctuations included.
I am still not sure if I like Jaideep Ahlawat’s smug uni-expression godman’s part. With his frozen bovine expression, he is more amusing than menacing. Bobby Deol played the sleazy godman with more emotive leverage in Prakash Jha’s Ashram which had its flaws. But at least it didn’t allow the sets to supervise the sex.
End of Article
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news