Taking a cue from the story of former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi, SonyLIV’s upcoming show, Maharani (2021), builds on the challenges of power, politics, and patriarchy that stare a woman who enters the field.
Starring Huma Qureshi, Sohum Shah and Amit Sial, the web-series will be streamed on the SonyLIV OTT platform from 28 May.
The trailer for Maharani begins with the challenge faced by bureaucrats charged with installing the new chief minister, Rani Bharati (Qureshi), in office. Her reluctance to enter the office, intimidated by the male dominance of politics in the state, only adds to their difficulty. “Bihar is not a state,” says a wise old politician played by Atul Tiwari, “it is a state of mind.”
This state of mind changes for Qureshi’s innocent rustic wife as soon as she takes power. As she grows into her job taking on corruption and crime, the system around her decides it may be time for her to go. Even her husband (Shah) is none too pleased, suggesting there is another game afoot. Whether the new chief minister remains a pawn or emerges as her own queen seems to be the subject of the web-series.
The trailer captures the many layers of bias, systemic and cultural, that seep through the political system. Qureshi looks on point with her expressions and performance in the trailer, and is surrounded by some capable artistes. Shah and Sial look like two of the main players seeking to control Qureshi’s queen.