junaid khan, jaideep ahlawat, maharaj review

Maharaj movie

Bubble Rating:
2.5 stars

Director: Siddharth P. Malhotra

Writer(s): Sneha Desai, Vipul Mehta, Bernard Williams

Star cast: Junaid Khan, Jaideep Ahlawat, Shalini Pandey, Sharvari Wagh

Platform: On Netflix

Runtime: 2 hours 11 mins

Maharaj Review

Based on a real-life historical court case, Maharaj is a story about a bold journalist Karsandas who questions a revered leader’s immoral behaviour. A case that is known by very few and it is known as the most controversial case as we can see why. With the Court’s stay order in the movie, we can understand the intensity of the movie and how risky it can be for some people who think they are targeted. Maharaj starring Junaid Khan and Jaideep Ahlawat has finally been released on Netflix but to know why it’s so controversial, read our review to get a better understanding.


Inspired by true events, Maharaj is an incredible David vs Goliath story. Set in the 1800s, it narrates how a regular man named Karasandas Mulji, a journalist by profession, takes on a revered leader. The fearless reporter wields his pen to go toe-to-toe in a bid to uncover a series of immoral and unethical incidents that shake the very foundation of society. The period drama is an ode to mankind’s spirit to do good, to pursue and discover truth at any cost and to fight for humanity. It shows how one person’s will to affect positive social change can triumph over all evil and bring those in power to justice.

What’s good about Maharaj

Jaideep Ahlawat’s performance: Jaideep is one of the finest actors in Bollywood. It seems he knows his character so well that lives it the moment the director says, ‘action’. He doesn’t have to speak a word as his mere presence is enough to captivate you in his aura. In the movie, you will witness a smirk on his face, defining the saying “Actions speak louder than words”. Jaideep is hands down fantastic and owns the movie like a boss. Not disregarding the newcomer but Jaideep is simply phenomenal on his part. From his body language to minimal expressions, Ahlawat can make you feel angry or disgusted and that’s the power of his acting.

Storyline/ Dialogues: The story is about a journalist challenging a Maharaj for his wrongdoings towards the women in the society. It takes you through the story of a Maharaj who indulges in explicit behaviour with the women in the guise of ‘Charanseva’. It is a complex subject which was partially engaging. They have nicely shown people’s perspectives towards a religious leader and how they consider them as gods. Moreover, some of the dialogues were banging and impactful.

Climax: The last 30 minutes of the film raise your excitement a notch higher after a much dull pace. It was well written and executed with great punches in dialogues. (Little spoiler) There was a scene after the court’s verdict where Siddharth showed how the people’s perspective towards the Maharaj had changed. It is a small scene but holds great power.

Costumes: The costumes were quite appropriate for the British era and it enhances the look of the movie. Especially Jaideep’s costumes which were rich and royal. As he plays a Maharaj, his jewellery and outfits are rich and look visually appealing. While Jaideep’s outfits were vibrant, Junaid’s outfits were eccentric. It justifies his journalist role to the fullest. Moreover, the costumes donned by Shalini and Sharvari were gorgeous with a modern touch.

What’s not

Predictable: Even though it is based on true events, certain scenes were quite predictable. You know what is going to happen and how things are going to turn. There was no surprise element in the movie.

Set Design: Since it was set in the 1800s, the set design didn’t look natural. Understandably, the place was created and hence, the story just doesn’t teleport you to the era.

Direction: After Hitchki, Siddharth P. Malhotra picked a complex and controversial subject. The direction seems a little challenging for him as he couldn’t get out of the typical YRF filmmaking style. In several parts, you feel that it is a YRF film and not a period drama. That can be one of the drawbacks of the movie. Moreover, the first part fails to grab your attention with a dull screenplay and slow pace. He even tries to add a little humour to the story but it sucks out from the flow of the story and timeline. You don’t feel that the movie is set in the 1800s.


Junaid Khan marks his debut with this strong non-commercial movie. When you’re a star kid and a son of Aamir Khan, there’s a lot of pressure to perform the best. Can’t say Junaid’s performance was the best but the man has a lot of potential to become an actor. Yes, he falls short in several instances and his dialogue delivery looks flimsy but it was his first movie, so we can give him the benefit of the doubt. There’s a scene where he motivates and encourages society to follow the god and not the godman, it could have been impactful but feels very normal. He even recites a few verses in Sanskrit and it won’t jolt you. Nevertheless, Junaid made a decent attempt with his debut movie.

Shalini Pandey also delivers a decent performance in her small role. She is majorly seen in the first half of the film but contributes more than anything. She portrays both vivacious and vulnerable sides with honesty. Moreover, she looks gorgeous in every frame. On the other hand, Sharvari Wagh also makes a cheerful appearance in the movie and leaves everyone mesmerised. Though her hold on Gujrati accent seems poor, we can’t tell the same for her acting. She demanded attention for the right reasons. Both the ladies got significant parts which were lively and emotional too.


Concluding the review, Maharaj is a bold movie that is very relevant in today’s time. The film talks about the subjects that can be wrong in society but it only broadens your mentality. You will lose interest in the first half of the movie but it grips you in the second half. The film ends on a high as the makers provide a gripping climax. Nevertheless, you will observe some high and low points in the screenplay that can make you lose interest. However, Jaideep completely eats the movie and you should watch it for him.

Also read: Chandu Champion REVIEW: Kartik Aaryan emerges as a champion in Kabir Khan’s directorial, brings Murlikant Petkar’s biopic to life in an earnest performance

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