Taj—Reign of Revenge Part 2: One last New History lesson

Sauraseni Maitra in Taj—Reign of Revenge Part 2. Photo: Trailer Video Grab 

Finally! Our new History lesson on the Akbar-Salim chapter of the Mughals is complete. With international help, we now have one last attack on classical knowledge of the history of the men who ruled most of India for centuries, and specifically the third and fourth members of their lineage.

The idea, we were told, was to “humanize” the rulers and their kin. We have already now been educated about how Salim and Anarkali were not the rich-poor protagonist lovers of Mughal-E-Azam (now in the form of a play doing blockbuster rounds of Canada after a reign in US), but were actually, and respectively, Akbar’s son and concubine. And Anarkali’s son Daniyal was Akbar’s other (and homosexual) son. And so Salim committed incest by having a love affair with his stepmother. And so on…

The new education is complete now. We know what Salim did to his other stepmother Ruqaiya (Padma Damodaran), who conspires against him, and how he imprisoned his own rebel and eldest son Khusrau (Jiansh Agarwal). We are told that the ailing Akbar never wanted Salim to be his successor but decreed that the young Khurram (Mitansh Lulla), Salim’s son who is found of architecture and was too good to be true, as his heir. But with some subterfuge, though not on Salim’s part, the latter steps in. At the beginning of these last four episodes of Reign of Revenge, Anarkali (Aditi Rao Hydari)’s spirit finally bids adieu to her paramour, and the rest is all plotting, counter-plots and bloodshed. Of course with a sex scene added, with Salim’s new love interest, Mehrunissa (Sauraseni Maitra). And so on again…

The first two episodes here, despite the “inspired” changes to what is recorded in history, were fairly exciting, if also “filmi” and melodramatic. But after this, the series is just to be watched as a review is necessary.

The actors go through the motions, and what surprises and shocks me is how foreign writers imitate Hindi potboiler action dramas so much. There is nothing much to add really, except to heave a sigh of relief.

With Adipurush and Taj, we now know that re-jigs can be done so much to old stories as well. All in the name of ‘contemporary’ appeal! But should not the word be spelt as ‘contempt’-orary?

Rating: **

ZEE5 presents Contiloe Pictures’ Taj—Reign of Revenge Season 2 Created by: Abhimanyu Singh Produced by: Abhimanyu Singh & Roopali Singh  Directed by: Vibhu Puri Written by: Christopher Butera, William Borthwick, Simon Fantauzzo & Vibhu Puri Music: Ian Arber Starring: Dharmendra, Naseeruddin Shah, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sandhya Mridul, Zarina Wahab, Aashim Gulati, Shubham Kumar Mehra, Sauraseni Maitra, Shivani Tanksale, Pankaj Saraswat, Digambar Prasad, Jiansh Aggarwal, Suhani Taneja, Padma Damodaran, Pawan Chopra, Mitansh Lulla, Sahil Sethi & others  





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