The Empire; Mughal history editing history!
Here is another story based on history in front of the audience. Hotstar’s new Hindi series ‘The Empire’ tells the history of the Mughal Empire. Starring Kunal Kapoor, Dino Moria, Shabana Azmi, Drashti Dhami, Aditya Seal, Sahar Bamba, Rahul Dev and Imad Shah, the film is directed by Mitakshara Kumar. The series is co-produced by Bollywood director and producer Nikhil Advani.
The Mughal Empire began in 1526 with the conquest of Babur from Kabul by defeating Ibrahim Lodhi, the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. The Mughals were a vast empire that included present-day northern India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
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The Red Fort, the Juma Masjid and even the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, were built by the Mughal emperors.
Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb were prominent figures in the golden age of the Mughal Empire.
The first season of the series, based on Alex Rutherford’s book ‘Empire of the Mughals: Raiders from the North’, stars Babur as the central character.
The series begins with scenes from the first Panipat war. The camera then turns to the story of Babur, who escapes after facing death in front of Ibrahim Lodhi. Babur loses his father at the Ferghana Fort in Kabul when his enemy Shaibani Khan catches his eye. Babur, a 14-year-old boy who overcame coup attempts inside the fort, sets out to clear the Samarkand he belongs to. Despite winning the war, Babur was unfortunately unable to rule Samarkand for long.
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Six years after the loss of Ferghana, Babur also lost Samarkand. Along with power, Babur’s elder sister, Khanzada, also fell to Shaibani. The eight – episode series chronicles Babur ‘s struggle to regain power and liberate his sister, and years later Babur’s battle to seize the dream land of Hindustan.
Works that distort history in the name of imagination and freedom of expression have been born in Bollywood before. Most of the audience will not have much understanding of Babur’s life before coming to Hindustan. However, there is no doubt that Babur came to northern India through occupation.
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Throughout the series, attempts are made to sanctify Babur, who has repeatedly shed blood for selfish interests! There is nothing wrong with relying on Babur’s life, but it’s not the right thing to do.
Director Mitakshara and creator Nikhil Advani have hijacked ‘The Empire’ by mixing the ingredients of notable films and series and portraying Babur as an honest and brave fighter.
The script of the series is mediocre, avoiding real events and inserting what is not in the pages of history. Aside from the fact of history, the screenplay has the power to captivate the audience. With the exception of a few parts, most conversations are engaging and simple.
Compared to the Indian series, ‘The Empire’, which was made on a larger scale, received a lot of hype. Unfortunately, it did not live up to expectations, but I have to admit that it does have a lot to offer. The main attraction of the series is that it is arranged on a large canvas. The long cast and average action scenes add strength to the film.
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It is a relief to see more action than expected from the series, which has reached the label of drama. Attractive photography and color grading are also the golden feathers in the crown of the series. In the fourth episode, Shail Hada’s song ‘Ruh Dil’ during Babur’s Nikah stood out.
The exciting scenes arrived at short intervals so the length was longer but the audience was less likely to be bored. Although the costumes were very attractive, it seemed that the stars were occasionally seen as models lined up on the show.
Among the actors were Drishti Dhami and Dino Moria who came as Shaibani.
Shaibani Khan, who has the character of a sadist, is initially hostile, but his love is portrayed in a way that attracts the audience. Drishti is the only actor who has done one hundred percent justice to the character, including the dialogue delivery. Kunal Kapoor, who played the central character Babur, was a complete failure in that role. Everything was often inconsistent with Kunal’s voice and manner of speaking. Kapoor and Shabana Azmi were cast in the film but the director was not able to use their roles properly.
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Actors like Aditya Seal, Rahul Dev and Imad Shah have acted as requested by the script. The first of the worst elements of the series is the visual effects. The limitations of the budget are understandable but it goes without saying that VFX can significantly affect enjoyment. The scenes of the initial earthquake, the explosions on the battlefields and the movement of the soldiers are all prepared without any standards.
The background music also could not help the film. Defects are also evident in the mixing of sounds. I did not experience any significant issues with the editing of the image. As a film based on history, it is only natural that the intentions of the rank and file should be questioned. The great history of India has been revised many times by those who ruled this place. Filmmakers, regardless of language, have a responsibility not to distort history and send the wrong message to the new generation.