Art & Entertainment

‘Maharaj’ Has Been A Long And Wild Journey For Me, Says Junaid Khan

All's well that ends well, said Aamir Khan's son Junaid Khan, whose debut film "Maharaj" premiered on Netflix after the Gujarat High Court lifted an interim stay on the film's release.

Bollywood Hungama
Junaid Khan Photo: Bollywood Hungama

All's well that ends well, said Aamir Khan's son Junaid Khan, whose debut film "Maharaj" premiered on Netflix after the Gujarat High Court lifted an interim stay on the film's release

The period drama, backed by Yash Raj Films (YRF), is based on an 1862 libel case involving a Vaishnavite religious leader and social reformer Karsandas Mulji.

"I cannot explain in words what I’m feeling right now. ‘Maharaj’ has been a long and wild journey for me, but all’s well that ends well I guess,” the debutant actor said in a statement issued on Saturday.

The Gujarat High Court on Friday observed that "Maharaj" did not target the Vaishnav Pushtimarg sect as alleged by its members, who had filed a petition against the release of the film, claiming that it hurts religious sentiments.

 The film has nothing objectionable or derogatory, the court said after watching it, and allowed its release on streaming platform Netflix.

"Maharaj" is a film that was made with a "lot of love and respect and passion", Junaid said.

"I’m glad that the film and my performance is striking a chord with the audience at large. I know I have miles to go and lots to improve upon. I just hope I get a cast and crew as supportive in all my future work,” he added.

“Maharaj” is produced by Aditya Chopra under YRF Entertainment and is directed by Siddharth P Malhotra of “Hichki” fame.

The film also stars Jaideep Ahlawat and Shalini Pandey in pivotal roles, with Sharvari in a special appearance.

In a statement posted on its official social media handles on Friday, YRF said the movie is a tribute to Karsandas Mulji, one of the greatest social reformers of India.

"We are grateful to our judiciary for allowing the release of Maharaj, a film that celebrates one of the most important social reformers of our country, Karsandas Mulji," the production banner said.

"Karsandas, a hero and a devout Vaishnav, stood for righteousness, protected women and safeguarded his community and faith. Maharaj is a tribute to his indomitable fighting spirit and his courage to be on the right side of history,” it added.

The studio, known for producing renowned films such as "Veer Zaara", "Fighter", "Pathaan", "Ek Tha Tiger", "Chak De! India", "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge", "Silsila", and "Kabhi Kabhie", said it has never made a movie that would "tarnish" the country's reputation.

 "Yash Raj Films has a 50-year-old legacy of championing India, its stories, its people, culture and heritage. We have never produced a film that has tarnished the reputation of our country or our countrymen. Hope you watch 'Maharaj' and join us in saluting Karsandas," the production banner said.

Malhotra also shared an emotional note on social media, saying the film has a story that needs to be told against all odds.

 "A film release is almost like the arrival of a child for a filmmaker. The labour of love would like to be celebrated and announced with elan. But when you choose to tell a story that must be told against all odds then the battle will be uphill but hopefully worth the pain and obstacles as we as a team are super proud of the film 'Maharaj' that we have made,” he wrote.