The Empire on Disney Hotstar is an adaptation of Alex Rutherford’s Moguls: Raiders from the North, perfectly reciprocating and reproducing the chronology of scenes and sequences brilliantly created, curated and crafted.
Dramatising the historical accounts and abilities of Moguls who were rationally reasonable with a high sense of spirit and strengths followed by treaties and trade agreements ensuring the extension and expansion of their territories annexing and conquering distant enclaves bravely and convincingly.
Kunal Kapoor has been more than spiritual self-playing Babur, negotiating, persuading and honouring his commitments and deeds as an emperor standing up to his subjects. While for Dino Morea’s Shibani Khan character, there isn’t much in store apart from displaying his villainous vitals declaring his authority and command over Ferghana and Samarkand.
Though for a versatile Shabana Azmi, the choices aren’t many rather than anointing Umar Shaikh’s son to the throne. Aesthetically acknowledging and appreciating the scale and size of the background and costumes uniquely offers the script a substance, engaging, enlightening, and entertaining the viewers fully.
I also maintain that for the plot, the choice of artists did wonders as for their experience and exposure to the merits and methods in preserving and portraying the timing of their response and reactions to the situational circumstances.
It is marked by catchy phrases and one-liners: “Jab ladai zindagi aur maut ke beech, tab jeet maut ki hoti hai”, “Hindu aur Muslim do alag alag mazhab hain lekin usko maanne waala hai to ek insaan hi”.
The makers of this web series are actually romanticising the lived responsibilities and realities of the Mogul sultanate accordingly being aligned. A just war is virtuous for the king, who seeks loyalty and obedience from those being ruled by him with all his majestic might for ethical and moral considerations.
Remember an old proverb, “the king can do no wrong”, isn’t so? But, there is always more to the other side of it. A defeat may not always deter the will to succeed.