Junaid Khan’s Stellar Debut in ‘Maharaj’

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Junaid Khan’s Stellar Debut in ‘Maharaj’

| Updated: June 24, 2024 15:50

When the Netflix film ‘Maharaj’ graced screens, viewers anticipated a blend of Jaideep Ahlawat’s acting prowess and the debut of Aamir Khan’s son, Junaid Khan. Initially, Junaid seemed like just another star kid venturing into OTT before making a Bollywood entry—a trend increasingly favoured by celebrity offspring.

However, Junaid defied expectations, emerging as a refreshing non-hero-like hero. His performance transcended conventional Bollywood traits. Despite limited prior knowledge about him, Junaid’s portrayal of a determined pre-independence era journalist demanded attention.

Hailing from a lineage of talented artists—his grandfathers Nasir Hussain and Tahir Hussain were renowned filmmakers and screenwriters—Junaid’s family wisely avoided grand debut promotions. This allowed him to focus solely on his performance, which brilliantly unfolded on screen.

Directed by Siddharth P Malhotra (known for ‘Hichki’), ‘Maharaj’ has its flaws, including a loose screenplay and predictable storyline. Yet, Junaid’s presence elevates the film. His dialogue delivery exudes conviction, and his command of Sanskrit and Hindi surpasses that of most new-generation stars, let alone star-kids.

In one character, Junaid transitions seamlessly from a lover boy to a thinking individual, fearless warrior, and aware citizen—a feat that takes other newcomers years to master. His nuanced performance evokes memories of his father, Aamir Khan, in ‘Raja Hindustani’ (1996), where a timid Raja yearns for his beloved Aarti.

Screen-sharing with Ahlawat, a seasoned performer, Junaid captivates even more. Facing the camera in a full-fledged role alongside a blazing co-star, he remains unwavering. His poised portrayal, especially during heart-wrenching scenes, demonstrates emotional restraint and concise acting.

Junaid’s perfect diction and meticulous craft underscore his debut’s significance. ‘Maharaj,’ ostensibly an ordinary tale of a nation-changing man on the cusp of independence, transcends expectations. Junaid Khan, at 31, shines sans six-pack abs, PR blitz, or visible family validation. His audience’s trust is a promising start on a long journey ahead!

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