The Empire: ‘Genghiji Nani’ Shabana Azmi or ‘Khanzada’ Drishti Dhami, who prevailed?


The history of Asia’s most important dynasty is featured in Disney Plus Hotstar’s “The Empire” series. The first season of the show is the story of Babur, who laid the foundations of the Mughalia Sultanate. However, the series is inspired by a fictional book in which the facts of the Mughal Empire are entertainingly presented with fiction. Naturally, in The Empire many facts related to the Mughals are missing and the objections are also coming to light. But the program is under discussion. The positive point of the program is its casting. Leaving aside the debate on historical facts about The Empire, most of the discussion is about the work of the artists.

There is no doubt that the work of some artists has made The Empire special. In addition to Kunal Kapoor and Dino Morea, two great characters in the series are being praised by actresses who play the role of Daulat Begum, Babar’s maternal grandmother and Babar’s older sister Khanzada. Both characters in the series are considered to be equal to Babur in terms of the Mughal Sultanate and many times more important than him. Shabana Azmi, who made a mark on Hindi cinema, played the role of Daulat Begum while Drishti Dhami played the role of Khanzada.

Shabana Azmi lived the Genghis Nani of Babur exactly

It is shown in The Empire that the father’s shadow has risen from Babar’s head long before his time and the mother’s mental condition is not such that she advises the son and teaches him the tricks of the Sultanate. Here Daulat Begum Babar’s political advisor, in the form of a grandmother, is seen as an inspiration. Shabana Azmi’s look is impressive. His arched and arched eyebrows bring his gaze closer to Genghis’s. While speaking the dialogue, he has also used his face and eyebrows for the same purpose. Naturally, his character seems close to the barbarity of Genghis. Daulat Begum was of the thirteenth generation of the feared Genghis dynasty of Central Asia. There is no pity or feelings for anyone in his heart for the Sultanate. Daulat Begum is a vicious, promising and favored woman who does not bow down even under adverse circumstances. His motive is so clear that he is not opposed to ending potential family problems in Takht. He is not at all merciful compared to Babur or Khanzada. Good and evil are decided solely by the criteria of the table. In his eyes, the power of the ideal king resides solely in his sword. The more results the emperor achieves in war, the stronger the legs of the throne will remain. He believes that the emperor shouldn’t have a soft heart at all. Daulat Begum advocates for the purity of blood.

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Drashti Dhami and Shabana Azmi, Photo courtesy of Disney Plus Hotstar.

Whatever form Daulat Begum is shown in The Empire, Shabana Azmi has brought it to the screen. It is the effect of his excellent performance that he often begins to hate. In the first season, Shaybani is the villain, but in the end, due to her horrible past and her love for Khanzada, she manages to some extent to capture the feelings of the audience, while Daulat Begum gets no sympathy and remains inhuman. Surely no other actress could have played the role of Daulat Begum better than Shabana Azmi in The Empire.

Big projects have already brought Drishti immense fame.

Drishti Dhami’s work as Khanzada, the second major female character from the first season of The Empire, is also commendable. In status, Khanzada is seen on par with Daulat Begum. She stands out for being a woman who tries to maintain a balance between family and Takht. Babur makes devious pacts with Shaybani for the good of the family and the Sultanate. The first season on Khanzada makes it clear that it doesn’t really exist independently. His first and last motive is to see his brother as king along with his community. And to make it safe. For this reason, he not only sacrifices his personal freedom, but because of his brother’s victory, he falls in love with Shaybani and throws her into the pit of death. While Shaybani is her husband. And in the end, he begins to fall in love.

If the sequence of Shaybani’s death and some of those selected scenes are omitted, then the vision in the form of Khanzada can be considered perfect. Like Shaybani, during the death of her husband, her facial expressions do not show that wickedness, the script of whose plot she had written for the victory of Bhai Babar. The gold shown in the scene maintains weak vision in the form of Khanzada. Barring a few of those sequences, Drashti Dhami’s work on The Empire will be said to be commendable.

Would the actors with the Mongolian look have been better in The Empire?

Drishti’s performance is in place, but he is not visible to the Mongol-Genghis dynasty due to his appearance. The same is seen in Babar and some other characters as well. People are also talking about this that although the performance is fine, it is not visible from Central Asia. The commons are seen from the Indian subcontinent. From The Empire’s point of view, how right or wrong this would have been is a different matter. But some people on social media have said the need to cast Mongolian-style actors. By the way, it would have been better if the creators had worked on the Drashti or Babar look like Shabana.

Regardless, The Empire is gaining recognition on the acting front. For actors like Kunal Kapoor, Dino Morea, and Drishti Dhami, the Disney show seems to be opening new doors. The Empire has been created by Nikhil Advani for Disney. It is directed by Mitakshara Kumar.

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