Maharaja is a 1998 Indian Hindi superhero film directed by Anil Sharma. It stars Govinda as a prince who has inherited magical abilities from his ancestors and Manisha Koirala as a princess who loves him. The film revolves around the prince's quest to reclaim his rightful kingdom from a cruel usurper who has kidnapped his mother and forced her to ride on a horse. The prince has to overcome many obstacles and enemies with the help of his supernatural powers and his loyal friends.
The film begins with a flashback where the prince's father, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Raj Babbar), is killed by his brother-in-law Durjan Singh (Gulshan Grover) in a coup. Durjan Singh then takes over the kingdom and imprisons Ranjit's wife Rajeshwari (Shakti Kapoor) and son Raju. Raju manages to escape with the help of his nanny and grows up in a forest with a tribe of gypsies. He learns that he has inherited the power of Maharaja Vikram Singh, his ancestor who could control animals and nature.
One day, Raju saves a girl named Shaili (Manisha Koirala) from some goons and falls in love with her. He later finds out that she is a princess from a neighboring kingdom and that her father, King Surya Pratap (Puneet Issar), has arranged her marriage with Durjan Singh's son Ajit (Rajeev Varma). Raju decides to stop the marriage and rescue Shaili. He also learns that his mother is still alive and is being tortured by Durjan Singh, who forces her to ride on a horse every day until she dies.
Raju infiltrates Durjan Singh's palace with the help of his friends and confronts him. He reveals his true identity and challenges him for the throne. Durjan Singh unleashes his army of mercenaries and wild animals to kill Raju, but Raju uses his powers to fight back. He frees his mother and Shaili from their captivity and defeats Durjan Singh and Ajit in a final showdown. He then reclaims his kingdom and marries Shaili, becoming the new Maharaja.The film was released on 4 September 1998 and received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised the film for its action sequences, special effects and Govinda's performance, while others criticized the film for its weak plot, poor editing and over-the-top melodrama. The film was a moderate success at the box office, earning â13.34 crore against a budget of â9 crore.
The film's music was composed by Nadeem-Shravan and the lyrics were written by Sameer. The film had six songs, which were sung by Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sonu Nigam and Kumar Sanu. The songs were popular among the audience and some of them became chartbusters. The song \"Jab Tum Aa Jaate Ho Samne\" was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer for Sonu Nigam.
The film was also dubbed in Tamil as Maharasan and in Telugu as Maharaju. The film was remade in Bengali as Raju Raja Rajeshwari with Prosenjit Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta in the lead roles.Some of the trivia about the film are:
- The film was originally titled Rajkumar and was supposed to star Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in the lead roles. However, due to some differences between the director and the actors, the project was shelved and later revived with Govinda and Manisha Koirala.
- The film was inspired by the Hollywood film The Beastmaster (1982), which also featured a hero who could communicate with animals and had a similar plot.
- The film marked the debut of Shakti Kapoor as a female actor. He played the role of Raju's mother Rajeshwari, who was disguised as a man by Durjan Singh. Shakti Kapoor had to wear a wig, makeup and a saree for his role.
- The film also featured a cameo appearance by Amitabh Bachchan, who played the role of Maharaja Vikram Singh, Raju's ancestor who appeared in his dreams and guided him. Amitabh Bachchan agreed to do the role as a favor to Govinda, who was his co-star in many films.
- The film was shot in various locations in India and Nepal, including Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Kathmandu and Pokhara. Some of the scenes were also shot at the Mehrangarh Fort and the Pichola Lake. 0efd9a6b88