Here it is again. Yet another historical fiction show that splits public opinion and stirs up social media controversy. The Empire finally arrived yesterday, on August 27, to portray the meteoric rise and decline of the Mughal Empire in India.
The show is an adaptation of Empire of the Moghul, a series of historical fiction novels written by Alexander Rutherford. It captures the entire timeline of the Mughal Era, beginning from Babur and ending with Aurangzeb. Veteran actors Kunal Kapoor, Dino Morea, and Shabana Azmi take on the roles of Babur, Muhammad Shaybani, and Aisan Daulat Begum respectively.
In a very short time, the period drama that merges history with fiction has gained a lot of attention — enough to spur me into writing this article despite missing the original deadline. But here, we aren’t talking about the kind of attention the people behind this project would’ve been hoping for. The show’s release has actually irked many viewers, which has resulted in “#UninstallHotstar” becoming a popular trend on Twitter.
For the history buffs who are intrigued, The Empire is streaming right now on Disney+ Hotstar. It consists of eight episodes, the first of which can be streamed for free without any registration or subscription.
However, there are some workarounds that let you watch the entire season without any extra cost.
How To Watch “The Empire” For Free On Disney+ Hotstar?
Although Disney+ Hotstar, or simply Hotstar, doesn’t offer any free trial like other streaming platforms such as Netflix, there are still certain ways you can stream its content for free. That’s because Hotstar comes bundled as an added perk with some other subscriptions that you might already have.
Those who have a Jio number can get a 1-year Hotstar VIP subscription, without any additional charges, on prepaid plans starting from ₹401. If you are on an eligible plan, you can watch The Empire by logging in to Disney+ Hotstar using the same Jio number.
Similarly, Airtel users can get a free Hotstar VIP subscription for a year on prepaid plans worth ₹401 and above. On purchasing such a plan, you will receive an SMS from Airtel about your Hotstar offer alongside a link. You have to click on that link and then log in to Disney+ Hotstar with the same Airtel number. Once you do that, the offer will be activated and you’ll be able to stream The Empire.
That’s not it, Vi customers also get the perk of a free Disney+ Hotstar VIP subscription for 1 year. This offer comes bundled with plans priced at — you guessed it right — ₹401 and above. Upon successful recharge, you’ll receive a link from Vi, which you can use to log in to Hotstar. Again, you’ll need to use the same Vi number that you did the recharge for.
How To Watch “The Empire” From Anywhere In The World?
Quite obviously, you might not be able to access the show on Disney+ Hotstar from certain countries, even if you have an active subscription. Lucky for you, we live in an age where geo-restrictions are as useful as bottomwear during Zoom meetings. What it means is, you can still access Hotstar and watch The Empire by using a VPN that suits your needs. Make sure to check out our VPN Guide by clicking here.
Is “The Empire” A Good Watch?
Since all the episodes are already out, reviews have been dropping in thick and fast. A critic from Hindustan Times notably panned the show as a Game Of Thrones rip-off impersonating a Sanjay Leela Bhansali flick. On the contrary, FirstPost and The Indian Express praised the show for its ambition but criticized it for its execution.
Clearly, the reviews represent a mixed response, much like the public reception for the show. However, one thing most reviewers seem to agree on is that it might be moderately interesting for history nerds. So, if the idea of grizzly 16th-century warlords fighting over Indian territories fascinates you, then The Empire should likely be worth a watch.
Have you already started watching the series? If yes, tell us your thoughts in the comments below.