Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi
Kangana Ranaut is the queen, this time literally. She is a powerful actor as well as a courageous lady in her real life. The amount of issues that have been there on producing this film are numerous yet it is her sheer grit that we see the results on the celluloid. Injuries, controversies, budget she came through all the obstacles.
This isn’t a perfect film and it doesn’t claim to be an accurate account of history yet it is the right time to showcase the incredible story of the possibly very first female freedom fighter who stood up against the British Empire.
It isn’t just that this is the story of a rule breaker, a girl, who stands taller than the men around her. One who shows valor and empathy in a single scene. The enigmatic picture from the history books of a woman on the horse back with shield and sword in her hands and a child wrapped on her back sends in goosebumps to every patriot of this country.
The story starts off in Varanasi where new born Manikarnika is named. Raised by the Peshva of Bithoor and her father Moropant, she is admired by the people and it is well established that even though she is a tough warrior when required but has a soft heart for the weak and innocent, even if it is a ferocious beast of the jungle.
The story takes you through the life journey of Manikarnika being renamed as Laxmi Bai when she is married to Gangadhar Rao of Jhansi. She wins the hearts of the people in the province. She loses Jhansi and has to vacate due to British invasion, she reclaims it and eventually
- The cinematography is beautiful, costumes are perfect, dialogues, cheesy at times but impactful, background score is effective.
- Kangana Ranaut is in top form, she gets to show a range of emotions in this one and she doesn’t miss a beat. You would believe all the gravity defying stunts she has done in the film. It is a legend from Indian history and she fits in perfectly in the character.
- The supporting cast is also does a great job in uplifting the pivotal character.
- The music is superb, specially Bharat by Shankar Ehsaan Loy, written by Prasoon Joshi is going to stay with you long after the film ends.
- The simplistic treatment of rest of the characters in the film, leaves very little for anyone else to shine in the film apart.
- The battle sequences a little clunky at times which clearly shows either the lack of budget or time.
But if youare a Kangana Ranaut’s fan, or even if you are not but a patriot, this filmstill works as it is an important story, that needs retelling in every generation.