Movie Review: Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi
Producer- Kamal Jain and Viacom
Directors- Kangana Ranaut and Radhakrishna Jagarlamudi
Star Cast – Kangana Ranaut, Atul Kulkarni, Jisshu Sengupta, Danny Denzongpa, Suresh Oberoi
Rating – ***
Whipping up Patriotic Fervor
‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’ is a biographical account of how Rani Laxmibai waged a courageous war against the East India Company. It sets out to tell you the real life story of the first warrior queen and the brave woman in India to fight against the British and start the very first war for Independence.
The 22-year-old queen refused to give away Jhansi to the British. Dressed as a man, she fought a fierce battle and was killed in combat but her inspiring life story and fight against the British is an inspiring tale of bravery, velour and women’s strength that has inspired generations after her and will inspire generations to come.
Directed by Ranaut and Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, the film Manikarnika sets out to achieve its simplistic ambition of saluting the legendary queen, but you feel that it is too long-winding and a bit too megalomaniacal. The budgetary constraints show and as two different directors have collaborated on the project, you feel it is patchy at times. One main drawback of the film is its incoherent screenplay as Vijayendra Prasad, the writer of Bahubali fails to make it any different from either Bahubali or for that matter Bahjirao Mastani or Padmavat, especially the film also is in the same genre as the other two. Prasoon Joshi’s dialogues are clap-worthy
The film belongs to only Kangana Ranaut and no one else though there are actors like Suresh Oberoi, Danny Denzongpa and Kulbhushan Kharbanda in the film besides Atul Kulkarni and Vaibhav Tatwaavdi. Kangana plays her role with aplomb, with such fierceness and gumption that you cannot take your eyes off her, especially when she is in full stride. The under rated actress who floundered as an actress in the film Simran which was her last release embodies the spirit of a very special young woman married to a meek princely (Jishu Sengupta), catapulted into the throne, not because she wants it, but because there is no real man among those who surround her, after her husband’s untimely death. Anita Lokhande fails to show any spark in her inconsequential role.
Shankar Ehsan Loy scores as music directors though only Bharat is catchy and melodious. All said and done, the film definitely will be able to whip up political fervor and make you clap for Kangana Ranaut if not for direction but at least for her acting prowess
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