MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI Movie Review is out. The most talked about Kangana Ranaut’s epic action drama based on one of India’s most fearless warrior queen – Jhansi Ki Rani an icon for a true patriotic Indian. Does Kangana Ranaut’s republic week release MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI infuses the high josh and passion of nationalism?. Is it worth the wait?. Find out in MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI movie review.
Stand alone moment in MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI
Behind the backdrop of Maa Durga idol inside Jhansi fort, the fearless and fierce Kangana Ranaut as Rani Laxmibai – the warrior queen is seen slashing dozens of Brithish soldiers like a lightning, with all guns blazing. Flashing her sword like a master samurai, she leaps, jumps and makes a perfect landing, hail the ‘Queen’ at that point Kangana Ranaut as MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI makes your heart fill with proud.
The most shocking neglect/flaw?
Chamak uthi san sattavan mein, woh talwar purani thi, Bundele harbolon ke munh humne suni kahani thi, Khoob ladi mardani woh toh Jhansi wali rani thi this very popular and fitting tribute to the valour of Rani Laxmibai by renowned poet Subhadra Kumari Chauhan is completely missing from the movie.
What is the plot/ storyline of MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI?
Based on the iconic historical figure – Rani Laxmibai, MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI is the story of Manikarnika aka Manu (Kangana Ranaut) born in the town of Varanasi into a Marathi Karhade Brahmin family, cousin of Nana Sahib, Manikarnika’s father Moropant Tambe (Manish Wadhwa) worked for a court Peshwa of Bithoor district. The Peshwa (Suresh Oberoi) is very fond of her. Fearless and caring at the same time Manikarnika one day gets a marriage proposal from Dixit Ji of Jhansi (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) who is looking for someone who can save his state of Jhansi from the claws of British as the King Gangadhar Rao (Jisshu Sengupta) is more in arts and music. Dixit Ji sees a savior and warrior in Manikarnaika and King Gangadhar Rao marries Manu. After the marriage Manu gets her new name Laxmi and rest is how Laxmibai fights all odds and stands firm in front of the mighty British and fights for her motherland till her last breath forms the crux of this epic war saga.
Writer K V Vijayendra Prasad in his story adds nothing new, there is nothing for history/fact lovers. In fact the story writing entirely focuses on Kangana Ranaut and hardly gives any scope to important characters like Jhalkari Bai (Ankita Lokhande) and Tatya Tope (Atul Kulkarni) and shockingly reduces them. The first half is painstakingly boring and takes unnecessarily long to create the buildup. Only in the second half, K V Vijayendra Prasad’s story starts taking things seriously and the audience gets to watch the movie they wanted to see. Prasoon Joshi dialogues create good impact.
How is Kangana Ranaut’s acting in MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI?
Kangana Ranaut nails it as the warrior queen, she is marvelous in the action scenes but at times too gorgeous, yes Rani Laxmibai was beautiful but was not a model of a jewelry brand. Kangana’s accent is out of sync. Ironically, when Kangana is silent and makes her sword do most of the talking, she is outstanding.
How is Kangana Ranaut’s direction in MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI?
Honestly, it’s hard to comment which part/portion Kangana has directed but in all fairness, the actress makes a passable debut as a film director. Surprisingly, a significant contrast is noticed in shot takings/approach in many scenes some scenes are brilliantly executed while some are patchy. At places a sense of getting even with Rajamouli’s BAAHUBALI and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period dramas is noticed. Whose idea was that?.
How is the direction of Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi in MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI?
Same query/feeling as expressed for the direction of Kangana Ranaut as its not known who has directed which part.
MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI in comparison with BAAHUBALI, PADMAAVAT etc?
As far as grandiosity, feel is concern, MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI stays far behind.
Other plus point in MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI apart from Kangana Ranaut?
Supporting actors like Jisshu Sengupta, Suresh Oberoi, Danny Denzongpa (in spite of a reduced role) leave an impression. Its Ankita Lokhande as Jhalkari Bai in spite of a lesser scope wins maximum attention after Kangana Ranaut. Ankita Lokhande is excellent and leaves her mark.
The movie does break norms at certain points and makes statements that are socially relevant even today. The scenes of the woman warrior brigade getting trained and later in action against the British. The Haldi Kum Kum scene, the comment on widow, all these makes MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI overcome its dust of flaws to an extent.
Gnana Shekar V S and Kiran Deohans’s cinematography is a treat but portions shot using vfx dilutes the impact. Nick Powell, Todor Lazarov and Habib Riyaz’s action is good especially sword fighting. Neeta Lulla’s costumes look good but are from different era. Rameshwar Bhagat’s editing could have been better. Sanchit Balhara and Ankit Balhara’s background score pumps up the momentum.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy fail to churn the magic as expected. ‘Bharat’ is the best of the lot.
MANIKARNIKA – THE QUEEN OF JHANSI is filled with major flaws and passion and pride for India in equal proportion. Kangana Ranaut’s tribute to one of India’s bravest warrior Queen Rani Laxmibai on screen is painted with dignity, love and grace. Watch it to find how a woman with a child on her back fought like a tigresses to the cowards and selfish British and didn,t gave up till the end of her last breath. For the sake of Kangana, Mother India and Republic Day mood going with a generous 3 stars