TopYaps Rating: 3/5
Starring Kangana Ranaut as the fierce queen of Jhansi Rani Lakshmibai, Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi is one of the most awaited films of 2019. Besides Kangana, the period war drama also stars Ankita Lokhande, Jisshu Sengupta, Atul Kulkarni and Mishti, among others. It’s the most ambitious project for the three-time National Film Award-winning actress Kangana Ranaut because apart from playing the titular role, she is also debuting as a director. Let’s find out whether or not the big-ticket movie lives up to its humongous pre-release buzz.
What’s The Film All About?
As the title suggests itself, Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi is a biographical war drama based on the unparalleled valor of Rani Lakshmibai, the fearless queen of the princely state of Jhansi, who neither bowed nor truckled to any kind of control by the British Empire in pre-independent India.
The film chronicles her journey from Bithoor, a small town in Kanpur District where she was raised, to becoming the Queen of Jhansi, and eventually a warrior Queen who wages a war against the British Raj during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
What’s Good About The Movie?
Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi is a one-woman show, led by Kangana Ranaut. The actress has given her everything to this film and, thankfully, her efforts don’t go unnoticed on the silver screen. From mastering sword-fighting to learning horse-riding, she has done everything to make her film a visual treat for audiences. The role of Rani Lakshmibai suits her to the T. After watching her in the character, it becomes almost impossible to visualize any other actress in the role. Kangana owns the character!
The film is ably supported by an amazing support cast where Danny Denzongpa and Jisshu Sengupta leave a good impression with their performances. The background score is really good and so is cinematography. The artwork is impressive. Heavy sets and exquisite costumes take you back to the era of pre-independent India. There are a couple of scenes in the film which truly stand out and successfully blend ferocity and feeling. They fill your heart with pride and patriotism.
What’s Not So Good About It?
The film suffers from many issues, especially average writing, incoherent editing and too much reliance on formula. The first half of the movie is extremely average. The second half is saved by some impeccably shot action sequences on the battlefield.
Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi is written by K.V. Vijayendra Prasad, the same writer who has previously penned blockbusters like Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) and Baahubali: The Conclusion (2017), but here his pen fails to deliver a great narrative which keeps you invested in what plays out on the screen.
Except a few, dialogues by Prasoon Joshi are also average. As I mentioned earlier, the film also marks the directorial debut of Kangana Ranaut as she has directed a major chunk of it. While Kangana shines as an actress in the movie, as a director she does not live up to the expectations.
It’s impossible to imagine Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi without Kangana Ranaut. This film definitely deserves a watch to praise her efforts for at least making a mainstream commercial film that salutes to the woman who fought for India’s first war for independence.
Banner: Kairos Kontent Studios
Director: Krish and Kangana Ranaut
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Jisshu Sengupta, Ankita Lokhande
Runtime: 148 Minutes