PLOT : The film is based on the life of Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi and her war against the British East India Company, during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Star Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Atul Kulkarni, Jisshu Sengupta, Suresh Oberoi, Ankita Lokhande, Danny Denzongpa, Vaibhav Tatwawaadi, Mishti Chakraborty, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Unnati Davara, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Richard Keep, Edward Sonnenblick and R. Bhakti Klein
MOVIE REVIEW : Kangana Ranaut had a huge responsibility on her shoulders when she decided to bring alive the great warrior queen on the big screen and no doubt she has successfully delivered that and done complete justice to it. The film opens with a introduction of the strong and independent Manikarnika, who is skilled in archery and sword-fighting.
The time when most Indian royalty were forced to become slave, a minister from the Jhansi learns of a brave young girl Manu who had been trained by the Peshwas, he feels she would be the best for Jhansi and thus, Manikarnika is crowned the queen of Jhansi and renamed Laxmibai.
K. V. Vijayendra Prasad, the man behind Baahubali, has penned the story for the film. Sukant Panigrahy, Sriram Iyengar and Sujeet Sawant are production designers of the film. Sujeet and Sriram have also done production designing for Bajirao Mastani. Principal photography of the film was completed in October 2018. By that time, only 10 days of patch work left. Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi (Krish) wanted to do that patch work and to direct NTR Biopic (Telugu film) simultaneously.
But after that Sonu sood was replaced by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub. With this change, the makers was in the situation to shoot all the scenes which involved Sonu Sood again. As Krish was busy in directing NTR Biopic, he left the project mid-way, but Kangana took over, making her directorial debut. After all the struggle, the film has finally managed to hit theatres.
First half of the film is quite average, it takes too much of time for the introduction of the Manikarnika and to show the audience that she was brave but also kind and a courageous warrior. Some unwanted songs and few unnecessary sequences are only there to add to the length of the film and it really disturbs the pace. Screenplay could have been done better here. In the other half of the film screenplay is very effective and impactful. Also, the dialogues written by Prasoon Joshi’s are sharp and whistles worthy.
According to the viewers, the actual film begins in the second half, the high impact war sequences, emotional patriotic scenes, Kangana’s powerful acting and dialogue delivery, for which the audience were waiting. Yet again Kangana proved that she is the real Queen of Bollywood as she slays everyone with her performance. No one else could have played this role with this much grace and sincerity. Lots of wow moments are there for the audience, the intermission scene, the battle sequences where Laxmi bai kills many British soldiers single handedly, her entry at Gwalior Fort and Laxmi Bai appearance as Goddess Kali in General Hugh Rose’s nightmare.
The supporting casts are just average in their role, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi only belongs to Kangana. Atul Kulkarni as Tatya Tope is wasted here and due to the limited screen time debutante Ankita Lokhande as Jhalkari Bai didn’t got a chance to showcase her acting chops. Danny Denzongpa as Ghulam Ghaus Khan and Jisshu Sengupta as Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar are average in their limited role. There are a lot of talented people doing very average jobs in this film, Suresh Oberoi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub are all wasted. Also, the villain in the film played by Richard Keep and Edward Sonnenblick are weak and just mediocre.
Overall Hit ya Flop Rating: 3.7 out of 5
“Khoob Ladi Mardaani Who Toh Jhansi Waali Rani Thi”…. Another Award Winning Performance by Kangana Ranaut.