February 1st 2019:
Manikarnika Story: Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is a biographical account of how Rani Laxmibai waged a war against the East India Company. It chronicles her journey from the place where she grew up, Bithoor to becoming the Rani of Jhansi, and eventually turning into a warrior Queen.
Manikarnika Review: Manikarnika starts with Amitabh Bachchan’s booming baritone where he throws light on how the riches of India are fast being plundered by the British. Within seconds, we are led into the world of Manikarnika through Kangana Ranaut’s imposing screen presence.
Kangana captivates your attention in every frame and grows from strength to strength as the film progresses. This is clearly one of her best performances and the role itself lends ample scope for her to perform. From the tender, beautiful moments of a young girl, to the heavy-duty action scenes from the battlefield soaked in blood and sweat – Kangana effortlessly brings Manikarnika to life. The casualties, in turn, are the rest of the actors, who don’t get a chance to shine just as well. Be it veterans like Danny Denzongpa (as Ghaus Khan, also a prominent figure in history) and Kulbhushan Kharbanda or the debutantes like Ankita Lokhande, who plays the role of Jhalkaribai. All supporting actors including Atul Kulkarni, who plays Tatya Tope and Bengali actor Jisshu Sengupta have precious little to do. Needless to say, most of the British characters come off as caricatures, except actor Richard Keep, who plays Sir Hugh Rose.