3.0 Stars out of 5.0
Stepping into the history for making a film is always a difficult task when so much is at stake. The hyper nationalism acts as a virus which takes away the ability to think straight strikes at the core of rationality and this is exactly what has happened with Manikarnika The Queen of Jhansi.
If you are a history buff and have good knowledge of War of Independence being fought in 1857 this film is hard to swallow. So, if you can leave your knowledge outside of the cinema hall then you can certainly enjoy this movie because it has some good shots and sequences.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is the story about the life of warrior queen Rani Laxmibai. It also stars Ankita Lokhande, Atul Kulkarni, Jisshu Sengupta, Suresh Oberoi and Danny Denzongpa.
The Tiger hunting scene & few other stunts were unrealistic however, the cinematography is effective and every frame looks grand and beautiful.
The story starts from 1842 with the narration of Amitabh Bachchan about how Hindostan was very rich and peaceful country until the arrival of East India Company. The introductory scene of Kangana Ranaut as Manikarnika starts where she hunts a Tiger with a sleeping dart. (I know it did look hilarious)
Start of the movie spent good time in building up Manikarnika’s character, showing that she is not just a common Indian girl. Finally, she gets married to the King of Jhansi where she’s named as Rani Lakshmibai.
As Lakshmibai tried to socialise common people of Jhansi, simultaneously, the Britishers planned the infamous divide and rule. They brainwash Sadashiv Rao (Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub) against the King Manikarnika in order to raise conflicts.
Kangana Ranaut energetic performance can cover weaknesses in the plot. She did take time to settle down in her role but once she does it was a smooth sailing for her and this is where the film becomes interesting. The writer and directors tried to make Queen of Jhansi character larger then life and it became quite problematic that Kangana Ranaut find it hard to portray. For example, speaking English with the Englishmen when we all know that the official language of India was not English at that time and Manikarnika never learnt English. Same is the case with the overall dialogues and languages as they never depict the real India of that era.
The supporting cast was not as strong as it should have been. It is a simple formula to make a great hero, you need a bigger villain and Richard as General Hugh did look bad as a whole but failed to carry the grandness of his character.
I think changing the original story did more harm to the story then any good.
Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi and Kangana Ranaut have directed this movie. Now, we aren’t sure who has directed which of those portions, so let’s credit both of them. The direction is pretty smooth as far as the story is concerned. Given that it could’ve been better with a few more absorbing sequences.
Music is mostly looked redundant in the script. The pace of the story would have been faster without the songs however, the background score by Sanchit & Ankit Balhara is quite impactful same what a story like this demand.
Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi is an attempt to make a visual form of our history chapters and it did look beautiful, but despite doing a good job I feel that Priyanka Chopra or Deepika Padukone would have done the job better.
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Social media users were pleased to know that the iconic father-son duo, would be played by an “equally iconic” real-life father and son duo. Aryan Khan, Shah Rukh Khan’s eldest son, will be filling in Simba’s shoes, or should we say, paws!
The 53-year-old actor shared posters of the movie on Twitter (@iamsrk) and Facebook with a sweet message: “Glad to be a part of this journey… a timeless film. Voicing it in Hindi with my own Simba. The last time we did a film was around 15 years ago and it was ‘Incredible’ and this time around it’s even more fun. Hope everyone enjoys it July 19 onwards. #TheLionKing.”
Aryan Khan has not made his Bollywood debut yet, he has previously voiced the character Dash, in the Hindi version of Disney’s The Incredibles with his father.
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