There is no better time to release a movie like ‘Manikarnika’ than when the air is filled with the spirit of patriotism. Happy Republic Day to everyone!
I remember, I was in the second grade when I first heard about Rani Laxmi Bai in my Hindi literature lesson and, somewhere, I thought she was a fictional character. At that time, I was too young to understand her struggles and importance. Later, as I grew a little like around when I reached 5th or 6th class, again I came across her in my History lesson (The revolt of 1857). The History lesson did not emphasise on the personal struggles like they had described in the Hindi lesson. They just taught us how her contribution affected in combining the spirit and evoking the sense of independence amongst Indians. But, the background of Hindi lesson made me more connected to Rani Laxmi Bai, and also helped me remember the facts in a better manner.
Watch the trailer of this movie:
- Release Date: 25 January 2019
- Director: Kangana Ranaut and Krish
- Kangana Ranaut as Rani Lakshmi Bai
- Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Sadashiv
- Atul Kulkarni as Tatya Tope
- Jisshu Sengupta as Gangadhar Rao
- Suresh Oberoi as Bajirao II
- Danny Denzongpa as Ghulam Ghaus Khan
- Ankita Lokhande as JhalkariBai
This movie is like that Hindi literature lesson coming to life. So, I consider that this movie is a good watch for children for their educational purpose. This movie though may exaggerate the appearance of Rani Laxmi Bai but remains true to the facts and the history.
Casting for this movie is also well thought out, for instance, they choose the most trusted, recognised and loved actor of all time, Mr Amitabh Bachchan, to narrate the story. So, when the audience sits down to watch the movie, the familiar sound of Mr Bachchan’s voice soothes, prepares, and relaxes the audience. Furthermore, we saw Danny Denzongpa who performed in the movies like, ‘Khuda Gawah’, ‘The Burning Train’, etc. after a long time on screen playing Ghulam Ghaus Khan. Not only him, but we also saw Suresh Oberoi as Bajirao II and Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Dixit Ji. All the old and proclaimed actors who have won the heart of the nation for decades with their varied performances together come to make this magnificent movie. The contrast of such old actors to a relatively new actress, Kangana Ranaut as Rani Laxmibai, adds a breeze of freshness to the screen. Adding on to that, the relatively new face of Jisshu Sengupta as Gangadhar Rao in a Hindi film makes the casting of this film interesting and entertaining.
Now, the theme of this film is quite vast; the life of Rani Laxmi Bai. So, throughout the movie, I was worried about how the director, Krish and Kangana Ranaut would be able to cover all the aspects of her life in just 2 hours and 28 minutes. But, the directors, clearly represented all the phases of her life in an orderly manner. However, the adding of the only item song ‘Dankila’ in the movie felt a little abrupt. Apart from that, all the other songs enhanced the mood and the intensity of the scenes.
The action scenes choreographed by Nick Powell, the director of ‘The Last Samurai’, ‘The Bourne Identity’, ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, etc. and performed by Kangana Ranaut herself had a sense of South Indian action sequence in some of the places, where, I preferred the action sequence to be more realistic, and as a real-time sequence. Either way, some of the other scenes with action did bring out the intensity and depth of the role played by Kangna.
Rani Laxmi Bai in her lifetime had to take up responsibilities that were mostly beyond her age. Like, her mother passes away when she was just four years of age, and she quickly grew up in the arms of her father. Then, when she was around the age of fourteen, she assumed the role of a wife and the queen of Jhansi. And, around the age of twenty-two, she died fighting the British proudly. Now, this characteristic of Laxmi Bai, taking responsibility beyond her age, is portrayed by Kangna Ranaut excellently.
Moreover, the role of Rani Laxmi Bai is rich as it erupts from that time in the history when the practice of Sati was prevalent, and women were most oppressed. So, to stand up as a woman visionary and a leader demanded a lot of confidence and fierceness. And, that is what Kangna portrayed beautifully.
Another aspect that the viewers will appreciate is its set and Kangna’s costume and pieces of jewellery which was mesmerizing and extremely elegant. Honestly, it brought out the richness of pre-ruled India. It brought out a glimpse of the ‘soone ki chiria’ which India was once named.
Even though this movie is a serious, historically based and a semi-biographical movie, it had few moments of carefully placed humourous scenes which ultimately adds to the context of the film and lighten the atmosphere of the film.
I will say that this movie is a depiction of the Historical facts in the form of an ultimate Bollywood drama thus making this movie an interesting and an entertaining watch. If you are a person who wants to see the history come to life in a glorified and gorgeous manner, then this movie is for you.
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