‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’ is a sober piece of drama which has revisited history to celebrate the queen of Jhansi, Rani Laxmibai. The movie is centered on the queen’s childhood, marriage and her undaunted personality as a warrior. It is the story of Manikarnika’s resistance against the British to forgo the land of Jhansi despite her husband’s untimely death and the murder of her only son. Kangana Ranaut has excelled the role of a warrior with her fierce eyes and staggering valor. From a well-parented young girl steering horses in rice fields, to a raging woman seething with anger on the battle ground, her performance has warranted the aura of the evergreen leader. Women empowerment has been poignantly displayed in the ruler’s decision to land women in the battlefield and her relentless commitment to her duty as a queen.
K Vijayendra Prasad screenplay is, however, factually bankrupt. Only a surface study of history is apparent in the film, and some liberty has been taken to alter the truth. Moreover, little ground has been given for other characters to shine in the film and it has progressed as a platform to glorify the Queen. Shankar Mahadevan and Sukhwinder Singh’s tracks have given the film its flag-waving character, along with occasional piquant dialogues.
It is a jejune chronicle of patriotism with Ranaut’s acting being the only rescue from an otherwise plain dictation.