Kangana Ranaut starrer epic drama Manikarnika released last week. Is it worth a watch? Read our review to find out!
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Ankita Lokhande, Danny Denzongpa, Suresh Oberoi, Atul Kulkarni, Jisshu Sengupta
Director: Kangana Ranaut, Krish
Produced By: Zee Studios
Duration: 148 minutes
The movie starts off with Manikarnika’s birth & a astrologer predicting that Manikarnika’s will live on long after her death. In the very next scene Kangana Rananut appears as the eponymous character showcasing her archery skills & large heartedness at the same time. Manikarnika who is under the guardianship of her widower father & The Peshwa of Bithoor(Suresh Oberoi) gets a marriage proposal from the Jhansi royal family, which she accepts. Jhansi like the rest of India is under the thumb of The British East India Company, who leave no chance of humiliating, oppressing their Indian subjects. While Manikarnika, who gets christened as Laxmi post her marriage bow her head down to her British oppressors like her husband & rest of the Indian kings do or will she fight them tooth & nail? What made Laxmibai take the extreme step of taking the might of the all conquering British East India Company head on? What makes Laxmibai immortal in the eyes of Indians? You will have to watch the movie to find out.
The movie is an out of out Kangana Ranaut vehicle. She proves her acting mettle & lifts the movie on her shoulders. The rest of the cast don’t make much of an impact. Jisshu Sengupta who plays Laxmibai’s husband & gets the most amount of screen time apart from Kangana is decent. The foreigner who plays Sir Hugh Rose – the one who defeats Rani Laxmi Bai is good in his role. Ankita Lokhande is decent in her bollywood debut & makes good use of the scene given to her to display her histrionics.
There are ample goose bump inducing moments in the film especially the scene before the interval scene which shows Rani Laxmibai’s ascension to the throne & some fighting scenes in the second half. The patriotic songs composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy add to the effect.
The screenplay is reminiscent of Baahubali in some scenes & that can squarely be accredited to the screenplay writer K.Vijayendra Prasad, who the top grossing epic as well.
While the movie picks up pace gradually, most of the action is in the second half. While we weren’t bored at any point of time, the movie is not awe inducing either. The script could have been tighter.
We heard a movie reviewer complain on radio that Kangana is in every scene & that she barely gives any other actor a chance to shine. We doubt whether that reviewer would complain about these things especially if the movie was based on a male character & if the role was essayed by a male superstar, especially one of the Khans. The movie is Manikarnika, not Manikarnika & her band of merry men. Obviously, Kangana will be seen in every other scene!
While we are no fans of Kangana as far as her off screen image is concerned, one has to admit that she has done a commendable job as the lead actor & as a first time director. We suggest you go to the theatre & watch it!
Our Rating: (3.5 / 5)