After huge expectations and hype surrounding the project, and numerous controversies including protests and ban demands from Karni Sena, actors and director himself quitting the project has arrived the national award-winning actor Kangana Ranaut starrer Manikarnika The Queen of Jhansi with her playing Rani Laxmi Bai on screens. Here's team AP Herald's exclusive first on net Manikarnika review.
Manikarnika begins with the legendary Amitabh Bachchan explaining how the British plundered Riches of our nation, and shifts to Bithoor where Laxmi Bai is born, and presents her life from birth till waging war against the British East India company, and chronicles her heroics as a warrior queen beside the conflicts within her royal family.
Kangana is imposing as Rani Laxmi Bai and one could not differentiate her from the powerful character as she's every bit aggressive and is full of violent emotions and depicts the anger and warring, patriotic nature of the queen with perfection. Kangana overshadows everyone else in the movie, and veteran Danny Denzongpa, Atul Kulkarni, Ankita Lokhande and Zeeshan Ayub perform adequately in the limited scope they get, while the same cannot be said of the British actors as only Richard Keep impresses.
Background score by Sanchit Balhara provides necessary goosebumps and elevates the war sequences while of the songs, Bharat, Vijay bhava and Shiv Thandav are impressive. Cinematography by Gnanasekhar and Kiran Deohans captures the grand visuals of the movie very well while the VFX could have been better. Editing by Rameshwar and Suraj could have been
Krish, who had previously directed Gabbar is back with Akshay Kumar is back to Bollywood with manikarnika which also marks the debut of Kangana Ranaut as a director. While the movie is high on patriotism and projects Kangana as a powerhouse performer with anger, violence and the brutality reflected through her powerful expressions and eyes, the same cannot be said of the screenplay which falters with average VFX and drags in the second half. The runtime of the movie is a huge concern and is saved mostly by Kangana's spirited performance and few goosebumps moments powered by her towering performance. Kangana shines with her acting, but as far as direction is concerned, she has a long way to go. All said, Manikarnika is a complete Kangana show that deserves a watch for this gen to know Rani Laxmi Bai.