Tuesday 29 January 2019


Manikarnika Review, Kangana Ranaut, Kangana Ranaut film, film review, bollywood

More often than not,  Hindi filmmakers have squandered money in ambitious ventures without the appropriate team to implement the plan in order to get the desired results. At the same time, there are films which look promising for the first few minutes, but they end up going into a free fall
Au contraire, Kangana Ranaut's "Manikarnika:
The Queen of Jhansi" is monumental in its execution. It could easily end up as the finest piece of work in Kangana's œuvre.

Set against the backdrop of British imperialism, "Manikarnika" narrates the story of a Brahmin girl raised as a Kshatriya. Being trained as a skillful warrior, she is fearsome in combat. However, this is only one of the qualities that make her unique. She is a maverick in the conventional setup. She can give her emotions free rein while maintaining her dignity.

The story unfolds itself when she becomes the queen of Jhansi, Rani Laxmibai. She induces anger and fear in her enemies. While the British subjugate other Indian rulers one after another, she remains vehement and fierce in every encounter. 

Kangana Ranaut's portrayal of Laxmibai is indomitable and a force to be reckoned with. Jisshu Sengupta does a good job playing the role of her husband. Ankita Lokhande as her ardent follower teaches the true meaning of sacrifice and valour in this epic war drama. Just like Kangana's flair, Danny Denzongpa's flamboyance is refreshing. Many would surely be reminded of their childhood when they will hear him deliver his dialogues with finesse.
The songs are composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, whereas the background score is done by Sanchit Balhara (who had also composed the background score of Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat) and Ankit Balhara. It's use in the narrative is one of the highlights of the film.

The lyrics and the dialogues are penned by Prasoon Joshi. As far as his talent is concerned, he is the true successor of Javed Akhtar in Bollywood.
So, is this film flawless in every possible way? Definitely not! It does have flaws in the first half of the film. In fact, the song, 'Dankila', can easily be edited out. But, it is the direction of Krish (aka Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi) and Kangana's no-holds-barred approach which outweighs all the weaknesses of the storytelling.

I will give it 4.5 out of 5. Go for it.

© RB


1. More often than not: in general

2. squander (v.): to waste money or opportunities by not making use of it

3. venture (n.): a new activity that can involve risk and uncertainty

4. free fall [informal]: the process of losing the quality of something continuously

5. au contraire: on the contrary

6. against the backdrop: the general situation in which certain events occur

7. maverick (n.): one who behaves in an independent way, one who acts differently from the usual or expected way

8. free rein: freedom to say whatever one wants to say, do whatever one wants to do 

9. induce (v.): to cause something to happen

10. vehement (adj.): expressing passionate feelings intensely

11. subjugate (v.): to defeat a country in war and rule its countrymen in such a way that allows them no freedom

12. indomitable (adj.): one who cannot be dominated, one who is difficult to defeat or frighten

13. force to be reckoned with: strong and cannot be ignored

14. ardent (adj.): full of passion

15. valour (n.): mental strength that helps one face danger with bravery

16. flair (n.): one's natural ability to do something well and most importantly without any fuss

17. flamboyance (n.): being noticeable because of one's style

18. finesse (n.): great skill in dealing with a situation

19. no-holds-barred (adj.): without any controls (/limits)


Discuss how the positive attributes of the film,  "Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi" outweigh its flaws. (50 words)

© RB

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