Manikarnika Movie Review
After braving protests and numerous controversies, Kangana Ranaut-Starrer Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi hits theatres today. The film, which captures the life story of Rani Laxmibai and her fight against the British, courted controversy over "wrongly" depicting historical facts.
The film, which is releasing alongside Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Starrer Thackeray, also features Ankita Lokhande, Suresh Oberoi, Atul Kulkarni, Danny Denzongappa and Jisshu Sengupta in key roles. The film has been written by Baahubali writer K V Vijayendra Prasad.
Taran Adarsh Tweeted:
Inspiring movie that has scale and soul... Kangana, take a bow. You’re terrific... First half could be tighter. Second half awe inspiring... Climax brilliant... Power, pride, patriotism - this has it all. #ManikarnikaReview pic.twitter.com/MLRnjBewws
The sight of Kangana Ranaut singlehandedly slashing a swarm of men against the backdrop of feverishly chanted Sanskrit shlokas and a towering Durga idol looks like an ultimate feminist fantasy.
It is savage. It is spellbinding
It doesn’t feel like a coincidence that Kangana Ranaut is called Manu in her new film. The full name of the Queen of Jhansi was Manikarnika Tambe, but the film informs us she was nicknamed Manu, like the hero of the Tanu Weds Manu movies where Ranaut found such success as Tanu. This film comes from the actress after she has waged war with industry bigwigs and taken over directorial duties mid-stream, and the messaging is unmistakable: this queen needs no man.
Avowedly meant to stimulate patriotic zeal - "Matrubhumi Se Niswarth Prem (selfless love for the motherland)" - among Indian moviegoers 160 years after Rani Laxmi Bai laid down her life on the battlefield, Manikarnika - The Queen of Jhansi, is too exhausting a film to send the audience home bubbling with enthusiasm. The visual effects are low-grade, the stilted dialogues reek of laziness, the onscreen performances are pedestrian and the sets have a hurriedly-erected feel.
Though her fury unleashes too little and in between, when it does, she devours it like a hungry actor and action star. And so for those fleeting seconds, her furious bloodbath evokes the kinetic aggression of South Korea's The Man From Nowhere's final fight in the will if not skill.
I wish Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi would explore more of this brute force and go all out in its mutinous pursuits of eulogizing the 19th-century symbol of honour, valour, and tenacity instead of dawdling away precious time to preen in cosmetic grandeur and muddled politics.
I am not sure who is to be blamed more for this inconsistency given Ranaut and Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi are sharing director credits after the latter bowed out to work on another project leaving the actress to wield the baton in addition to her sword.
One user wrote, "Just saw #Manikarnika in UAE first show, outstanding, phenomenal and brilliant performance #kangnaRanaut, best historic movie," while another said, "Manikarnika only belongs to Kangana Ranaut. Award-winning performance by her & direction is just brilliant."
We have compiled a few early reactions to the film. Take a look:
#Manikarnika— SOHAIL KHAN (@ItsSohailKhan) January 24, 2019
One Word Review : Masterpiece.
Manikarnika only belongs to Kangana ranaut. Award winning performance by her & direction is just brilliant. Goosebumps guaranteed for sure. BGM, dialogues, Music, Screenplay = Everything is just perfect.
BLOCKBUSTER! 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫4.5/5 pic.twitter.com/Nd0RASw5hf
#Interval: Ok Ok! It may be early to say, but I will say it nevertheless - EXTRA-ORDINARY & SPECTACULAR!! @ManikarnikaFilm is going above expectations, so far👌👌 Kangana Ranaut is terrific and so are all the areas of filming. #ManikarnikaReview— N J🌟💥 (@Nilzrav) January 24, 2019
What a awesome movie manikarnika. Hats off to @KanganaRanautFC— Vikas Verma (@verma083) January 25, 2019