So a couple of months after the teaser opened to an overwhelming response, the iconic biopic ‘ Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’ had their theatrical trailer released on YouTube. Directed by Krish Jagarlamudi and Kangana Ranaut, the movie is a historical insight into the life of the courageous warrior queen, who gave the British East India Company a bloody nose as she fought in the Great Revolt of 1857.
The 3 minute, 20-second long trailer has gained immense popularity within an hour of its release on YouTube. As of now, the theatrical trailer of Manikarnika has gained 165000+ views in just one hour and counting, with more than 43000 likes, which is a clear indication of how eagerly the people are waiting for this movie. However, there’s more to Manikarnika than what meets the eye.
What’s Good –
To start with, ‘Manikarnika’ looks like a significant departure from the tried and tested formula of Bollywood when it comes to portraying historical figures. The background score keeps you engaged, the VFX is decent certainly not an embarrassment like that of ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ and above all, the portrayal of the struggles that our ancestors had to face while fighting against the British for independence will make one feel proud about the noble warriors as portrayed in the movie.
Equally impressive are the supporting characters, who haven’t had much say in the trailer, but they do make their presence felt. Be it Bengali star Jisshu Sengupta, who is playing Raja Gangadhar Rao’s role, or Danny Denzongpa, who is possibly portraying the loyal warrior, Ghulam Ghaus Khan, or even Atul Kulkarni, who is portraying the legendary warrior Tantya Tope, each character has their own spark. Even Ankita Lokhande, who is otherwise known for her serial ‘Pavitra Rishta’, has made her presence felt as Jhalkari Bai.
What’s Awesome –
After watching the trailer, if I wish to say one thing, it is this: Kangana Ranaut and Krish, take a bow. While Kangana does complete justice to the historical character of Rani Lakshmi Bai, she also makes sure that her efforts don’t look like a sham.
Interestingly, she took over the reins of the movie after the original director, Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi aka Krish of ‘Gabbar is Back’ fame had to shift his priorities to his another project on NTR. The dual biopic on the iconic superstar cum CM of Andhra Pradesh is titled “NTR: Kathanayakudu and Mahanayakudu”. As such, it is also commendable that she didn’t let the project go haywire, despite news of actors like Sonu Sood leaving the project midway.
Also, another impressive thing about this trailer is that unlike other Bollywood movies, it doesn’t rely on Hinduphobia to make their point. Rather, it unapologetically promotes various shades of Sanatan Dharma in its full glory. In one of the scenes, when Kangana brutally slashes the English soldiers, her representation, just like the statue of Maa Kali behind her, is epic and is sure to send some nasty burns to left liberals with vested interests.
Incidentally, a significant coverage is also devoted to the iconic call of ‘Har Har Mahadev’, and the saffron flag, with the image of Pavanputra Hanuman carrying the mountain with the Sanjivani Booti emblazoned all over it. As such, Kangana has directly or indirectly sent a strong message to those, who think that bashing Hindus and their holy deities is a sure shot formula to succeed in Bollywood.
Besides, director Krish has also made movies that have glorified native heroes, like ‘Kanche’, based on the unsung Indian soldiers who fought a thankless war for their British masters, or ‘Gautamiputra Satkarni’, based on the iconic Satavahana ruler.
Except for a few glitches in dubbing, and some patches in executing the VFX, ‘Manikarnika’ is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Rani Lakshmi Bai, who gave it her all to make sure that the British don’t rule over her beloved Jhansi, or over any part of India. We hope that Kangana Ranaut continues to take up such brilliant roles and inspire people to respect their real heroes.