Manikarnika movie review: Genuine with Kangana Ranaut's acting being on point

Kanchana Ngan |Jan 25, 2019

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi has just had its premiere, yet still drawn huge attraction from the public, most of which is positive and rewarding.

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi

Director: Krish, Kangana Ranaut
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub Khan, Atul Kulkarni, Jisshu Sengupta,...
Rating: 4/5


Manikarnika is an epic biographic drama based on the life of the Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi. Among the most invested movies having a woman in the leading role, it attracts enormous attention even before the premiere. After its release on 3700 screens in 50 countries worldwide in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, the film received various encouraging critics, especially praises towards Ranaut's on-screen performance.

With a worthwhile investment, Manikarnika owns the big scale it deserves. Breathtaking cinematography leaves the audience on the edge of their seat most of the time. Sound effects greatly vary, all of which aims at evoking the emotion of that hunger for freedom 150 years ago. Especially, Amitabh Bachchan's voiceover is an absolute plus point when bringing back memories of the legendary.

It will be a big mistake if action choreography isn't mentioned. Although Manikarnika mostly features women, those warriors are so courageous and flawless that they leave all, even strong men, in awe. Apart from the main Kangana, supporting role Ankita Lokhande also did a great job in showcasing her charismatic acting chops and blade-using skill, despite little on-screen time.

Manikarnika possesses not only the outstanding main actress but also praise-worthy supporting cast. From Atul Kulkarni, Tantia Tope, Jisshu Sengupta to Suresh Oberoi and Kulbhushan Kharbanda well deliver their roles, no matter how long their on-screen appearance is. Danny Denzongpa as Ghulam Muhammad Ghouse Khan shows the same power as he did in films like Khuda Gawah, Hum and Agneepath. But don’t worry, he fights for the right side in this one.

Saving the best for last, it is Kangana Ranaut's performance which receives the loudest applause. Manikarnika, or Rani Laxmibai, is the iconic warrior queen, the most popular female fighter for liberty, one of the few whose name is written on history books. Taking this role, Kangana Ranaut carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. With her undenied talent, she succeeds in bringing the legendary character vividly alive on big screen.

Manikarnika Kangana Kanaut
Kangana Ranaut lives up to the hype in Manikarnika.

However, no film is perfect, and neither is Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi and Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. While audience can enjoy most of the movie with stimulating action sequences, the last 40 minutes is partially dissatisfying according to critical responses. First of all, the screenplay in the second-half is comparatively weak, especially during the third act. Slow-motion is applied even during the climax, causing annoyance to the watchers. The strength of the first part is barely remained, besides a disappointing number of continuity issues and lack of motivation.

But above all, the villain in Manikarnika is weak, one without conviction or on-screen charisma. Distorted Hindi accent of most actors and actresses, even sometimes made by Kangana Ranaut, intensely annoys audience, to the point that they want to immediately turn off the volume.


Overall, Manikarnika has many moments of genius and enough fire to keep you stay tuned and continuously engaged. Action scenes are satisfying, the action director really deserves an extra reward. Kangana’s performance as the iconic Rani of Jhansi is worth every penny spent, not to mention her second responsibility as a director along with experienced Krish. So, should you want to feel a sense of patriotism on this Republic Day, don't hesitate to set a date with friends or family and together enjoy Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi.


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