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Movie Review : The warrior Queen Indeed !!!!!!

Manikarnika is based on a story that most Indians are familiar with; that of the legendary Jhansi Ki Rani a fearless warrior as brave and courageous as any man. Part impetuous, one who has no fear in speaking her mind or defiantly following her Rajdharma, the Rani of Jhansi is most certainly a character that any female actor would like to sink her teeth into.

And Kananga Ranaut, both leading lady, and co-director deserve plaudits for breathing life and humanity into the deified historical character she plays. Ranaut channels her inherent feistiness for the part but also displays great finesse in the way she goes from playful acts of bravery to a deliberated feline like fierceness.

Manikarnika is directed by Ranaut and Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi unlike in the trailer and other promotional material, Ranaut’s name precedes Jagarlamudi’s in the credits of the film. It is based on a screenplay by V Vijeyandra Prasad who is best known across India as the writer of the Tollywood blockbusters Baahubali 1 and Baahubali 2. Manikarnika mirrors the Baahubali films. However, the quality of the visual effects is vastly inferior to those two.

While the palace and fort of Jhansi are imposing and attractive, too many of the battle scenes look plastic. Even Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s soundtrack is lackluster, which is particularly disappointing coming as it does after the brilliant work they did for Raazi they did just last year. The other technicians have done an extraordinary job. The background score is beautiful and it gives you chills and goosebumps.

Kangana screen presence charisma comes to the rescue. She is impressive in each and every scene, never missing a beat. Manikarnika would certainly qualify among those rare screen gems with a female protagonist that is an out and out action film, and Kangana pulls off this feat with flair. She deserves extra credit for the fact that she co-directed the film along with Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi and steered it through some very tricky behind-the-scenes developments.

Manikarnika is a brave attempt at resurrecting the legend of a heroic Indian Queen, a feat that it accomplishes.

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