I have shot 70-80 percent of Manikarnika, the film is my own vision: Kangana Ranaut
The film, co-directed by Krish Jagarlamudi and Kangana, chronicles the life of warrior queen Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi and her brave exploits against the British during the rebellion of 1857
The trailer of Kangana Ranaut’s much-awaited Rani Laxmibai biopic, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, was released with pomp and pageantry in Mumbai on Tuesday. The film, co-directed by Krish Jagarlamudi and Kangana, chronicles the life of warrior queen Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi and her brave exploits against the British during the rebellion of 1857.
Written by Baahubali writer KV Vijayendra Prasad and lyricist Prasoon Joshi, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is made on an estimated budget of Rs 180 crore. The period epic film is produced by Zee Studios in association with Kamal Jain and Nishant Pitti.
“The subject of this film has always been slightly jinxed. Several people have tried to make it in the past and failed. I believe there was some divine power at play when we started shooting. On my first day, I was hit on the head with a sword and had to get stitches. Several actors kept falling off their horses. Then the director left suddenly. But we kept pushing ahead. It was Prasoon Joshi who suggested I should finish the film when our director left. He believed I could do it,” Kangana said at the trailer launch.
“I have shot 70-80 per cent of Manikarnika. So I wasn't completing someone else’s vision but following my own vision. I would like to thank our writers for that. The script of the film remained the same from day 1,” Kangana shared, adding, “Only a few actors would choose to toil and sweat in the heat instead of being inside their vanity vans and air-conditioned suites. But somehow, I just enjoyed the overall experience of directing. I wonder why people call directing a job, because it really is a lot of fun. I would definitely like to direct again in the future.”
TV actor Ankita Lokhande, who is making her Bollywood debut in the film, said, “I was supposed to do a film with Sanjay Leela Bhansali earlier but that didn't happen. I don't think there's anything like a perfect debut. You take the film you get and make it perfect with your work. I have done my best with what was offered to me in Manikarnika and I hope everyone likes it.”
Producer Kamal Jain said, “This film is a tribute to a great personality who continues to inspire us through the ages. When I approached our writer, KV Vijayendra Prasad, with the idea of the film, he said only he could write this film because his daughter is also named Manikarnika.” Jain also clarified that the film’s original director, Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, left the project because he was committed to the upcoming NTR biopic and could not spare time for the required reshoots for Manikarnika. “We had liked the first cut but felt it needed more. Since it's a Rani Laxmibai biopic, we couldn't compromise. We needed everything to be 10/10,” he said.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi also stars Atul Kulkarni, Suresh Oberoi, Jisshu Sengupta, Danny Denzongpa, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Vaibhav Tatwawaadi. The film is scheduled to release on January 25, 2019 and is expected to clash with Hrithik Roshan's Super 30 and Emraan Hashmi's Cheat India.
Speaking about the clash, Shariq Patel, CEO of Zee Studios, said, “So far only Cheat India is announced. We are awaiting an announcement on Super 30. We are batting on the front foot with our film. It doesn't matter if we clash with two films or ten films. We believe in our content and feel confident it will work with the audience.”
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi will release in 3,000 theatres across 50 countries. The film will be dubbed in English, Tamil and Telugu and also release in the IMAX format.