Over the last few years down the line in Bollywood, Kangana Ranaut the reigning queen of Bollywood, quintessential fashionista, woman of substance, and versatile performer has become a one-woman army in B – Town where she has carried the films on her own shoulders and won multiple awards, right from walking the talk to calling out industry’s double standards coupled with her frank and outspoken responses to gender biases and nepotism she has done it all where being fearless and having her own voice is very important for her.
Now Kangana has become one of the first female directors among her current contemporaries who has stepped in and completely helmed the direction of her historical biopic magnum opus Manikarnika when its original director Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi also known as Krish had walked out midway for some other professional commitments.
Kangana who would be seen playing the lead protagonist and titular role of Rani LakshmiBai in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi that will be releasing in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu simultaneously today recently was lauded and has got immense love and praises for the mesmerizing and magnificent Manikarnika trailer which was launched at IMAX Wadala in Mumbai.
When asked about her approach while making this film on Rani LakshmiBai, Kangana told that they had to be very sure and precise since it had to be a film which the film critics, audiences and masses could enjoy with their family in a way that even the children could watch it in the theatres. Also she also elaborated on fact that Rani LakshmiBai’s morals and values were so high that they all could easily have made a Gandhi type of a biopic not in the terms of philosophy but from point of view and global international audiences perspective by perhaps making it in English but they all felt it was a crucial facet that film had to resonate with the masses.
She also mentioned how Manikarnika is a period war based action film but primarily the story and plot is the hero of the film and that’s how it should always be. She also spoke about how the writers on board for Manikarnika are some of the biggest and leading names in this industry whereas a director Kangana said that she has spent a lot of time with them where almost 8 to 9 hours they all would just debate and discuss various dialogues and important plot points. They all had to be very careful about taking cinematic liberties and Kangana claiming herself lucky was elated that she had Prasoon Joshi, the CBFC Chairman in her team who would tell them all exactly what we could show and what had to be left out.
Further she also threw light on fact that when a biopic on a living person is generally made, we buy the rights from him and the entire film is later made on the basis of what that person tells you and sometimes albeit unknowingly or knowingly he might tell us any story just for the sake of it and not his real life story and also at times him and his family could possibly object if they feel that we have presented something in a wrong way. But when a story like that of Rani LakshmiBai is chosen who was our nation’s hero and is in the public domain, that moment 130 million people have a right over the story and could easily object and disagree on any part of it so operating in those set limitations they had to make sure the film was a cinematic experience and so Kangana made sure to discuss everything and all the nuances with the writers at every point where she also elucidated that matching the dates of both the writers that is Prasoon Joshi and K V Vijayendra Prasad was also quite a task in itself and also locking the script was really too tough for her.
With no holds barred Kangana also spoke about how she feels that shooting the film as an actor is the easiest part of the process but it is only tough and challenging when we’re doing action and difficult thing is deciding what is to be shot where she also said that they had four historians who’ve thoroughly gone through each and every aspect of the script and this subject is actually jinxed where many people have tried to bring Rani LakshmiBai alive on the silver screen but it didn’t happen.
She also spoke in length about how the warrior training was very gruelling and hard-hitting for her where the sword fights were tough as she could always ride a horse but this kind of riding that is galloping was very new and different for her as she hadn’t ever done a period film before since she had played a queen in 2014 critically acclaimed and hit film Queen (Kangana won a national award for this film), but not Queen in the literal sense.