Critic reviews and ratings

  • Even today, an important chapter in Indian history tomes is dedicated to the Queen of Jhansi. Watch her story unfold in this lavishly-mounted screen spectacle.

    79

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  • It is one long action scene with patriotic dialogues thrown in.

    79

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  • ...is a well-made film that highlights Kangana’s prowess as an actor. For a first time filmmaker, she undoubtedly shows spark and potential as a storyteller.

    69

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  • ...is a well-made historical with the right scale, emotional quotient and battle sequences as its highpoint. Also, Kangana Ranaut's performance is the icing on the cake.

    69

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  • Kangana looks to the manor born playing Laxmibai. She channels the spirit of the warrior queen and is her fierce best in war scenes and also manages to give us the glimpse of the icon's soft side.

    69

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  • Most know of Jhansi ki Rani from the poem that aptly described the fearless queen. This biopic goes beyond heroics to reveal a resolute yet vulnerable figure. And even while the authenticity of all the events detailed here is debatable, it makes for a decent watch.

    59

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  • Dainty but fierce, Ranaut plays Rani Lakshmibai with the ferocity that suits her character best. She leads the charge not just as an actor, but also as director, the baton she took over midway through the making of this film. One can't help but conjecture if there are really two separate movies here, given that two directors were helming it at different times.

    59

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  • There is much intent on display, and while Manikarnika could surely have been sharper, its very existence feels like an arrow against cinema’s patriarchy, a broadside against the boys.

    59

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  • ...Kangana has said that 70 percent of it is her work.  If yes, then she is an effective storyteller but the actor in her undermines the director.  Because the actor becomes larger than the narrative. But despite these flaws, Manikarnika reveals Kangana as an artist with boundless ambition and I’m excited to see what she creates next.

    59

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  • ...is filled with major flaws and passion and pride for India in equal proportion. Kangana Ranaut tribute to one of India’s bravest warrior Queen Rani Laxmibai on screen is painted with dignity, love and grace.

    59

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  • The makers take the strength of the original, real-life story and character for granted and entirely focus on form, rather than content. Good thing then that the brave warrior woman needs no man or depth in writing to shine.

    59

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  • ...despite Kangana's best efforts, Manikarnika fails to bring Rani Laxmibai to life in this exhausting and over-exaggerated drama.

    59

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  • The Manikarnika production isn’t lavish enough to suggest a grand sweep of history, and the focus on its heroine is too narrow to accommodate a larger conversation about the efficacy of Lakshmibai’s actions. There is plenty of leaping and feinting, but not enough reflecting.

    49

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  • A historical with an identity crisis, initially the period drama cannot decide whether it wants to chronicle facts or fictionalise them in the tradition of a crowd-pleasing fantasy. After some uncertainty, it settles for the second.

    49

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  • But what keeps us with the film is Rani Ranaut, who in her best moments, owns her part, the narrative, and the screen.

    49

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  • Rani Lakshmibai was a great woman. She deserves better than a poorly written film that chooses to use her for its own self-serving ends.

    44

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  • ...is a misguided and typical effort bolstered by only a few noteworthy aspects. Still, Kangana Ranaut remains as the Queen.

    39

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  • The trouble is, they try to Bollywoodise it. There's so much glamour and chest thumping patriotism that unwittingly the audience begins to discover flaws.

    39

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  • ...is a slow-building, sustained surge of patriotic fervour, as messy and inflammable as a geyser on an oil rig.

    39

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  • The film begins as a biopic, but derails quickly into a surreal showdown of unbridled carnage. The facts, if any, get chewed up in the mess.

    39

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  • A flat retelling of the legend of Jhansi Ki Rani that aims at stoking nationalism but reduces the story to mere platitudes.

    39

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  • The mounting of the film, particularly the battle sequences, is impressive, even though it suffers from some overuse and a little exaggeration. All the actors in the huge cast are competent, but none of the characters they play are textured in the slightest degree, including, of course, Rani Lakshmibai.

    39

    Critic rating (?)

  • ...is all ingredients. There’s no cook. Technically, of course, there are two: Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi and Kangana Ranaut. But there’s very little in the film that looks “directed”. It’s just a dull series of events...

    29

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  • ...is agonizingly soulless. Platitudes piled upon synthetic platitudes do not add up to great cinema, especially when none of the film's war cries delivers any bang for its buck.

    19

    Critic rating (?)

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