Kangana Ranaut is all guns blazing as she slays the British in the trailer of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. Directed by Radha Krishna Kagarlamudi (also known as Krish) and Ranaut, the film revolves around Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi (Ranaut) and her participation in the 1857 revolt against British rule.
The film is set for a January 25, 2019, release in 2D and IMAX versions in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
The trailer shows that Laxmibai was the chosen one to protect Jhansi long before she was crowned queen. While the British spew threats in bad Hindi, Laxmibai suits up to “bring alive Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s dreams of swaraj”. Jisshu Sengupta plays Jhansi ruler Gangadhar Rao, while television actress Ankita Lokhande makes her Hindi film debut as Jhalkari Bai who served alongside Rani Laxmibai.
The trailer was launched at an event in Mumbai on Tuesday. A saree-clad Ranaut walked into a makeshift castle to the sounds of horns and drums, where she was surrounded by women representing soldiers of Rani Laxmibai’s battalion.
Manikarnika has been produced by Zee Studios and Kamal Jain. The supporting cast includes Suresh Oberoi as the Maratha empire’s last Peshwa Bajirao II, Danny Denzongpa as Ghulam Ghaus Khan, and Atul Kulkarni, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Kulbushan Kharbanda in other roles.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is the second Hindi film by Krish after Gabbar is Back (2015). He has directed the hit films Gamyam (2008), Vedam (2010), and Gautamiputra Satakarni (2017). He is working on a biopic of Telugu legend NT Rama Rao.
Krish shares director’s credit with Ranaut on Manikarnika after months of reports about the actress’s rumoured creative involvement with the film.
Ayyub replaced Sonu Sood after some of the latter’s portions had been shot in the film. When Sood could not shoot the rest of the film, and Krish had moved on to direct the NT Rama Rao biopic, Ranaut reshot Sood’s portions with Ayyub. In August, when the picture of a clapboard bearing Ranaut’s name as director emerged from the film’s set, rumours were afloat that the actress had replaced Krish as the director. Ranaut, in a press statement, said at the time that she was only directing the “patchwork” involving Ayyub in the film.
Baahubali writer KV Vijayendra Prasad is credited with the story and screenplay. Prasoon Joshi has written the dialogue and lyrics for the songs. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are the composers.