There are good films, there are bad films and then there are those good films that turn bad in the hands of an incompetent director. The fate of Manikarnika was always in doubt ever since Kangana Ranaut kicked out the original director Krish out and took over but no one knew that it would emerge as a film that should have stayed ‘unfilmed’. In the past, many filmmakers tried to come up with their version of Jhansi Ki Rani but no one did because it was considered a huge task; Kangana must be appreciated for trying her best, but her best wasn’t good enough.
The whole film revolves around Kangana’s character which doesn’t age much despite the fact that she was shown in 1828, 1842 and 1855; same goes for her adopted kid who stays the same and this is something that a good director would have noticed. Acting in a film and directing it took its toll on Kangana who tried to gather the best supporting cast in Bollywood but didn’t give Danny Denzongpa, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Suresh Oberoi and Zeeshan Ayyub their due. They didn’t have much to do than to support the ‘Queen’ who was shown as fierce from the start, rebellious from the beginning and caring until the end.
However, with a screenplay that needed some tweaking, a lead actress whose accent looked mismatched to the era, a soundtrack that wasn’t up to the mark, supporting cast that had nothing to do and action sequences that were marred by poor graphics, Manikarnika failed to do justice to the audience’s expectations. Yes, the costumes and the jewelry were both authentic and grand but for that, one would watch National Geographic and Discovery, not visit a cinema. After Simran, this is the second film that Kangana has ruined with her useless suggestions and if she doesn’t realize that she is just an actor soon, directors might stop taking her in their films and go for fresher, younger actors instead.