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Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi - 2019

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In the vast stretch of the Indian subcontinent, a name emerges that resonates with unwavering courage, unshakeable spirit, duty, and sacrifice. Welcome to the awe-inspiring journey of Manikarnika - the woman who first fought the British in the Indian War of Independence. This film tells the story of Rani Laximibai, the Queen of Jhansi aka Manikarnika. 

Manikarnika is a sweeping cinematic masterpiece that captures the essence of an era and pays homage to the unwavering spirit of patriotism, led by the phenomenal actress Kangana Ranaut, who not only plays the title character but also makes her directorial debut. This masterpiece promises a thrilling cinematic experience that spans time and space thanks to a strong ensemble cast, stunning cinematography, and an engaging story. 

The film was directed by Kangana Ranaut and Krish Jagarlamudi. Produced by Zee Studios, the film was released on 3700 screens in 50 countries worldwide on 25th January 2019.

Manikarnika is more than just a movie. It’s a celebration of the legacy that those who struggled for freedom have left behind. A testimony to the unbreakable spirit of human resilience. Explore the untold tale of a true warrior queen whose name endures through the ages - Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, the personification of bravery, valor, and undying devotion as you set off on this epic voyage as history comes to life.


Table of Content


Movie name


Directed by

Kangana Ranaut, Krish Jagarlamudi

Screenplay by

V.Vijayendra Prasad

Story by

V.Vijayendra Prasad

Produced by

Kamal Jain, Zee Studio


Kangana Ranaut, Jisshu Sengupta, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Ankita Lokhande, Amitabh Bachchan (narration)


Kiran Deohans, Gnana Shekar V.S.

Edited by

Rameshwar S. Bhagat and Suraj Jagtap

Music by

Shankar- Ehsaan- Loy, Sanchit, and Ankit Balhara

Production company

Zee Studios, Kairos Kontent Studios

Distributed by

Zee Studios

Release date

25 January 2019






₹125 crore


The plot centers on Rani Lakshmibai, who was born Manikarnika Tambe in a Varanasi Brahmin family. She became the queen of Jhansi after getting married to Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, the reigning monarch of Jhansi.

From her early years in Jhansi to her transition into a fearless and powerful fighter, Rani Lakshmibai's journey is portrayed in the movie. It demonstrates her tenacity, willpower, and love for her kingdom. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Rani Lakshmibai actively participates in the struggle against British rule and emerges as a crucial leader.

As the plot thickens, hostilities between the Indian rulers and the British East India Company get worse, sparking the uprising. As head of Jhansi's defense, Rani Lakshmibai commands her army in a number of engagements with British troops. As word of her bravery and valor spreads across the nation, she inspires the people of Jhansi and other areas.

The movie stresses Rani Lakshmibai's battles, sacrifices, and difficulties in securing the independence of her country. Additionally, it looks into her personal life, including her marriage to Maharaja Gangadhar Rao and her relationship with her adopted son, Damodar Rao.


The film was released on 25th January 2019 and was distributed by Zee Studios. In its theatrical run, the film performed moderately in India and Internationally. The film made a record for the highest opening weekend collections for a female-driven film in the country. 


kangana ranaut as rani laxmi bai

The film is rated a total of 6.4/10 stars on IMDB based on reviews from sixteen thousand IMDB users. 

Times of India’s Ronak Kotecha rates it 3.5/5 stars. He finds Manikarnika as an excellent movie overall that showcases Kangana's acting talent. She definitely demonstrates potential and sparks as a storyteller for a first-time director. This larger-than-life combat drama, while not an epic, has enough bravery and energy to keep you interested in the historical accounts.



Character Analysis

Manikarnika is the epitome of unmatched bravery and fearlessness. She exhibits a brave personality and a readiness to question social norms right from a young age. Her fortitude in the face of difficulty motivates those around her and establishes her as an icon of Indian resistance to British cruelty.

She also possesses a powerful will and an unyielding determination to defend her realm and its populace. Defying the expectations placed on her as a queen and challenges the customs that limit women's responsibilities in order to resist the pressures of the moment.

Her undying patriotism serves as a rallying cry for her people, instilling a sense of national pride and unity.

The aptitude of Manikarnika as a warrior is unparalleled. She goes through extensive training and masters a variety of combat techniques. By marching into the battle courageously with tactical brilliance she’s indeed an unmatched commander-in-chief! 

The portrayal of Gangadhar Rao as a loving husband who supports and cares for his wife is heartwarming.

The film shows Gangadhar Rao's health deteriorating as he develops a serious illness. He chooses to adopt Damodar Rao as his son to ensure the succession to the throne out of concern for Jhansi's future and the welfare of its populace.

Despite having only a small amount of screen time in the movie, Gangadhar Rao's presence and the affection he has for Rani Lakshmibai have a big impact on her journey, and her will to fight for Jhansi's freedom.

Tatya Tope, played by actor Atul Kulkarni, is portrayed in the film as a valiant and clever military commander who fought alongside Rani Laxmibai against the British army. The calm and yet determined personality of Tatya Tope defines him as a spearhead of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 in the film. 

He is shown as the queen's chief counselor and a pivotal player in the fight for independence.

Jhalkari Bai is played by Ankita Lokhande. She is the most trusted confidant of Manikarnika (Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi). Strength, courage, and loyalty are the main attributes of Jhalkari. Rani Laxmibai is a symbol of a truly empowered woman and so is Jhalkari. She disguises herself as the queen on several occasions to fool the British armed army and safeguard Rani Laxmi Bai. In the movie, Jhalkari Bai's bravery and tactical prowess play a key role in the fight against the British army. 







Shankar Mahadevan


Vijayi Bhava

Shankar Mahadevan


Bolo Kabh Pratikar Karoge

Sukhwinder Singh



Pratibha Singh Baghel, Ravi Mishra


Shiva Tandav Stotram

Shankar Mahadevan

Tak Taki

Pratibha Singh Baghel



Prajakta Shukre, Shrinidhi Ghatate, Siddharth Mahadevan, Arunaja, Chotu Singh Rawna, Hemant Brijwasi


Bharat (ft. Prasoon Joshi)

Shankar Mahadevan, Prasoon Joshi

Behind the scenes

Kangana Ranaut riding a mechanical horse in one of the battle scenes. 


Box Office Collection



Net. Indian Box Office 

92.19 crore rupees

Gross Indian Box Office

108.84 crore rupees

Overseas Gross 

21.11 crore rupees

Gross Worldwide Collections

132.95 crore rupees



Date of ceremony




26th Screen Awards


Best Actress

Kangana Ranaut


Zee Cine Awards


Best Actress

Kangana Ranaut


Filmfare Awards


Best Actress

Kangana Ranaut


Filmfare Awards


Best Costume Design

Neeta Lulla


67th National Film Awards


Best Actress

Kangana Ranaut


Interesting facts

Manikarnika is a MUST-WATCH film for every Indian. There’s not a single dull moment in this war-drama film due to its action-packed nature with a pinch of patriotism. 

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