Manikarnika The Queen of Jhansi Movie review: The film begins with the birth of Manikarnika in the ghats of Varanasi. She is raised by the Bajirao in Bithoor and her father, Moropant. A young blossoming Manu is spotted by Jhansi’s minister, Dixit-Ji, slaying a tiger. Impressed by her feat, he proposes marriage between her and the King of Maratha ruled princely state of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao. The marriage is celebrated and addended by the Jhansi residents among whom a loud, spunky woman named Jhalkarbai makes her way to the front along with her husband Puran Singh to take a peek at their new queen. Manikarnika’s name is officially changed to “Lakshmi bai”
The newly wed king and queen spend time together and develop a strong bond. Queen Lakshmi Bai learns and refutes the traditional womanly duties and takes a keen interest in learning about the political atmosphere of Jhansi and the state of the country instead. She is outraged as she discovers that her husband, the king of Jhansi, has to bow his head to a British officer, Gordon. She does not bow her head enraging Gordon.
Entry on Kangna as rani of Jhansi:
Jhalkaribai’s calf ‘Nandu’ is abducted by some British officers prompting her to go after them only to get badly beaten up. When Lakshmi bai learns about this cruelty, she confronts the officers speaking to them in fluent English to their surprise and announcing that all the livestock in Jhansi is the property of the king and will not be taken by the East India Company without permission. Lakshmi bai returns Nandu and the two women develop a friendship. Amidst celebrations, Lakshmi bai learns she is pregnant and is overjoyed. She gives birth to a boy, Damodar Rao.
Sadashiv Rao is seen plotting against the king with the British officers who have promised him a part of the estate when Jhansi is conquered by the company. Sadashiv is briefly seen side-eyeing a maid to carry holy water to the naming ceremony of the baby, implying that he is behind the poisoning that eventually kills Damodar Rao and leaves the king weak and on his deathbed. To have an heir for the succession of the Jhansi throne, the king decides to adopt a child. Much to Sadashiv’s dismay, his son is not adopted by the king and a civilian toddler that happens to run towards Lakshmi Bai is named the heir of Jhansi. His name is changed as Lakshmi bai instinctively calls him Damodar. Sadashiv revolts and refuses to bow down to the future queen regent Lakshmi Bai and is banished from Jhansi.
A few months into the future, after king Gangadhar Rao’s death, Lakshmi bai refuses to enter the rituals of widowhood and rather takes on the responsibility of the throne to fulfill the promise she made to her late husband. This does not go down well with the East India Company and they ask her to hand over the kingdom. When forced to vacate the palace, she walks gracefully into the village and is welcomed and greeted by a massive parade of villagers led by Jhalkari bai, further enraging the company officers. The queen continues to live among the civilians to quietly strategize to get her kingdom back in power. Manikarnika the queen of Jhansi movie review