This Republic Day, two big films Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi and Thackeray will battle it out at the ticket counters. Despite being backed by powerful actors like Kangana Ranaut and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, respectively, it is being expected that the two releases will not affect each other’s business.
Trade analyst Girish Johar said, “Both Manikarnika and Thackeray are in the biopic space but the former is more of a mass historical film and the latter has a bent towards drama. So, in my opinion, there is no competition between the two movies in terms of box office figures.”
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi starring Kangana Ranaut narrates the story of young girl Manubai Tambe who becomes the Queen of Jhansi after marrying Raja Gangadhar Rao. After her husband gets killed in a battle, she rules Jhansi with her formidable spirit and resists British Raj with her warrior skills and her efficiency with the sword.
Produced by Kamal Jain and Zee Studios, the film is expected to become the highest woman-led opener at the box office. “Manikarnika will be the highest non-holiday, woman-led opener with a collection of Rs 12-13 crore on the day of its release. It will have a massive release,” suggested Johar.
Commenting on the factors that will work in favour of the Kangana Ranaut directorial, Johar added, “Manikarnika is releasing at a time when the Indian audience is in a patriotic mood and the film only adds to the feeling. The trailer of the film has been appreciated and a lot of buzz has been created around it. Also, Kangana has a huge fan following which adds to the possibility of the film performing well.”
Apart from Kangana, Manikarnika boasts of a stellar star cast including television actor Ankita Lokhande, veteran star Danny Denzongpa, Suresh Oberoi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub among others.
Manikarnika is one of the many Bollywood historical dramas which filmmakers have planned to present to the audience of Hindi cinema. Talking about this trend, Johar said, “India has a rich culture and stories from its past works better than any other fictional story. They have a mass appeal and if narrated well, the audience can also relate to them better. Even the students who have read about the history of India likes to watch it on the big screen.”