She has mostly played flawed characters but actress Kangana Ranaut says she is lucky to finally do a “heroic” role with her portrayal of Rani Laxmibai, the warrior queen of Jhansi. Kangana will essay the titular role in “Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi”, to be directed by Krish. “Baahubali” writer K Vijayendra Prasad has penned the screenplay for the movie. The actress, who has been a part of women-oriented films such as “Queen” and “Tanu Weds Manu”, says it is the most exciting character of her career.
“The way Vijendra sir has written it and conceived it, it’s very superhero-like. Usually, my characters are flawed and human in terms of their abilities. But this one is extraordinary,” Kangana told reporters in an interview here. Rani Laxmibai’s presence in popular culture has been limited, except for filmmaker Sohrab Modi’s 1953 film “Jhansi Ki Rani” and a TV series that aired between 2009-2011.
“When I signed this film my first thought was ‘How come there’s no film on ‘Jhansi ki Rani’ yet?’ I suddenly felt very fortunate that there isn’t any yet. “Because if there was even one film on Rani Laxmibai irrespective of its quality or content, then nobody would have repeated it. So, I consider it a stroke of luck that I’m doing it,” she says.
The film will have grand action sequences and Kangana is doing her best to match up to her director’s vision. “This film is essentially not an action film but action is going to be a very important aspect. Krish was very clear that her extraordinary power is going to be expressed through riding.
“He wants to use that so he has researched and he understood that she was extraordinary when it came to riding, probably one of the best in the world,” she says. Rani Laxmibai is known for her rebellious attitude. Whenasked if she also has the similar streak in her, Kangana says, “I agree that I’m rebellious but she was a rebel with a cause and that makes her a hero. I rebel if my instincts want me to. So, she was a hero and I’m a bada**.”
The film, which will be shot in Varanasi, Maheshwaram, Jhansi and Rajasthan, will release on April 27 next year.