‘Women like Rani Laxmibai don’t need validation’

As she launches the poster of Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi, Kangana says women need to imbibe the warrior queen’s courage to survive today

Given the protagonist’s courageous streak, it is not surprising when Kangana Ranaut says that the role of Rani Laxmibai is one she holds closest to her heart. The makers released the poster of Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi to honour the warrior queen who was part of India’s freedom struggle. Talking to Mid-day about her muse in the Krish-directed biopic, Ranaut points out that despite generations separating them, Rani Laxmibai’s story remains relevant to women of today.

“The Queen of Jhansi is a symbol of strength and courage. Even today if we want to refer to someone as fierce, we say she is like Jhansi ki Rani. I believe her story is a blockbuster with or without any cinematic interpretation. A woman like her doesn’t need any validation, and will be remembered for years to come.”

Ranaut points out the dichotomous nature of the current situation — while the past few months have been revolutionary with the #MeToo movement seeing women break their silence on sexual abuse, violence against women unfortunately continues to be rampant in our country. The actor says that a film like Manikarnika is necessary to instill the value of valour in the fairer sex. “This is the story of courage, and people need to be reminded of the woman who single-handedly took on the British Raj. It is essentially about a fiery woman who died fighting for her soil. We need to celebrate such icons, who can inspire women around us.”

Stepping into the shoes of one of India’s earliest freedom fighters was a role of a lifetime for Ranaut. Having dedicated over a year to the project, she says, “I learnt sword fighting and horse riding. I get fever after galloping on a horse for two days; I can only imagine the nerves of steel that Rani Laxmibai had. I have played the character to the best of my ability.”

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