From the troubled production to the ouster of the director and Sonu Sood's walkout, Kangana Ranaut's Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi has been in the news for many reasons. Ahead of the movie's release, this weekend here's a look back at some of the talking points

By Arti Dani

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Published: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 5:52 PM

Last updated: Sun 27 Jan 2019, 3:09 PM

Rani of Jhansi - The ultimate symbol of defiance.
Lakshmibai, also known as Jhansi Ki Rani, was the queen of the princely state of Jhansi in North India. One of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion in 1857, she became the ultimate symbol of courage in the history of India. Hindi movies are seldom women-centric. Hence, it's a refreshing change to see a movie with a central female character. Manikarnika is also among the few mainstream Hindi films where we will see a heroine fighting in a battlefield. Kangana underwent extensive training for the war scenes and was also injured multiple times during the shoots.
Sonu Sood walks out of the project
Sonu Sood walking out of the movie created many headlines. The actor was roped in for the role of a warrior in the film. He walked out saying that he had already given dates to Rohit Shetty's film Simmba which he was shooting simultaneously. Kangana, however, claimed that he was not comfortable to work under a woman director. The actor then came out with an official statement saying that gender had nothing to do with his decision to walk out of the historical drama.
Kangana takes over as director
With this film, Kangana is making her debut as a co-director. According to reports, the makers were not happy with the way director Krish was approaching some scenes. They wanted a feminine approach to the drama side of the movie. Hence, when director Krish was done with the shooting of the war scenes, Kangana took over as the director to shoot the remaining portions. This move brought to light another question; is Kangana difficult to work with? Is she trying to perform as a one-man army? There's a lot of talk about her 'interfering' in the filmmaking process because Simran writer Apurva Asrani was not happy sharing writing credits with her. Kangana has also got writing credits for Queen.
Political controversy
Karni Sena, a fringe group, has threatened protests if the film is not screened for them before its theatrical release. They alleged that the period drama "alludes to Rani Laxmibai's relationship with a British officer". The Queen actress retaliated saying that if they don't stop harassing her, she will "destroy them". "Four historians have certified Manikarnika... We have got a censor certificate as well. Karni Sena has been conveyed this but they are continuing to harass me. If they don't stop then they should know that I am also a Rajput and I will destroy each one of them," Kangana said in a statement.
Kangana's ego comes into play 
Kangana Ranaut wears her ego on her sleeve. The actress who is known to not mince words ruffled feathers in the industry when she took on critics ahead of the release of Manikarnika. The actress said that her detractors will have to shut their mouths after watching the film. While most stars, ahead of the release of their film, are 'extra nice' and 'overly courteous' while promoting their movies, in the case of Kangana it's the opposite. "I feel people who are not saying good things about me or my film will have to shut their mouths after watching the film and people who are saying good things, their mouths can't beshut by anyone, this is what Ifeel." she told an Indian daily. Phew! quite a mouthful.  arti@khaleejtimes.com

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