Manikarnika

Kangana Ranaut in a still from the song “Vijayi Bhava” in “Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi” The song encapsulates the freedom fighter queen’s (played by Ranaut) heroism. (photo provided)

MUMBAI—Zee Studios and Kamal Jain’s magnum opus “Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi” will soon be showcasing Rani Laxmibai’s life story on the big screen Jan. 25 worldwide and Jan. 24 in the UAE. The makers have released the film’s first song “Vijayi Bhava.” The song encapsulates the freedom fighter queen’s heroism and showcases her fighter spirit.

The music launch Jan. 9 was something the industry has forgotten in today’s times when single songs are released. Though technically, it was only the song “Vijayi Bhava” that was sung live, shown and heard repeatedly, in a unique case, the entire album was launched by actress-cum-part director Kangana Ranaut and will be available for all. The actress humbly said, “I am just a small part of a very big film.”

She also called lyricist Prasoon Joshi and her composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy the heroes of her film, quipping, “They say my film has no hero, but they all are my heroes.”

Shankar Mahadevan, who has lent his voice to the song along with Sreenidhi and Prajakta, who also performed the song, said, “In any musician’s career, a film like this becomes a landmark, and it’s truly a dream project that is challenging and at the same time musically very enriching. I think we have been lucky enough to be offered projects like these, which are milestones in our career, and even after 50 years (!!), we can look back and say that we were the proud ones to create music for this legacy, this kind of historic epic. The songs have got musical depth to it, a lot of melody and the colors of patriotism. It is indeed a proud moment for me and my brothers here, Ehsaan and Loy.”

Prasoon Joshi, who has penned the lyrics, lauded not only the composers but also the makers of the film. “I took up the film immediately as for 65 years no one had thought of making any film on this unique lady.” “Jhansi Ki Rani” (1953) was the last film and was directed by actor-filmmaker Sohrab Modi.

“Today, it is considered ‘un-cool’ to declare in any way that you love your country,” he added passionately. “How can any declaration of love, in any form, towards anyone and anything, be considered not cool? Today’s youngsters especially have this hang-up. This is why I am announcing the launch of the hashtag I am planning for long, #DeshPremJatao, where you can post anything you want that shows your love for the country – a drawing, a video or anything else. What is the use of internalizing something so pure?”

Joshi also gave a scathing reply to a young scribe from “Indian Express” who questioned such open demonstration of patriotism, even commenting on whether it was necessary to stand up in a movie-hall when the National Anthem was played. Ranaut and Shanker were in complete agreement with what Joshi said.

Talking about the song, Ranaut said, “‘Vijayi Bhava’ was recorded first and is a massively mounted song on preparation for war. I've never done something of this nature ever before. It is upscale and has high tempo.”

Vibha Chopra, head, Distribution, Acquisition, and Marketing, Zee Studios International, said, “This is a song that encapsulates Manikarnika’s heroism and showcases her spirit in the truest sense. Audiences worldwide will be reminded of her bravery and sacrifice, and it certainly will evoke a sense of patriotism among Indian diaspora. Manikarnika’s persona has been defined from her challenges and victories, and we are certain that through this song, the sensibility of this character will trickle down the hearts of the viewers.”

Ankita Lokhande and some other key people from the cast and crew were present. Leading the absentees were producer Kamal Jain, co-director Krish (who has shot the song as well) and writer V. Vijayendra Prasad.

Watch the "vijayi Bhava" song here.

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