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Kangana Ranaut: I was fascinated with 200-year-old weapons used in Manikarnika

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi

‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’ is based on the life of the fearless warrior Rani Laxmi bai. Zee Studios’ film, that showcases Rani Laxmi bai’s extraordinary journey, boasts of some of the best war sequences that will be witnessed in Indian cinema. From a massive crew, real weapons from 1857 to heavy armoury mixed with high octane stunts – the film offers a true visual spectacle to the audience.

Nick Powell, well-known international action director auditioned over 1000 fighters for the action sequences in the film. He chose the best 400 and trained them. Even the horses used in the film were trained for the action scenes. The entire crew trained for about four months to prepare for the epic war scenes in the film. Kangana used two types of real, authentic weapons that were used in 1857— cap-lock pistols (one shot pistols) and cavalry brown bess (muzzle loading rifles). Talking about the action in the film Kangana says, “Rifles were new for people at that time, and only a few used them. While the British army used Enfield rifles, Rani Lakshmi bai preferred swords. I was fascinated with those 150-200-year-old authentic weapons we used in the film that were used in 1857.The action sequences were quite intense but that did not deter anyone from giving their best. The shield I used weighed around 5 kgs. The entire team started getting ready at 3 AM, set up would take 6-7 hours so we would shoot only about one or two shots a day.”

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