Manikarnika actor Mishti says her character has been reduced to caricature under Kangana Ranaut’s direction

Mishti Chakraborty, who plays Kashibai in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, has expressed her shock at watching the final film. She says that her character has been reduced to caricature under Kangana Ranaut’s direction.
Mishti Chakraborty at the launch of a film academy in Mumbai.(IANS)
Mishti Chakraborty at the launch of a film academy in Mumbai.(IANS)
Updated on Jan 30, 2019 11:26 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent, New Delhi

Actor Mishti Chakraborty has expressed her disappointment at how her character, Kashibai, has been portrayed in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, adding that this was not what she signed up for. She joins actor Sonu Sood, who departed the project over differences with actor-director Kangana Ranaut — in denouncing the film.

Mishti told CineBlitz, “I am hugely disappointed with the way my character has shaped up. When you sign a film there are basic promises that are made to you by the filmmakers. We always knew that the film’s director is Krish and he is a superbly talented director. I adore him and I always wanted to work with him. He had sent me pictures for casting reference of Kashibai and I immediately said yes to him. But when I saw the film I was disappointed.”

Krish was replaced as director by Kangana after the two had differences over the film. Krish recently said in multiple interviews that Kangana was ‘rude’ to him throughout the process and she even compared his cut of Manikarnika to a ‘Bhojpuri film’. Krish has also refuted Kangana’s claims that she has shot 70% of the final film, which has prompted her sister, Rangoli Chandel, to launch into a Twitter war with the director.

Also read: Kangana Ranaut’s sister alleges Krish refused to take calls, challenges him to prove he shot bulk of Manikarnika

Mishti continued, “What Krish did with most of the characters including me is not there in the film. But then I am happy that (whatever) Kangana (has done) she has made it look beautiful. She has done absolute justice to her own character and to the film. She has done justice to Rani Laxmibai. I am happy if I were to see it from a bigger perspective, but on a selfish perspective, as an artiste I think my character has turned into a caricature.”

Shortly before the release of the film, however, Mishti had expressed her admiration for Kangana. “Many people do not know that Kangana has a good sense of humour and she is very down to earth and humble. She is always serious about her work but that does not mean she will create pressure... She mingled with us and I bonded really well with her,” Mishti told IANS. “At the beginning of my career, I did not even imagine working with her but I surely looked up to her as an inspiration. She is such a fine actress and just by watching her performance, one can learn so much.”

Mishti alleged in an interview to Bollywood Hungama that producer Kamal Jain assured her that her role had, in fact, been significantly increased after the departure of Krish. “I understood later that the new scenes are just there so that the previous important scenes (shot by Krish) could be chopped off,” she said.

Earlier, actor Sonu Sood had abruptly departed the project after the removal of Krish. It has since been reported that Kangana intended to have his character killed at the interval mark, which didn’t go down too well with him. Several critics have pointed that the final film lacks strong supporting roles, with much of the screen time being devoted to Kangana’s Rani Laxmibai.

Mishti said she had doubts about the future of the film after Sonu quit. “It’s just that we were promised one director and then we were given someone else. I would love to work with female directors like Meghna Gulzar and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and several others, but real directors.” She said that a real director is someone who is ‘unbiased’ and isn’t ‘self-obsessed.’

Manikarnika is approaching the Rs 50 crore mark at the box office, after a strong Rs 42 opening weekend.

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