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“The Warrior Queen of Jhansi” A Symbol of Power





Review by John Delia

In the 1600’s the East India Company was set up by royal charter to pursue trade with India. They traded in many goods including spices, textiles, salt, indigo and opium. In 1833 Rani of Jhansi was born on the banks of the Ganges and by then the company had expanded from trading into conquest using private armies. Their objective was to dethrone more and more of India’s rulers to take over India.

One land stands between the British and their complete takeover of the country, Jhansi. After much disagreement between the British and Jhansi King Gangadhar Rao- Maharaja (Milind Gunaji) is much opposed to their takeover. But, due to his illness Gangadhar dies, leaving his kingdom to his wife Queen Rani Lakshmibai (Devika Bhise). Having trained many female warriors to fight hand in hand with the men, Rani feels confident she can turn back the British from their fortress.


Ben Lamb and Devika Bhise in The Warrior Queen of Jhansi Photo Credit Nick Wall Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

The film goes on from there to show how Rani leads with a strong will. She defends the fortress with neighboring tribes until they become exhausted. Now with only her female troops, she must mount an attack. Director and co-writer Swati Bhise does her best to make the film a spectacular event, but it’s too big for her and it becomes more of a war film that’s not much different than most. I do like the way she makes Devika Bhise strong and powerful, but beyond that it’s more of an opulent stage show told in three acts.

Devika Bhise does a very good job of portraying Queen Rani and definitely makes her an outstanding character for the film. She gives an exhilarating performance turning down the British and even Queen Victoria of England. She rides like the wind, fights like a samurai and leads like the warrior history has proclaimed a fearless freedom fighter.


Devik Bhise in The Warrior Queen of Jhansi Photo Credit Nick Wall Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

The sets are magnificently dressed, locations realistic and the horsemen do a find job of creating the huge battle. The costumes are a bit garish as you would expect them to be and the exterior vistas caught in the cameras are truly amazing. Cudos to The director of photography, Seamus Deasy. Choreography of the fighting could have been more realistic, but overall I did like the women’s combat that’s a nice surprise.

The Warrior Queen of Jhansi has been rated R by the MPAA for some violence. There are some bloody brutal battles and extreme depiction of killing during the sword play. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature teens to see the film.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very good performance and cinematography cannot carry the film. (3 out of 5 stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Devika Bhise, Rupert Everett, Derek Jacobi
Directed and written by: Swati Bhise
Written by: Swati Bhise and Devika Bhise
Genre: Period Drama, History
MPAA Rating: R for some violence
Running Time: 1 hr.43 min.
Opening Date: November 15, 2019
Distributed by: Roadside Attractions
Released in: Theaters, Color

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