Kangana Ranaut: Fascinated with 150-year-old weapons used in Manikarnika
Kangana Ranaut on how they stayed true to Rani Laxmibai's arms of choice in Manikarnika
Action plays an integral role in Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi considering the period drama traces the journey of India's warrior queen, Rani Laxmibai. Since the film is set in the 19th century, Kangana Ranaut and action director Nick Powell ensured that they used artillery that were prevalent in the era.
Staying true to Rani Laxmibai's weapons of choice, Ranaut - apart from training in sword fighting - used caplock pistols (a small one-shot handgun) and Brown Bess cavalry carbine (muzzle-loading rifles) for the war sequences.
Pointing out that Indians would primarily use swords for wars until then, Ranaut says, "Rifles were new for people at that time; only a few used them. While the British army used Enfield rifles, Rani Laxmibai preferred swords. I was fascinated with the 150-year-old weapons we used in the film. I also had to carry a shield that weighed about five kilos. The cast and crew would start getting ready at 3 am. Since the set-up would take six to seven hours, we would take only one or two shots a day."
Powell, on his part, apparently auditioned over 1,000 people to form Ranaut's army for the Zee production. A source says, "Nick chose 400 people and trained them in stunts. The entire crew trained for about four months to prepare for the epic war scenes."
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