Why should women-oriented films compromise on budget? Asks Manikarnika maker Kamal Jain

Updated: Dec 17, 2018, 11:23 IST | Mohar Basu

As Kangana Ranaut's Manikarnika becomes most expensive Hindi film led by a woman at Rs 100 crore, the producer says he's unfazed by the clash with Super 30, Thackeray biopic

At a time when producers think twice before investing heavily in films headlined by female actors, makers of Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi - Kamal Jain and Zee Studios - have set a precedent. Touted to be made on a budget of Rs 100 crore, Jain claims the Kangana Ranaut-starrer is the most expensive Bollywood film to be led by a female star.

Siddiqui in Thackeray
Siddiqui in Thackeray

"It is a period film, so there was no scope of cutting corners. We invested in every department judiciously. Kangana was always keen to do a film based on Rani Laxmibai, so when we approached her, she lapped it up," says Jain. The industry may be male-dominated, but the producer says that female actors have proved that they too can carry a film on their petite but able shoulders. "There has been a positive change in the industry.

Movies with actresses in focus have done big numbers. We are hoping to take that change to the next step. Why should a female-oriented film need to compromise on budget? Also, Kangana's star power is unquestionable."

Roshan in Super 30
Roshan in Super 30

Given the budget of the film, one wonders if the biopic would have benefited from a solo release. After all, January 25 is turning out to be a crowded window with Hrithik Roshan's Super 30 and Nawazuddin Siddiqui's Thackeray releasing alongside. "I don't think Super 30 is releasing on that day, and the other movies are different from ours. We are confident of what we have made. January 26 is an ideal date for a patriotic film like ours. Moreover, it is an extended weekend, so we all stand a chance to do business."

Kamal Jain
Kamal Jain

Asserting that they can't be "myopic" when it comes to their labour of love, Jain says they didn't spare any expenses. "From the costumes to the set, we had to reflect the grandeur of the era. We also got Nick Powell [action director] who's the best in the business."

Also read: Kangana Ranaut: Hope Manikarnika gets a solo release on Republic Day

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