With Manikarnika, Kesari, Kalank, Tanaji and Panipat, Bollywood gears up for the year of period blockbusters

If you look at the 2019 release schedule of films, you’ll realise that it could end up being remembered as the year when Bollywood turned back the clock. Filmmakers seem to have taken a stroll back in time and flipped through the pages of history. In 2019, viewers are all set to witness as many as five period films and all are touted as potential blockbusters at the box office. While Kangana’s Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi will set the ball rolling in January, the subsequent months will be followed by Kesari, Kalank, Tanaji – The Unsung Warrior and finally, before it’s curtains on 2019, Ashutosh Gowariker’s magnum opus Panipat will hit theaters. It befuddles that despite the success of films like Lagaan, Gadar, Jodhaa Akbar, Devdas, Gold and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Bahubali post-2000, it took time for filmmakers to get out of their deep slumber. Guess it was the mega success of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat, which forced filmmakers to get back to the drawing board and mine ideas from the past.

Bollywood is known for its fascination for period dramas which dig into a slice of history which is hitherto unknown to audiences. The mass protest which the country witnessed in the wake of Padmaavat’s release only reinforces the belief that filmmakers are in no mood to shun the treasure trove of great stories from the past, come what may.

Kangana Ranaut will be seen in the lead role of Rani Lakshmibai in the biopic on the queen of Jhansi. Apart from Kangana, veteran actors like Danny, Suresh Oberoi and Atul Kulkarni will be seen in pivotal roles. After a great stint in television, Ankita Lokhande will make her Bollywood debut with this film. One of the leading figures of the Indian mutiny of 1857, Rani Lakshmibai later became the poster girl of India’s first struggle for independence. The film is slated to explore deep into the life of the queen of Jhansi and will showcase her achievement till her death at the very young age of 30. After director Krish parted ways with the film, Kangana herself took the onus of directing the film which eventually went way beyond its stipulated budget.