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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ek Veer Stree Ki Kahani…Jhansi Ki Rani - on Zee TV

Historicals are very difficult to pull through given the fact that the audience already has a definite opinion of the story one is about to narrate. It is almost next to impossible to carry out an interpretation that will closely fit into the collective imagination of the person or the period. Ek Veer Stree Ki Kahani…Jhansi Ki Rani, is Zee TV’s attempt to capture the essence of a woman who is revered and much adored till date in India. Indeed Laxmi Bai, the Rani of Jhansi is for many India’s Joan of Arc-the brave lady who fought the oppressive British rule and took part in our very first Freedom movement.

It must be said that the channel, the producers of the show and the different creative heads by deciding on this particular historical figure took on a huge risk. The charisma of Jhani ki Rani is such that she is known through the length and breadth of the country. To capture the essence of such a dynamic and much loved character required a tremendous amount of guts and skill. To the credit of the entire team of the show, they have pulled it off. In fact it can even be said that their interpretation of Laxmi Bai has helped to strengthen the aura around her. The makers of the show have put more focus on characterisation than on the setting or on costumes. They have tried to delve into the psyche of this young girl/woman who rose above her ordained position to carve out a name for herself in history.

The makers of the show are keen to capture the entire social and political milieu of the story that helped to give a Laxmi Bai a distinct personality and they are doing so superbly. The attention to detail is evident in the characterisation of the principal cast. Thus be it the child yet rebellious Manu (Laxmi Bai was born Manikarnika, nicknamed Manu) or the young girl of twelve, queen of Jhansi Manu; there is a distinct persona that comes across. Manu was born in Bithur where her father worked in the court of Peshwa Baji Rao II. She grew up with the young Nana Sahev who was her friend and taught her to ride horses and sword fight. She then moves to Jhansi at the age of thirteen to the court of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar. Her idyllic childhood comes to an end with this important transition as she finds herself surrounded by court intrigues and politics as the Rani of Jhani.

The handling of the various schemes underway to render Gangadhar Rao ineffective by his own clan and the British rulers is very interesting to watch. Luckily, the treatment of the court politicking and intrigues has not been reduced to shams and melodrama-filled sequences. As a young bride, we can fully empathise with Manu who is on the one hand trying to cope with a much older husband and on the other hand keep at bay the gorgeous courtesan Moti Bai. As her timely intervention once again saves her husband, it places her in a path of confrontation with Moti Bai. Who will win ?

1 comment:

AISHWARYA said...

It was very nice and excellent. Ulka's sword fighting horseriding every thing was perfectly she had done it. Ulka was the best

Enjoy Nautanki TV