The Warrior Queen of Jhansi review – Indian rebellion epic gets feminist retelling


Devika Bhise as the widowed monarch Rani Lakshmibai shows the Victorian Brits, including Rupert Everett, what she’s capable of in this impressive drama

As Rani Lakshmibai (Devika Bhise), the titular queen in this colourful historical epic, slices and dices her way through a battlefield towards the end of the film, her foe Sir Hugh Rose (a spectacularly muttonchopped Rupert Everett) looks on with awe, intoning solemnly: “She’s like Joan of Arc!” The moment somehow sums the movie up, encapsulating The Warrior Queen of Jhansi’s signature blend of impressiveness, ridiculousness, and lustily on-the-nose messaging in one neat package.

Although the story of this young, legendary widowed monarch who became one of the leading figures in the Indian rebellion of 1857 has been told before in countless books, films, TV shows and even video games from all over the world, the makers of this international co-production have found a reasonably fresh way into the story, emphasising Rani as a proto-feminist, mother and leader of women.

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