Mumbai: Veteran writer Vijayendra Prasad is reluctant to agree that he is now part of the most controversial film of his career, the Kangana Ranaut-starrer film Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi, on the charge that the film’s original director Krish was relieved of his duties, the writer says, “I don’t think ‘relieved’ is the correct word. Krish wasn’t asked to go. The film began in June 2018 and was supposed to release in August 2019. But got delayed and Krish was already committed to direct the NTR biopic for Balakrishna. So we had to let him go.”
Reacting to critisism against Kangana, Vijayendra says, “Kangana thought some extra action scenes were needed and I concurred with her. The film looks so more spectacular with those war scenes. Kangana just completed the film.” He adds, “To my knowledge, there is no rift between Kangana and Krish.”
The writer says, “Krish has done a wonderful job of shooting the film, but so has Kangana. I really cannot differentiate between what both have shot,” he says.
What about the fact that Kangana is a novice while Krish has an impressive body of work behind him? “Kangana has contributed actively to many of her films, while Krish couldn’t direct two biopics simultaneously. Waiting for Krish would have meant a further delay. Kangana has an aptitude for direction, so we chose her,” says Vijayendra Prasad, adding that she was ably assisted by the entire team and knew what she was doing.
The veteran writer will fly to Delhi to watch the film with the President of India. “My own daughter’s name is Manikarnika. So, I have a special fondness for that name,” he signs off....