Hansal Mehta opens up on his experiences with Kangana Ranaut

Since director Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi (better known as Krish) revealed his version of the truth of being ousted from the project Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019), the support for the director on social media is growing. While the film does carry Krish’s name in the end credits as co-director, the manner of his replacement has not gone down well. This has also dragged Hansal Mehta, director of Simran (2017) into making a clarification. 

Putting up a statement on his Twitter profile, Mehta said, “Many people keep dragging me into the controversies around Kangana Ranaut that seem to erupt from time to time. For the last time — Simran is a closed chapter as far as I am concerned. The details of what really transpired during the film will remain a painful chapter of my life that might find their way in a memoir some day but will never become a source of somebody’s vicarious pleasure on social media [sic].” 

The statement refers to the fight between Ranaut and writer Apurva Asrani prior to the release of Simran. Ranaut had claimed co-writer credits for the film, while Asrani had named Ranaut as the reason for his ouster from the film. 

Mehta went on to add, “The past two years have been difficult, very difficult. These years had impacted me financially, physically, and mentally.” The director went on to add that ‘life is too short for holding grudges and I will try my best to hold none. 

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In addition, before Krish decided to take up the project, director Ketan Mehta had reportedly walked out of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi after differences with Ranaut. He had later accused Ranaut of hijacking the project. 

Manikarnika review: Kangana Ranaut’s rebel queen makes a dent but takes too long to arrive

Asrani has been pursuing the debate on his Twitter profile, and posting in support of director Krish. Krish recently accused Ranaut of taking over the project. In an interview with BollywoodHungama, Krish said, “I don’t think how Kangana can sleep well by taking the first credit in direction when she does not deserve it.” 

Asrani tweeted: ‘I wrote #Simran with a passion similar to the man in the video. But an insecure #KanganaRanaut started deleting other actors lines on set & made it about her.” 

The writer found support in an unlikely ally in Pooja Bhatt who also tweeted her support. 

In addition, director Bejoy Nambiar also offered his piece on the issue. ‘No one should have to go through something like this,’ tweeted Nambiar. 

However, Ranaut’s sister Rangoli Chandel took to Twitter to clarify that it was because Krish had overshot and gone overbudget that the writers’ team had requested Ranaut to take charge. She even tagged the director to meet with Ranaut’s team at the Kairos’ (production house) office to clarify the issue over access to data. 

Despite the controversy over it, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi proved to have an improved collection on its first weekend earning Rs40 crore nett.

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Director Krish recently helmed the first part of the NTR biopic, NTR Kathanayakudu. 

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