Bajirao Mastani Movie Review: Totally Epic!
Acclaimed filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali took around 15 years to finally bring the immortal love story of Bajirao and Mastani to the silver screen and within fifteen minutes of the film, you realize that it was totally worth it.
Agreed that Bhansali has taken many liberties in terms of history and culture while portraying the Peshwa era, but if you keep that aside for a minute and focus only on the story of the three individuals Bajirao, Kashibai and Mastani, what you have is a touching and intense love story worth watching.
Peshwa Bajirao Ballal (Ranveer Singh) is an ambitious Maratha warrior, who dreams of bringing the entire country under the Maratha rule. During one of his campaigns, his help is sought by Mastani (Deepika Padukone), the daughter of King Chhatrasal of Bundelkhand, whose kingdom faces a threat from a Mughal invader.
Impressed with Mastani’s fiery valour, Bajirao decides to help her and manages to win the battle, making Mastani lose her heart to him in the process. The warrior-princess decides that Bajirao is the only man for her and follows him all the way to Pune, where the Maratha warrior lives with his wife Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra).
Naturally, as this threatens the very fabric of the Peshwa culture, Mastani endures persecution for her troubles, while Bajirao struggles with love and guilt and Kashibai mourns the loss of her husband. How love falls prey to palace politics forms the rest of the plot.
Ranveer Singh, who has been impressing us with his versatility and acting talents since his debut, gives the best performance of his career with this film. This is the first time that this reviewer has seen a non-Marathi actor perfectly employing a Marathi accent while talking pure Hindi throughout the film and Singh deserves a pat on his back for this alone.
If that was not all, his body language, his intensity and his regal gaze makes us sure that the real Bajirao would have surely twirled his moustache in pride at seeing Ranveer play him so well. Watch Ranveer in the Malhari song to get blown away by his sheer energy! (notwithstanding the fact that Peshwa Bajirao might not have done something like this in reality).
Deepika Padukone as Mastani proves to be the weakest link in the film. Though she looks pretty enough, she lacks the conviction needed to play Mastani and her consistency in maintaining the same expression throughout the film proves to be her undoing. Mastani was said to be a fierce warrior, but Deepika fails to convey that too though she has a few sword-fighting scenes in the film.
In contrast, Priyanka Chopra takes full charge of her character and is a delight to watch as the tragic Kashi, who can be full of child-like mischief as well as great melancholy with equal conviction. Priyanka has totally owned her character and it is a delight to see the actress emote with her eyes when mere words won’t suffice.
Bajirao Mastani has been made on a grand scale and the sheer opulence itself is worth the ticket price. There are just two war scenes in the film, but they have been shot beautifully. Of course, the film is sure to draw flak for its inaccurate portrayal of the Peshwa era, but as mentioned earlier, it is advised to keep that aside in order to enjoy a larger-than-life, tragic love story, which doesn’t need an item song or steamy kisses or raunchy scenes to put its point across.
Indeed, Bhansali has ensured that the names Bajirao and Mastani deserve a place in the list of doomed lovers like Laila-Majnu, Heer-Ranjha and Shirin-Farhad.
Release Date : 18 December 2015
Director : Sanjay Leela Bhansali