The tale of romance between an Indian General, Peshwa Baji Rao I & his second wife, Mastani. In 16th century India, Bajirao Ballal, an undefeated warrior, was bestowed with the title of Peshwa, or Prime Minister, by the Hindu Maratha King Shahu. He became the greatest weapon of the Maratha Empire, which he expanded through non-stop war campaigns 8 months of the year. Princess Mastani was the daughter of a Hindu King, Raja Chattrasal. Her mother, Roohani Begum was Muslim. Mastani was used to getting what she desired, and she desired Bajirao. The journey of star-crossed soulmates against the backdrop of war and intrigue in one of the greatest eras of Indian history.
Some scenes are very good like the scene where Bajirao passes the test laid by Pratinidi, the scene where Mastani single handedly fights against her attackers to protect her son, the scene where Bajirao hurls a dagger at Chima Appa, the scene where Bajirao decides to name his son Shamsher Bahadur. The best scene of the movie is the scene where Mastani talks about the different colors used by different religions.
The dialogues are good in some scenes but they are too flowery and Bollywoodish in many scenes. The art direction is very good but it also gives a feeling of fake or artificial at times. The song Aayat is good. The rest of the songs are ok. Pinga and Malhari were totally unnecessary.
Ranveer Singh is excellent as Bajirao. He totally nails the part be it his Marathi style Hindi diction, body language, expressions or intensity. He brings a certain vulnerability to his role which shows that he is helpless against the prevalent customs and traditions of the times despite being a warrior. This is definitely his career best performance and is defintely one of the best performances of the year if not the best.
Deepika Padukone is good as Mastani and looks very pretty but for some reason it feels like she is restrained. Priyanka Chopra is good as Kashibai, the first wife, who is hurt at her husband loving someone else. Tanvi Azmi is very good as Bajirao’s mother in a negative role. Vaibbhav Tatwawdi is very good as Chimaji Appa and Milind Soman is very good too. Yatin Karyekar is excellent as the Brahmin Pandit too.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s direction is good for the most part. The movie is very good whenever he concentrates on Bajirao and Mastani and their love story and their struggle. The movie suffers a bit whenever he goes overboard with the fight sequences, the vfx and the sets. But even with all the flaws mentioned its definitely one of the best movies of the year and it is definitely Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s best movie.