Bajirao Mastani Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

BajiraoMastani Rating: 4/5

Sanjay Leela Bhansali was determined to make a film on the lives of Peshwa Bajirao, Kashibai and Mastani for quite some time now. The supremely talented raconteur kept vacillating between numerous actors, before he chose on the present star cast of BAJIRAO MASTANI. Although historicals were well-liked — and commercially feasible, if I may add — at a point of time, the swelling budgets and comprehensive study and research that went into making a historical compelled quite a few present-day film-makers to abandon their dream projects and opt for contemporary themes. Bhansali stood his ground and waited for the opportune time to commence the project in question.

It’s a pre-requisite to possess a mega budget, have exhaustive knowledge of the subject matter, possess nerves of steel to handle the gigantic cast/crew and last but not the least, the vision and fortitude to bring a historical to life on celluloid in today’s times. You can face instant rejection from the paying public or face controversies and protests for deviating from facts. The film-maker has to walk a tight rope.

BAJIRAO MASTANI is Bhansali’s most ambitious project to date. The love story, the conflict, the dramatic altercations, the battle sequences and of course, the ostentatious setting… BAJIRAO MASTANI is an enthralling period film that transports you to an era you had only read about in the history books. At the same time, Bhansali introduces the on-screen characters and the sequence of events with utmost simplicity so that the enthusiastic spectator is able to get the grip of the goings-on effortlessly.

Final word? Fit BAJIRAO MASTANI into your agenda of films to watch this weekend. Bhansali could’ve easily opted for a modern-day love story, but the fact that he chose to make a historical and one that keeps you hooked for varied reasons deserves applause and encouragement from cineastes. Sure, it’s a damn good looking film, but, most importantly, it has soul too.

The plotline: BAJIRAO MASTANI takes off with Bajirao [Ranveer Singh] being appointed the Peshwa. Soon, Mastani [Deepika Padukone] seeks his help to save her kingdom. Although Bajirao is already married to Kashibai [Priyanka Chopra], love blossoms between Bajirao and Mastani.

Bhansali along with his team of writers [screenplay: Prakash R. Kapadia; additional screenplay: Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Mallika Dutt Gharde] adorn the film with fascinating characters and inspirational sub-plots that advance into a stunning culmination. Despite a run time of almost 2.40 hours, Bhansali also sees to it that the writing is taut, the pacing is just right and at no point does the screenwriting deviate into unnecessary tracks.

Clearly, Bhansali seems to be motivated by the classics helmed by the Hollywood counterparts. He has a splendid sense of narrating an epic tale, which is evident when you think of the gigantic scale of the film. The battle sequences [action director: Sham Kaushal] are awe-inspiring and have been executed with magnificence. The production design [Sriram Kannan Iyengar, Sujeet Subhash Sawant, Saloni Ankush Dhatrak] is eye-filling and makes you acknowledge the effort that must’ve gone into recreating the long-gone era. The apparel as well as the styling of the characters is truly majestic.

Bhansali seamlessly weaves music in the historical. Filmed with care, the songs [also composed by Bhansali] are mesmeric and have been choreographed with precision. The ones that stand out are ‘Deewani Mastani’, ‘Albela Sajan’ and ‘Pinga’. The background score [Sanchit Balhara] is wonderful. BAJIRAO MASTANI is gorgeously lensed, with the DoP [Sudeep Chaterjee] capturing the colors, setting and emotions meticulously. Editing [Rajesh G. Pandey] is crisp.

Bhansali makes sure the actors get major acting opportunities this time. Ranveer Singh is stupendous and clearly in top form. He holds you attentive right from the first frame till the penultimate moments. The effortlessness with which he gets into the skin of the character is noteworthy. In addition, the chemistry with both Deepika and Priyanka is delightful. It must be said that this is his finest work to date. Deepika is enchanting as Mastani and displays the strength as an actor in several pertinent episodes. The year 2015 clearly belongs to her for choosing diverse parts and delivering winning portrayals in PIKU, TAMASHA and now, BAJIRAO MASTANI. Priyanka Chopra’s portrayal of Kashibai deserves brownie points. She interprets the character with brilliance, proving yet again that she’s amongst the finest actors we have today.

The supporting cast is top notch, especially Tanvi Azmi [terrific], Milind Soman [wonderful], Vaibbhav Tatwawdi [superb] and Yateen Karyekar [competent]. Mahesh Manjrekar, Raza Murad are Aditya Pancholi enact their respective parts well.

On the whole, BAJIRAO MASTANI is a cinematic gem that you just cannot miss. Tremendous performances, deft direction, power-packed screenwriting and dialogue, melodious soundtrack and of course, the lavish mounting — this film has it all. Strongly recommended!

  1. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Bajirao Mastani Movie Review by Anupama Chopra

  2. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Bajirao Mastani Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 3

    Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Tanvi Azmi, Milind Soman, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vaibhav Tatwawdi

    Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

    There are a few things one has come to take for granted in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film: a stunning visual aesthetic, immaculately choreographed songs, and an imposing sense of scale. His latest, Bajirao Mastani, doesn’t disappoint on any of those counts. This sweeping period piece, set in the early 18th century, focuses on a forbidden romance that consumed Bajirao Ballal Bhat, a brave general credited with expanding the Maratha Empire and winning every one of the 41 battles he fought. But the film also suffers from a condition one might describe as ‘Bhansali-it is’ – the tendency to be melodramatic, over-long, and highly indulgent.

    That’s a shame because Bajirao Mastani hits the ground running. Love blossoms between the peshwa (Ranveer Singh) and Mastani (Deepika Padukone), daughter of a Bundelkhand Maharaja, after our hero defeats a Mughal army poised to invade her father’s kingdom. He ends up upsetting just about everyone when he marries her: from his wife Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra) and his mother (Tanvi Azmi), to the Brahmin priests who reject Mastani because of her Muslim blood.

    The film then is largely about Bajirao’s continuing struggles to seek respectability for Mastani. Bhansali and his writers script compelling confrontations between his characters to draw out the drama. There is heartbreak, humiliation, sacrifice, and more than a few powerful moments that pack a punch. An attack on Mastani late in the film is impressively staged, as is a scene in which Kashibai witnesses her husband’s indiscretion in a conveniently placed mirror. Not to mention the film’s opening battle sequence, which is nothing short of terrific.

    The narrative, however, is hobbled by too many songs, and post-intermission your patience wears thin. As Bajirao and Mastani sink deeper into their doomed relationship, and a dignified Kashibai holds up the third part of this triangle, the film starts to suffer from a hangover of Bhansali’s own Devdas. What’s surprising is the lack of heat in the romance between Bajirao and Mastani. The actors sizzled in Ram-Leela, but their relationship is strictly PG-13 this time around. Frankly, more sparks fly between Bajirao and Kashibai in a scene where she sneaks up on him in the bath.

    Like in the director’s previous films, supporting actors serve up strong performances. Azmi is suitably intimidating as the tough matriarch, and Vaibhav Tatwawdi makes a big impression as Bajirao’s brother Chimaji. As far as central roles go, the film benefits from a nice touch of playfulness and humor in Priyanka Chopra’s Kashibai. Your heart goes out to her in scenes where she must confront the fact that she’s not Bajirao’s great love. Chopra brings grace to the character, and practically steals the film. ((pause)) Deepika Padukone as Mastani is a woman of exquisite beauty. You’re captivated by the heft that Padukone lends to her fight scenes, or when her eyes speak more of her suffering than words. Her character, though, is strictly one-dimensional and therefore tedious. Ranveer Singh, meanwhile, has a commanding physicality as the warrior hero, and he completely inhabits the part. He imbues Bajirao with a fiery spirit, and yet allows his vulnerabilities to occasionally slip. It’s a big ‘showy’ part, and the actor doesn’t disappoint.

    Ultimately you can’t help being overwhelmed by Sudeep Chatterjee’s eye-watering frames, and the elegant production design. Bhansali delivers a film that’s artistic but exhausting. I’m going with three out of five.

  3. shan 9 years ago

    Superb movie! Excellent direction, very good acting and grand look and feel! Ranveer does a fabulous job as Bajirao, bringing a certain zaniness to the character. PC is stupendous especially in the emotional scenes. Deepika is a little subdued and isn’t as impressive as the other two but manages pretty well. Sanjay leela Bhansali has written a powerful screenplay and although he deviates from the book and adds his own viewpoints, he manages to pull it off with a lot of conviction. There are some low points like Bajirao’s dancing in Malhari and Pinga, which were totally unnecessary and could have easily been excluded. But every those songs are presented very well. Cinematography is fantastic and bgm supports it very well. The final scenes are very well done. Must watch!

    • Author
      sputnik 8 years ago

      Agree with you for the most part.

      Looks like you read the book on which the movie is based. So what are the differences between the book and the movie?

Leave a reply

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?