First and foremost I must declare I am huge Deepika Padukone fan. I have liked her since her debut movie, though I do not much like a few of her choices in her early career, and my admiration for her has not lessened. So now that is sorted lets begin with my raving about Bajirao Mastani.
I watched Bajirao Mastani this week and as usual with the Bhansali films its a riot of colors, opulence and grandeur. Well you can’t expect Sanjay Leela Bhansali to settle for anything less than grand sets, costumes and larger than life canvasses. When I had seen the trailer, I just could not get over that war scene where Ranveer Singh jumps over an Elephant and kills the enemy. I mean how do you envision such an intricate and amazing scene.
The film is based on the novel”Raau” by Nagnath S. Inamdar as is stated in the opening credits. So anyone with any skepticism about the historicity should know that the film is based on one of the many versions available and does not claim to be the sole and true source of information about the life of Bajirao Peshwa I and his wife Mastani.
Yes the film is a historical period drama and justifiably transports you the era of Maratha dominance in Western India. Bhansali had dreamt of making Bajirao Mastani since a long time and finally his dream has come true.
Ranveer Singh as Bajirao does full justice to the character and not once do you feel that you are watching a star and not Bajirao himself. His dilemmas, his tussle with himself is portrayed really well. Bajirao’s attempt to fight society and family for love is depicted beautifully by Ranveer Singh and so is his trauma when he fails to provide Mastani with the legitimacy she deserves. He has also been successful in showing that even though Bajirao fell in love with Mastani, he never really forgot his first wife.The last few scenes of the film where Bajirao tries to fight of his inner demons in a state of delusion evokes pity for the man who was once the greatest strength of the Maratha empire.
Deepika as Mastani is ethereal. Whenever she appears on the screen, you just can’t take eyes off of her. Honestly I couldn’t notice the details, which Bhansali painstakingly provides in every frame, whenever Deepika or shall I say Mastani was on screen. She has donned the skin of the character and emerges victorious. I read numerous news articles before watching the film that it’s truly a Deepika Padukone film and I would say that it’s not untrue. She is marvelous!
Now coming to the third pillar of the film. Yes, I would call her third pillar because I feel that if Priyanka hadn’t played Kashibai so well, the film wouldn’t have been so beautiful. Priyanka plays Kashibai so well that after the film is over you are left with some questions about her character. You feel utmost sympathy for Kashibai. Priyanka has played some really glamorous roles in the past and so it’s really refreshing to see her pull off this simple character with ease.
There are scenes like the end of the “Deewani Mastani” song where I could not decide whether to be happy for Mastani or feel sad for Kashibai. Both Deepika and Priyanka leave you torn for allegiance. One scene where Priyanka particularly impressed me is when Mastani comes for the naming ceremony of her newborn son. You can see her pain at seeing the woman who turned her world upside down. Till now she was only a ghost presence for her but by coming to the ceremony as Peshwa’s wife she registers her authority.
Coming to the supporting cast, Tanvi Azmi as Bajirao’s mother is excellent. She presents the perfect picture of a matriarch and a woman who holds by her belief. It is pathetic and intriguing at the same time to see her plotting against another woman. Milind Soman was the surprise package in the movie. I was engrossed in watching Ranveer Singh that for a second I did not register him until a friend pointed out that it was Milind Soman. Thank you Bhansali sir for presenting two gorgeous men in one film. As the narrative voice, Irrfan Khan gives an apt start and an aura of medieval charm to the film.
Now coming back to the film, the film is amazing but I felt there was something amiss and this was not what earlier Bhansali films have been. There isn’t a particular point which I can point out as the weak link but the story sure could have been told in a better way. The end seems a little too far fetched. But then again it is a fact that Mastani didn’t leave long after Bajirao’s death. I was kind of hoping to see Kashibai take care of young Shamsher Bahadur as her own son. But there’s only so much a film maker can do.
The music of the film is one of its strongest points. I don’t know which song to rave about and which one to leave out. After a long time I heard some soulful songs and music and its definitely going to stay with me. Despite all the allegations against the song “Pinga” I loved it and loved the two ladies dance but strongly feel that it was not needed. I mean it does not serve any specific purpose apart from providing a platform for Priyanka and Deepika to dance together.
All in all it was a terrific movie, one of the best historical dramas and a good way to bid 2015 adieu. If you haven’t watched it yet, go watch it. It’s an entertaining movie with some amazing actors and beautiful music.