Film Review: ‘Bajirao Mastani’ by Neha Ravindran

BAjirao-Mastani-1st-Day-Total-CollectionMovie: Bajirao Mastani

Director: Sanjay Leela Bansali

Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Tanvi Azmi

Genre: Period Film/ Historical Drama

I love historical fictions; they add colour to the black and white stories of the years gone by. Amidst the love lores of Shah-Jahaan-Mumtaz, Jahangir-Mehrunissa and such, the tragic story of Baji Rao- Mastani had been lost in the winding lanes of history. Sanjay brings to screen a beautiful rendition of the novel ‘Rau’ by N.S Inamdar, as Bajirao Mastani.

Bajirao (Ranveer Singh) is a Maratha Peshwa, a Brahmin by birth. He falls in love with Mastani (Deepika Padukone) a princess from Bundelkhand with a Rajput father and a Muslim mother. The Marathas are against this alliance for as the Peshwa is a married man and moreover, Mastani is a Muslim. Will their love win over the hearts of religious fundamentalists or will their love face a tragic ending?

Sanjay Leela Bansali is a gifted director whose every movie is a masterpiece in its own right. Ranveer is convincing as the Maratha Peshwa. His accent, dialogue delivery and body language, all scream of royalty. Deepika Padukone is simply dazzling in every scene. I found her mesmerising in this beautiful song ‘Deewani Mastani’, sung by Shreya Ghoshal. The chemistry between Deepika and Ranveer will certainty tug at your heart-strings. Priyanka Chopra on the other hand is the silent show stealer of the movie. Her role as the first wife of Peshwa Baji Rao I, Kashibai is soul rendering. She enacts Kashibai’s heartbreak, sorrow and unyielding loyalty towards her husband with subtlety and great finesse. Tanvi Azmi’s acting as Peshwa’s mother Radhabai, is fierce like a tigress protecting her curb.

Bajirao Mastani has one of the splendid sets seen in any movie and each shot is a treat to watch. Cinematography by Sudeep chatterjee will compel you to keep your eyes glued to the screen. Sanjay Leela Bansali’s direction is awe-inspiring such that certain scenes were so poignant that they stayed with me long after the movie got over. Music by Sanchit Balhara with Sanjay Leela Bansali and Shreyas Puranik is a treat for music lovers. The costumes of the movie are a true winner, especially Mastani’s costumes. However, the story was a jigsaw with missing links. A common challenge in every historical fiction is to compile the entire story into a 2 and a half hour saga. The final editing inevitably leaves out chunks of linking scenes which made the storyline flawed.

Bajirao Mastani is a poetry in motion. It has its highs and lows but it will keep you in its grasp as if each verse is translating into a beautiful painting. This one has a heads-up from me!

My verdict: ***


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