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Review: Bajirao Mastani

Plot: Based on the novel ‘Raau’ by Nagnath. S Inamdar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali weaves a story that sings the glory of true love. Bajirao Ballal Bhat (Ranveer Singh) is conferred the post of ‘Peshwa’ by Chhatrapati Shahu Raje Bhosle (Mahesh Manjrekar) for his sharp wit and bravery. (Watch out for the scene where he says, “Cheetah Ki chaal, baaz ki nazar aur Bajirao ki talwaar par sandeh nahi karte! Ranveer’s Marathi accent is absolutely fab there). From there begins his galliant journey of winning several wars and making the Marathas proud. One day, however on the battlefield amongst the blood and wounded soldiers, this brave warrior finds love in the form of Mastani (Deepika Padukone), daughter of Maharaja Chhatrasal of Panna who reaches out to seek help from him to save her homeland Bundelkhand from the Mughals. Meanwhile back there at home, Peshwa’s wife Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra) awaits for his return from the battle, unaware that her husband has lost his heart to another woman. Will Bajirao and Mastani ever become one? Will their love survive the testing times and emerge unscathed? Will Kashibai accept Mastani in her ‘Rao’s life?

Bajirao (Ranveer Singh) is so ambitious that he wants to dethrone the Mughals from Delhi and rule the entire country. But that can wait. Because he is busy cosying up with his wife first, then his girlfriend, then make babies with the wife and then girlfriend.

So all the events and dialogue that should have led to an attack on the Mughal Empire is conveniently forgotten and we witness his relationship status change from being married to married again, to complicated, and all this painfully stretched over a period of time.

Ranveer Singh, well obviously. With a performance like this, even his worst critics will fall helplessly in love with him. He will just steal your heart with his carefully measured stance as the powerful Peshwa Bajirao. If you had slightest issues with his hyper-activeness on screen, you will notice how much this actor has grown in the last few years. He is intense in most scenes, he rides horses and fights with traditional Maharashtrian weapons like Danpatta like a pro and other times, he just lets himself go and captivates the entire screen with his madness. His every frame is perfect. Though his aggressive fight scenes will mesmerise you, his sad forlorn bloodshot eyes as he pines for his love Mastani will stay with you for a long, long time.

The movie charms us with its spectacular visual aspects, and rocking performances, but it is the script that lacks substance in a few areas. While the first half is slow paced, but somewhat intriguing, the second half has too much suppurate and is extremely fast paced, and doesn’t even wait for the audiences to catch up with the storyline.

Also the director makes the audiences confused as the lead character of the movie; Bajirao too seems confused, as to what area to focus on more, his romance and love for Mastani or his love for Bharatvarsha.

The cinematography is awesome and so is the editing. Unlike, other Bhansali movies, this one does not impress us with its music. None of the songs have that much of an effect on the listeners and will neither stay with you after you leave the theatres.

This film is definitely another enigmatice yet cryptic work from Bhansali. Luckily for us, Bajirao Mastani is one tremendously intense film. While watching it you will feel a gush of myriad fervid emotions. Despite all its faults, “Bajirao Mastani” is propped up by the performances of Singh and Chopra; and for that alone, it’s worth a watch. Just forget your history lessons inside the theatre.

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