'Bajirao Mastani' - A visually captivating masterpiece (Review By Troy Ribeiro; Rating - ****)
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Bajirao Mastani", based on the novel "Rau" authored by N.S. Inamdar, is a fictionalised romance drama that encapsulates the 20 year reign of the Maratha warrior Bajirao and his relationship with his second wife Mastani.
The film begins with Bajirao's appointment as Peshwa in the court of Chhattrapati Shahu in Satara. The narration thereafter leads you into his expeditions, his encounter with Mastani and their subsequent, intense romance.
Mounted on a magnificent scale with well-etched characters, resplendent sets and period costumes, the director, intricately and flawlessly, transports you to the era of the Peshwas, circa 1720-1740.
What makes the film stand out is Bhansali's direction. He astutely manages to guide his team to deliver the best. Be it in performances, music, visuals or action, his inimitable stamp is written over every frame of the film.
Prakash Kapadia's screenplay is water-tight and engaging, keeping you riveted to the screen for over 2 hours. His dialogues are colloquial, yet, power-packed. There is no iota of excess, and embellished with the right amount of Marathi words, these sharp and taut dialogues are full of wit, messages and equally hard-hitting.
The performances by the characters are captivating. Bajirao Mastani is Ranveer Singh's canvas.
With his well-chiselled physique, bald pate with a single lock of hair, he slips into Bajirao's hide perfectly. His energy and intensity on screen is palpable.
You empathise with him when he is honest with both his wives and you root for him when he rebels against his widowed mother Radhabai and the high priest.
And most of all, your heart beats for him when he pines for Mastani. The last scene of the film is powerful and Ranveer's presence and competence, takes it a rung higher.
Deepika Padukone as the defiant and confident warrior Mastani, madly in love with Bajirao, is effortlessly convincing. Her performance resonates with the right attitude, both as a warrior and as Bajirao's love interest, making her stand out.
Priyanka Chopra in her navaris -- the nine yard saris, as the obviously hurt Kashibai -- Bajirao's first wife, though a bit dramatic, is herself, glossed-up and pretentious. But nevertheless, she essays her role ably.
Tanvi Azmi as the obtrusive Radhabai is remarkable, with the right amount of drama and restraint in her performance.
The others in supporting roles, too, are perfectly handpicked and deliver outstanding performances.
Visually, the film is mesmerising. The computer generated images seamlessly interlace cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee's frames.
With his wide angle shots, he not only captures the locales, but also the intricate details of the tale, to perfection. His atmospheric lighting lends authenticity to the period depicted in the film. He has also managed to portray the battle scenes brilliantly, making it look natural and real.
Bhansali's music, with its theatrical background score and soulful songs, integrates well with the narration. The well-choreographed dance sequences are a treat to watch, though the song "Pinga" seems a bit forced and is reminiscent of his "Dola re Dola" in Devdas.
The action sequences by Shyam Kaushal are easily one of the highlights of the film.
Overall, "Bajirao Mastani" is a spectacular masterpiece which will stay with you much after you leave the cinema hall.
Bhansali''s masterpiece ''Bajirao Mastani'', grand love story of a warrior(Review By Shalini Sajwan )
Projecting the valour and majestic of the Maratha history, the epic drama ''Bajirao Mastani'' is opulent in every aspect. It has been touted as one of the biggest films of the year, in fact the biggest of the decade.
Watching Sanjay Leela Bhansali''s ''Bajirao Mastani'', a dream project of the filmmaker, one cannot but feel that it is an epic that one is watching.
''Bajirao Mastani'' is opulent in every way - performances are brilliant, every frame is filled with colour, light, and the set decor and costumes are spectacular.
The Magnum opus leaves you speechless and its is difficult to pin point a single flaw in it.
At a time when Hindi cinema had always focussed on Foreign adaptation and South remakes, Bhansali, has infused a fresh whiff of energy into the story of Maratha traditional, historical characters, which had been lost in the pages of our history books.
Bajirao Mastani is an extraordinary experiment by Bhansali, who known for his great imagination, epic sets and plots, has done justice to the Indian historical romance and had portrayed pleasantly the Maratha royality.
The pure and passionate love of Maratha Peshwa Bajirao (Ranveer Singh) and his second wife Mastani (Deepika Padukone), is well executed and the chemistry and acting of Ranveer and Deepika have put a magical touch to it.
The story is all about the passionate love of Maratha Peshwa and his second wife Mastani. Bajirao, who has won countless battles in life,loses his heart to the warrior princess of Bundelkhand. Interestingly, he''s already married to Kashibai who is an exceptionally strong woman.
The story of ''Bajirao Mastani'', however, is not one that happens on the battlefield but the battle of life that we fight with our loved ones. SLB has squeed out brilliant work from his actors and that we can see in the film.
The film takes Ranveer-Deepika chemistry to another level and creates a new chemistry between Deepika and Priyanka. The standout chemistry between both the actresses is remarkable, the forgiving, compassionate and responsible Priyanka in an avatar we haven''t seen before. The two are bound to bring up comparisons from the Devdas duo of Aishwarya and Madhuri and deservedly so.
The film boasts of excellent cinematography. The scene that stands out is Bajirao''s coronation scene where he sits on the throne for the first time. It stays with you even after the film ends.
The story sucks you in from the first frame, and stays that way till the interval. Post that, the pace slackens here and there, but the seductive chemistry of Ranveer and Deepaika manages to pull the track after interval as well.
All the stars of the larger than life movie has done justice to their characters and manage to give best performance of their careers, whether its Ranveer:Bajirao, Deepika:Mastani and Priyanka:Kashibai.
The songs of the movie are melodies and its Bhansali''s third musical score as a composer.The soundtrack has lots of Shreya Ghosal, Lataji''s most melodious disciple. With the trends of pop, hip-hop music and Honey Singh, the movie has recreated the magic of melodies in the songs of Bajirao Mastani.The captivating chorus number ''Albela Sajan Aayo Re'' reminds of a song with the same title from Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam to begin with. But then the melody gathers momentum beyond anything we have heard . The numbers Gajanana (sung by Sukhwinder Singh) and Malhari (Vishal Dadlani) rise to crescendo of expression, thanks to the robust singing.
Overall, the film is one of the best period films to come out of Bollywood''s stable in recent years.