I had just watched the Bollywood epic tale of “Bajirao Mastani”. This marked the second Hindi films I’ve watched in cinemas, after “Dilwale”. Malaysians love SRK-Kajol so naturally “Dilwale” attracted us and although only to be left agog and frustrated with loose plot, seeing the chemistry of SRK-Kajol was somewhat mollifying the angst. I never paid any attention to “Bajirao Mastani” before this although I read in one of Priyanka Chopra’s tweets that “she was excited for the release of Bajirao Mastani.” Only when I learned that the film was loosely based on a Marathi novel as well as the history of Bajirao & his half-Muslim second wife, Mastani (I am a self-confessed history freak!) that I became excited about the movie!
The film poster. Anyway, it is rated 18SG with some violent and sexual contents. (,”)
Knowing Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s directorial trademark which usually boasts lavish and big-scale periodic epic films such as the likes of “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” (the film which catapulted Aishwarya Rai’s name to fame!) and “Devdas” (also starred Aishwarya who was famously touted as Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s muse), I was anticipating to see the film. And I have to say that I was MESMERIZED by the grandeur of the sets and not to mention the beautiful wardrobes. The audiences were undeniably transported back to the ages where the Indian royalties ruled the land. On top of that the beautiful music adds the icing to the cake. Of course I didn’t understand the song literally because I don’t speak Hindi and I am not Indian but reading the subtitles was somewhat quenched my interests as I was able to understand the meaning of the song lyrics as well as the dialogues. That’s why we said that – art is universal – no?
Aishwarya Rai has long being touted as Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s muse.
I have never seen films with Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, so I was a bit curious about them prior to the movie. Ranveer Singh had definitely proved his worth by exuding the machismo as well as expression as Bajirao 1, the Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the empire. His physique (I thought only Salman Khan has that in Bollywood. Haha! Clearly Singh has that as well) as per required by Sanjay Leela Bhansali had done justice to the role. Nevertheless at the beginning of the movie, he seemed a bit rigid and played Bajirao 1 in stoic manner, quite unemotional and pale expression (perhaps he was told by director to portray Bajirao as someone who was very composed and guarded?) – only as the film reached its climax where Bajirao 1 was battling with fatal fever that we could see Ranveer Singh’s “ummmph” portrayal as Bajirao! But overall, well done to Ranveer Singh!
Bajirao I from the historical depiction at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bajirao_I.
Ranveer Singh as Bajirao 1, the famous historical Prime Minister / Peshwa.
On the other hand, Deepika Padukone was an exquisite beauty. She had the physical essence as Mastani, the elegant half-Muslim wife from Rajput region but I have to say that her performance wasn’t as strong as Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra. I guess it isn’t fair to blame Deepika Padukone; after all the acting wasn’t that bad – perhaps, the director himself did not explore the character of Mastani as much as he should be. Nevertheless, she was certainly an eye-candy throughout the movie!
The real Mastani, from the historical scripts depiction. You guys can read her history at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastani.
Deepika Padukone as Mastani, the half-Muslim Rajput woman and the 2nd wife to Bajirao 1.
Now, as Kashibai the 1st wife of Bajirao 1, Priyanka Chopra certainly was the limelight-thief of the film!! I even thought that Priyanka Chopra should be the one portraying Mastani (sorry, Deepika!) and vice versa. She was not the protagonist of the film but yet, she managed to coax the audience to sympathize Kashibai who was a devoted wife but heartbroken when she found out that Bajirao 1 was smitten with Mastani. She also managed to tickle the audience with the childlike goofiness as Kashibai, as well. Both Deepika and Priyanka looked fantastic in the movie with their beautiful faces shot from strategic angles with beautiful costumes (kudos to the director and costume designer!) BUT I would say that Priyanka Chopra nailed this. Great job, Piggy Chops (her nickname)!
Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai, the devoted 1st wife of Bajirao 1. Despite being heartbroken, she remained faithful and loved Bajirao with all her heart. Sterling performance by Piggy Chops / Priyanka Chopra!
On whole, “Bajirao Mastani” was a great movie in comparison to the “desi masala” dish of “Dilwale”. Of course there are some minus points – draggy plots; illogical sequences; no continuation of scenes; too much Broadway-style (hey, it’s Hindi film no?) – BUT I guess Indians can be proud with this film. A beautiful film about their history and something to be relished as an epic movie. Who knows that this film will be sent as the official entry for Oscar 2016 Best Foreign Language from India? (,”)
A teaser featuring Piggy Chops as Kashibai. Amazing!