Friday 18 December 2015

Bajirao Mastani movie review: Ranveer Singh’s career-best performance, Deepika Padukone shines as Mastani and Priyanka Chopra delivers as Kashibai!

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Even Ranveer Singh’s worst critics will fall helplessly and hopelessly in LOVE with his rendition of Peshwa Bajirao…

Bajirao Mastani has been in the news for quite a sometime. While a few dismissed this film as another period drama, critics made obvious comparisons to other films in the same genre and how masses have been unfair to them. But one look at the trailer of this magnum opus and Sanjay Leela Bhansali had got us hooked, with his larger-than-life imagery, characterisation of these historic characters we knew little about and most importantly, Ranveer Singh’s bearing as the Blazing Bajirao. Watch this film and you will agree that the highlight of this film is Ranveer Singh, and only Ranveer Singh. Who would have thought that this energetic (if a little hyper), outspoken, slightly wacky actor would do justice to someone like Peshwa Bajirao. Ranveer’s hard-work, dedication and tenacity truly pays off and the result is just out-of-this-world, and we are not kidding! Bajirao Mastani makes up for a must-watch movie this holiday season. And here’s why we feel so.

What’s it about: 
Bajirao Mastani has been adapted from a classic called Rau by NS Inamdar and the movie takes us to the grand and powerful pages of Maratha history, marked by the brave and valiant Peshwas. This is a dramatic account of the most powerful Peshwa of all time, Bajirao Ballal and takes us through his life checkered by numerous conquests he won for his empire and of course, his eternal love story which was till now shrouded in secrecy. The story is truly engaging, mesmerising and keeps you interested till the end. Those who know a bit of the Maratha history or have read this book already, they would love to watch this visual treat, thanks to its gorgeous frames and the way its lead actors breathe life into their characters. The story is old and you may find some references from Mughal-E-Azam and Jodhaa Akbar but it truly captivating to enter into Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s world and re-live this era.

What’s hot: 
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.
Deepika looks and acts her part as the warrior princess quite expertly. Her entry scene is kickass. The love scenes between her and Bajirao will give you goosebumps if you are a sucker for some old-fashioned, intense brand of romance. She delivers in every scene and is quite restraint with her performance. Priyanka’s Kashibai is one of the key characters in the film and SLB has layered it beautfiully with wonderful nuances, making us empathise with her predicament as she sees her husband falling in love with someone else. A special mention for PeeCee’s getup as the aristocratic Maharashtrian brahmin Peshwin Bai (as she is adorably called by her husband in the film!). Her hand gestures and the way she uses typical Marathi catch phrases are truly endearing gives a wonderfully authentic texture to her character. Her costumes, jewellery and make up are befitting to her role. The dialogues too are powerful and give the story a rich feel. You will not forget these easily, we’re sure.

Now, what can one say about the cinematography, sets and graphic opulence of the Bhansali films. The filmmaker though known for his penchant for theatrics almost never fails to deliver on this account. Pick out any frame out of this film and you have a gorgeous, out of this world painting. The climax of the film will blow your mind with its sheer visuals.

Marathi actors Vaibhav Tattvawadi, Mahesh Manjrekar and the handsome Milind Soman are a delight to watch on screen. Tanvi Azmi takes it away with her rendition of Bajirao’s widowed mother with grey shades.

What’s not: 
There is hardly anything wrong or controversial in the film except for the Malhari song, which did not work for me personally. You will find SLB’s patent scenes like Priyanka running across rangoli (Aishwarya did the same in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) or the classic running across long corridors with diyas sequences. But then, these shots make him what he is. The storyline is perfect but at times, the filmmaker gets a bit indulgent and too comfortable with the overall grandeur of the film. He wants the viewer to appreciate it more and revel in it, perhaps. But we are not complaining , most certainly for the amazing performances make up for it.

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