Undoubtedly, Bajirao Mastani is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s most gorgeous – and most phenomenal- movie. Its like it almost took 55 years for India to make another “Mugh-le-Azam” The story revolves around a Peshwa Bajirao (Ranveer) who emasculates the Maratha empire across 18th century India, fighting Mughals and rivals for Chhattrapati Shahu (Mahesh), while in his endeavors he comes across a half Muslim – half Rajput girl and falls in love with her. Their love is then refuted by his wife(priyanka), his family and the maratha empire , but Love has no religion and its a phenomenal approach by the director to depict how love has the power to overpower all
Bajirao Mastani’s most outstanding part is the cinematography. Every scene resembles a grand painting – courts with shadows and chandeliers, courtiers with tilaks and teers, chambers gleaming with mirrors, skies blushing with passion. Certain shots – Bajirao leaping up an elephant- and stopping an arrow with a hand – stamp themselves onto your memory.
The movie’s battle scenes are grand and complex while its family battles – led by Bajirao’s Ma Sahab (bitterly good Tanvi) and brother Chimaji (Vaibbhav, whose nervous spite impresses) – are acrid and intense. With his faithful friend Ambaji (Milind) and acidic rival Pratinidhi (Aditya), the story takes twists and turns like Bajirao’s Shaniwar Wada palace, where corridors resound with whispers, bedrooms with sighs, courtyards with clashing tempers and swords.
Ranveer pulls off Bajirao with chiseled muscles and glittering eyes, a Marathi lilt that delights, balancing vulnerability and vivaciousness. But Deepika’s Mastani remains muted – you occasionally glimpse dark eyes drunk on love, the fire of a fighter-princess, but you miss the full-blown passion of this lead pair. In contrast, by the end, Priyanka impresses as quiet Kashi conveys the sorrow of a wife, a lover, a friend, forgotten.
The end, by the way, is marvelous. Where the first half looks fabulous but slightly far-off – like watching an opera from seats high in a theatre’s skies – the second half mesmerizes. Post-interval, Bhansali imbues every frame with epic, precise passion. His question – what should religion do? Tear us to bits? Or bring us closer? – frames an end that is frightening, beautiful and powerful.
Bajirao-Mastani resembles Jodhaa-Akbar with teeth that bite, Mughal-e-Azam with shades of philosophical grey. It rediscovers roots to Maratha pride – and bravely confronts one of India’s most crucial questions now.
Haven’t watched it yet then go run to the nearest threatres now.