I watched Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani today. Here’s most of what I have to say about it:
- It is easily one of the most visually appealing films I have ever seen. Absolutely stunning. A treat to the eyes. This element alone made it worth the money I spent on the tickets.
- Priyanka Chopra was great. Ranveer Singh was outstanding. Tanvi Azmi was brilliant. Deepika… she was great in parts but I think the others outshone her.
- Ranveer and Azmi managed to get the Marathi diction right to a large extent. It took no effort from my end to believe that I was, in fact, watching Peshwa Bajirao on screen.
- The first 20 minutes of the film are most memorable. It also has one of the most enthralling opening sequences. Spellbinding. At least for those 20 minutes. What happens after that is rather disappointing.
- Bhansali couldn’t have cared less about Maratha history and the facts associated with it. I am all for creative liberty, but I hope for a little more effort into staying true to the actual events when you decide to title your film Bajirao-Mastani. I don’t think this warrants protests or boycott; it is disappointing nonetheless.
- I need to check who wrote dialogues for this film. There is some poignant writing but I don’t understand how he/she could include so many Urdu words in dialogues for Maratha characters. I don’t claim to be a historian but I don’t think Urdu had percolated into Hindi/Maratha languages at the time of Bajirao I (1700-1740). It sticks out like a sore thumb – there are characters speaking in Hindi that is still deeply rooted in Sanskrit, interspersed with some Marathi, which I suppose is to lend some authenticity. And in the midst of that you have Urdu words that make an appearance way too often for them to not strike as completely out of place. Words like “ghuroor” and “ishq” among many others.
- Mastani is supposed to be a Rajput princess. Pray tell me, which Rajput princess dances in the Royal Court to entertain others at the slightest opportunity? Bhansali’s Mastani does this all the time. There are better ways to showcase Deepika’s dancing skills, no? Also – there are too many songs. TOO MANY SONGS.
- It could not be more obvious that the song Pinga was added just so there was a sequence with the two leading ladies dancing together (An old favourite of Bhansali’s). It doesn’t fit into the plot at all, not to mention how far it is from historical facts. It doesn’t add anything to the film; if anything, it just extends a painfully long film for another 5 exasperating minutes.
- This film needed to be at least 45 minutes shorter. The second half just drags aimlessly; towards the end I couldn’t wait for them to [SPOILER ALERT –SKIP TO 10] just die so I could get on with my life.
- There must be 10 points in this post. I like the number 10. What can I say? Oh – yes – Raveer Singh is an absolute dish. And I fine actor, might I add. But that is secondary when he looks like this. Yes, yes, I am being shallow. No apologies made.
It’s worth the money only if you enjoy great cinematography and visuals. If you’re looking only for plot and/or entertainment, I suggest you wait till they air this on TV.
PS – This films also stars Milind Soman. And he’s pretty good. If there are others like me who have a perennial crush on this 90s heartthrob, give it a go 🙂