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When it comes to the visualisation part, Sanjay Leela Bhansali always go one step further with lavish sets, elegant and colourful frames with lot of songs & dance. All in all it will be a film rich and high in production values. His latest film Bajirao Mastani, a period drama has everything mentioned above in the true Bhansalian style.
Bajirao Mastani is a film with soul backed by powerful performances, excellent background score and couple of well choreographed war sequences. Even though these factors compensate for the lagging post-interval portion, one gets a feel of exhaustion once the final reel runs.
I am not taking any credits away from SLB who has conceptualized a magnum opus that falls short of that but still is a watchable film for its artistic and quality value.
The film which is set in the eighteenth century revolves around Maratha General Bajirao Bhallal Bhat who fought and won many battles making the Maratha empire a strong and powerful one. In one such battle, he helps Bhundelkhand Maharaja whose Kingdom was about to be invaded by another ruler. During this war, Bajirao win over the heart of Mastani who is the daughter of Bhundelkhand.
Against the wishes of his wife Kasibhai, his mother and the Brahmin community, Bajirao marries Mastani. The film basically show the efforts put in by Bajirao in giving a status equal to his first wife for his second wife too.
Bhansali and his scripting team should have taken little more care in avoiding the dullness and overdose of melodrama that creep in after the halfway mark. There are many cliches typical of the director’s usual pattern of presentation but those cliches only enlighten the feel of the film.
As mentioned the cliches are mostly in the form of grand sets, beautiful frames, songs and dance which all are most common in an SLB film.
The biggest contributor to this film are the performances. Director has been successful in extracting the best out of all the actors including the supporting casts.
To be honest, I was not expecting something extra from Ranveer Singh. But the actor in him surprised me. As Bajirao Bhallal, the guy has shown lot of maturity and sincerity to come out with flying colours. Watch him out in those final stages that really show his caliber as an actor and how far he has improved.
Deepika as Mastani was upto the task and has taken lot of pain and effort in portraying the role assigned to her. The result is there for all of us to see. Priyanka Chopra was outstanding and the best among the heroines though she has little screen share compared to Deepika. Kasibhai was safe and secured in her hands. Tanvi Azmi as Bajirao’s mother Radhabhai was powerful in her portrayal of the character she was enacting.
The actor who portrayed the role of Bajirao’s brother was also a notable one who could make a big impact. Small small roles for actors like Milind Soman and Aditya Pancholi but nevertheless they were quite good too.
One cannot forget the contributions from the camera work of Sudeep Chatterjee who has beautifully created a visual treat with his work. Background score is excellent while the art and costumes department have done a remarkable job in giving the film a vibrant feel.
There are hiccups and flaws, there is lagness as the pace is lost towards the end but in spite of these cons, there are some pros too in this Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie. Its a watchable and a good historical film that had ample scope in it to be a far better one. My rating for Bajirao Mastani is three and a half out of five.
Review By:- Chandra Mohan Gopinath