I have always been a sucker for period dramas. When I heard that Sanjay Leela Bhansali is making a film on 'Bajirao Mastani', I was quite fascinated with the idea. For someone who has grown up reading bits and pieces of Peshwa Bajirao's life only in the History textbooks, this was like my 'yay' moment! So with lot of excitement I headed towards the cinema hall entering an unknown historical world for the first time. Trust me by the end of it, I was left with a lump in my throat. Now struggling to find the apt words to describe this epic love story I sit down to pen my review for the film.
Claps For: It's not just 'claps' but 'thunderous claps' for Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra. They are the 'asli heeras' of the film who breath in life to the characters, larger-than-life sets, brilliant cinematography, colourful costumes...phew actually a lot of things
Slaps For: Some drab moments. (Worry not, there are very few of them!)
What's new: A forgotten tale of love and sacrifice that has been somewhere lost in the pages of history.
Popcorn Refill: Strictly interval
Plot: Based on the novel 'Raau' by Nagnath. S Inamdar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali weaves a story that sings the glory of true love. Bajirao Ballal Bhat (Ranveer Singh) is conferred the post of 'Peshwa' by Chhatrapati Shahu Raje Bhosle (Mahesh Manjrekar) for his sharp wit and bravery. (Watch out for the scene where he says, "Cheetah Ki chaal, baaz ki nazar aur Bajirao ki talwaar par sandeh nahi karte! Ranveer's Marathi accent is absolutely fab there). From there begins his galliant journey of winning several wars and making the Marathas proud. One day, however on the battlefield amongst the blood and wounded soldiers, this brave warrior finds love in the form of Mastani (Deepika Padukone), daughter of Maharaja Chhatrasal of Panna who reaches out to seek help from him to save her homeland Bundelkhand from the Mughals. Meanwhile back there at home, Peshwa's wife Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra) awaits for his return from the battle, unaware that her husband has lost his heart to another woman. Will Bajirao and Mastani ever become one? Will their love survive the testing times and emerge unscathed? Will Kashibai accept Mastani in her 'Rao's life?
Performances: Ranveer Singh. You have seen him before in several films. But this time the actor hits the bull's eye as Peshwa Bajirao. By the end of the film he left me completely in awe so much so that for me he was 'BAJIRAO'. Right from his language to his mannerisms, not once did he slip out of his character. Truly this is one of his best performances till now. Way to go Ranveer! Such an intense role but he pulls it off so flawlessly that you end up saying 'WOW' each time he appears on the big screen.
Deepika Padukone as Mastani looks perfectly cast. Be it as the woman who agrees in front of the world that she dared to love a man so passionately or being a fierce tigress on the battlefield, she makes a special place in your heart.
And finally Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai. She is a sheer delight to watch. In fact in some of the scenes she is a complete show-stealer and will leave you moist-eyed. She plays her role with such ease and conviction that you just can't help but marvel at her sparkling act.
The supporting cast of Tanvi Azmi and Milind Soman (all you ladies out there, he's back but in a different avatar) have done a brilliant job.
Direction: Sanjay Leela Bhansali's labour of love finally makes it way to the silver screens. Having nurtured it for 12 years, it is nothing short of a cinematic brilliance that translates on-screen with some heartfelt performances. The plot of the film does falter at some points but then Bhansali with his maverick direction pulls up the strings so quickly that you may end up ignoring them.
'Bajirao Mastani' is not just to be seen..it is also to be felt! Colorful lavish sets, soulful music and spectacular cinematography make it a memorable experience. An epic saga of romance which got buried in the sands of time but left a life-lesson for all that no matter what, true love always finds its way!