Friday, 18 December 2015

Bajirao Mastani :: Movie Review


BajiRao Mastani helmed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a soulful pageant that not only smittens you but also transports you into a land of passion, grandeur, love and war making it a Big Screen watch. When it's Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bollywood's Maximum Man, rest assured that half measures are never an option. Unbridled cinematic hedonism is par for the course. With every film, Sanjay has taken the expectations of audience to a higher altitude. This has been the dream project of Sanjay since long, hence he has left no stone upturned to make Bajirao Mastani, a grand affair. The attention-grabbing visuals, the effervescent colors, the intense drama intertwined in the screenplay and the powerhouse performances by its lead starcast, captivate and suck you into the movie right from its first frame. Sanjay does what he knows best ; using Bollywood elements like song, dance, larger-than life protagonists and their epic love affairs- and attempting to redefine the form of Hindi movies and telling them in his own auteur style. What stands out most about the film is passion ; the filmmaker's, that of his actors', and even in the film's characters. It is impossible to watch this film impassively. There are enough magical scenes, to make you feel you have to watch it a second time to soak it all in. The film and the viewer gets its biggest adrenaline rush from the strong, pulsating chemistry that the lead pair Ranveer and Deepika unfold from the time they meet till the climax of the film. There is an alluring magic in the film that will enchant you. There is exhilarating energy,  passion, thrill and romance in the movie that unspools on-screen via its characters especially Bajirao played by Ranveer Singh. Those who were skeptical about Ranveer portraying Peshwa's character because of his off-screen persona & antics, will be biting their tongues after watching his performance in the movie.     

This time, Bhansali has showcased the Maratha history in his own impeccable style. The story of the movie has been penned down by SLB where as the screenplay and dialogues have been written by Prakash Kapadia. The movie elevates the legendary Peshwa Bajirao, 18th century warrior-hero determined to establish Hindu rule across the Bharatvarsha to the level of a selfless crusader for love in a climate of hate and bigotry. Though the movie features the key battles of Bajirao, yet its more focused on his passion for Mastani, the courageous and beautiful half Rajput, half Muslim Princess of Bundelkhand. The movie ably conveys the message that all religions preach love but love has no religion. Love, is a religion by itself and those that swear by its tenets become immortal like Bajirao and Mastani.  At its core, Bajirao Mastani is all about love. The movie tells the tale of Bajirao Peshwa (Ranveer Singh) who has won all the 40 battles that he ever fought and wants to create one united Hindu Nation. How he meets, falls in love and marries Mastani (Deepika Padukone), who is half Rajput and half Muslim despite being already married to Kashi (Priyanka Chopra).    

Ranveer Singh....Take a bow. What a performance. I have no qualms in saying that this is Ranveer's best performance till date. The ease with which Ranveer Singh has imbibed the traits of Peshwa and further portrayed them on-screen is truly commendable. Ranveer's hardwork & dedication towards enacting this role is visible from his tenacity on the character. He is virtually perfect in each & every frame of the movie. He looks very convincing as the blazing Bajirao in the fight scenes. But, the scene in which he pines for his love Mastani with sad, bloodshot eyes will be etched in your memory for a long time. It won't be a surprise if he sweeps away with the best actor trophies at most of the award functions for his performance in the movie. 

Deepika Padukone mesmerizes you with her portrayal of Mastani in the movie. She looks and enacts her part of being the warrior princess with utmost conviction. She looks fiercely determined as a warrior and passionate in the love scenes. The intense love scenes between her and Ranveer are a treat to watch. Deepika is proving her versatility by playing diverse characters as her role in the movie is in stark contrast to her roles in Piku & Tamasha which released earlier this year.     

Priyanka Chopra hits all the right notes and delivers a bang-on performance as Kashi in the movie. It's a delight to watch Priyanka emote her character's journey from being child-like innocent in the beginning to a mature lady standing tall after the second marriage of her husband. Priyanka Chopra has ably captured the finer nuances of her layered character and essayed them on-screen with her acting prowess. Priyanka's body language and her rendition of typical Marathi catch phrases lend a authentic feel to her character in the movie.

Amongst, the ensemble starcast noticeable performances have been delivered by Tanvi Azmi, Milind Soman, Mahesh Manjrekar, Raza Murad and Aditya Pancholi.

And finally, as with all SLB movies - the craft is something to look forward to. It is evident that every technical department - stunning visuals captured by Sudeep Chatterjee's cinematography, Production Design by Saloni Dhatrak, Sriram Iyengar, Sujeet Sawant, Costumes by Maxima Basu, Anju Modi, Stunts by Shyam Kaushal - has worked hard and in consonance to realize Bhansali's meticulous, ravishing frames, a signature single-source backlighting bursting through palaces and warzones. 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali deserves all the accolades for making a colorful and rich historical film on such a big canvas. His biggest attribute is his eye for detailing which is evident in each & every frame of the movie. It would not be wrong to say that he has painted the film in a myriad of colors and exrtacted the best out of his cast & crew.      

Bajirao Mastani has each and everything that you expect from a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. Picture perfect frames, huge colorful sets, beautiful heavy costumes, emotions, poetic lines and melodrama. It's a spectacular show !

ROHIT SHARMA. 
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