Before I begin this review I would advice anyone who is a MOVIE lover to go see this movie in theaters. Keeping that in mind…let us begin!
I will start off by saying that I have never waited for any movie as much as I have for this and Dil Dhadakne Do, unfortunately, only DDD was worth the wait. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani, starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra was a treat for the eyes; it had everything a movie should have; BM was SUCH a thing of beauty, from gorgeous sets, amazing cinematography, beautiful sound score, great editing, the best actors of this generation, unfortunately, the only thing it was lacking was the STORY. As much as it kills me to say this, I was not a fan of the actual story and no matter how opulent the rest of the package is, without a strong story, a movie is lacking.
As anyone who knows me, my love for Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh is borderline obsessive, okay, who am I kidding it is rather obsessive, and though they had sizzling chemistry, I could not root for the characters of Bajirao and Mastani, which again makes it hard to love the movie. Even though Kashibai says in the movie one only remembers the lover and never the wife, it was indeed the wife Priyanka who stole the show for me. This is the second role PeeCee has done this year with immense subtlety and grace that has literally wowed me and left me speechless. Ms. Chopra your name should be on each and every award this year be it for lead (For Ayesha Mehra for DDD or supporting for Bajirao Mastani). One could feel Kashi’s love and pain in each and every scene, be it from the way she delivered her dialogues, her body language, the hitch in her voice or when she saved her sautan from certain death not once but numerous time for the sake of her husband and her duty. Selfless love like Kashi is what one should strive for, not Bajirao and Mastani’s selfish love.
Coming back to our “star-crossed lovers” I just could not find it in myself to invest in them. Bhansali, for all of HIS obsession in them, having spent the last 12 years writing this story, did not do a sufficient job with character development at all. We do not really know how or why Bajirao and Mastani love each other or why so deeply. While, as Bajirao’s mother says she can appreciate him respecting his wife so much, one does not understand how he came to fall in love with her when he was so in love with and so loyal to Kashi all these years. The sudden and dramatic love that worked for me in Ram Leela, does not work here, perhaps because of the preexistence of a family and home for Rao.
Mastani, for as headstrong and independent as she is, does not seem the type to just “fall in love” and do the things that she does in the beginning of battle. The way she talks to Radhabai, (Bajirao’s mother) is obviously burning bridges with future allies and surely as a warrior princess she should know better than that. Deepika plays the character well, but I was not a fan of the writing, written a bit too theatrical. Out of her three characters of Tara and Piku, this was my least favorite character of the year, though I cannot fault her acting, which was stupendous. Her strongest point in the movie would have to be all the sword fighting, one cannot deny that she has worked tremendously hard, each and every step is on point and as always she looks like a dream; even covered in dirt she made me drool.
Bhansali tried to go for the “love is above religion” and “Radha-Krishna” angle with his love story” but it just did not work because his characters were not developed. Ironically, the only character development was in the side character of Kashibhai who you can see changing and growing. The very thing that I loved about Hum Dil De Chuke is what was missing in Bajirao; the logic in love.
The soundtrack of this movie is also a weak point. Do not go into the movie expecting a Ram Leela, Devdas or a Hum Dil Dechuke Sanam. Though, my favorites would have to be Ayaat or Deewani Mastani.
As stated earlier, if you like movies do NOT miss this film. It is an absolute treat, however leave the kids at home. This is not a film to watch at home. The sets, the costume, the dialogues are all larger than life. I know I say this every time but Ranveer has given the best performance of his life and if he does not win every award across the nation for best actor…something is VERY wrong (though I have a feeling the shows might try to give it to Salman Khan to bring in ratings). Priyanka has given life to Kashibai and given her career best after Fashion. Deepika as always is fantastic. Do NOT miss this movie, even though the story is kind of lacking, but only due to the characters.
What really saddens me however is that people chose to skip out on movies like this in favor on mindless masala like Dilwale. As a huge fan of SRK, I would urge you to skip Dilwale and go watch Bajirao instead!