Name: Bajirao Mastani
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika, Priyanka, Tanvi Azmi, Mahesh Manhrekar, Milind Soman.
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
The film opens and you know its a Bhansali film. Everything is scaled up, grander than grand, a-glitter. Enters Ranveer, as Peshwar Bajirao proclaiming his pull in full glory. Then our gaze shifts to Priyanka as Kashibai Bajirao’s wife with her child-like innocence bringing in a lighter mood. A part truly played by her. Deepika as the film’s eponymous Mastani is a warrior princess and a vanquisher in every other field too.
From far off Bundelkhand, a message reaches Bajirao to ask for assistance against enemies. The person is almost brushed off. The messenger charges in showing impeccable archery. The headgear is thrown off, and Bajirao sees Mastani for the first time. Bajirao accompanies Mastani to her kingdom and saves Bundelkhand. In the process Mastani loses her heart to him. Mastani lands in Pune among other gifts from Bundelkhand. The half-Muslim, half – Rajput princess faces humiliation at the hands of Bajirao’s ambitious mother ( Tanvi Azmi).
As for the performances. The fierce-at-times, passionate-at-others Bajirao is spellbinding. Deepika’s Mastani can kill with a look from that pair of un-kohl-ed eyes. She is as agile and accomplished with the sword, as with her words. As Kashibai, Priyanka Chopra breathes life into the grief that every woman who has had to accept ‘the other woman’ in her life has had to bear. Tanvi Azmi plays the intimidating matriarch. The supporting cast does a fabulous job with all their respective jobs.
But between all this you long for a genuinely moving, exciting story. It had a potential to be a terrific historical. It does not give a faithful documentation of the events that took place in early 1700s.
The background score , Deewani Mastani and Aayat are among the songs that stay with one long after the film ends. In all Bajirao Mastani is an experience. And one that needs to be savoured in theatre.