Movie Review: Bajirao Mastani

Over the long Christmas weekend, we decided to catch Bajirao Mastani. This was one film I was quite eager to watch, having studied the history of the Maratha Kingdom in school. Also, outside of regional movies, you don’t actually see such characters in mainstream Bollywood movies and so it was something I wanted to see how the director interprets history. Last, it was a Sanjay Leela Bansali film and enough said I guess…

The film is rich, lush and every scene is very lovingly crafted. I guess showing around 20 odd years of a character’s life in something like 150 minutes is difficult, hence the bits and pieces look of the movie. Sometimes during this movement across years, it felt a bit jarring and sudden and takes the viewer a couple of seconds to figure that the scene now is not a continuation of the previous one, but something that is happening in the future.

The movie had a PG 13 classification in Singapore due to some of the violence and bedroom sequences in the film. But I think BB & GG, at the cusp of age 13, took it well…

Ranveer Singh is spot on as the valiant Peshwa Bajirao I, after this movie, I can’t imagine anyone else acting the same role, though in parts, I did find him being his usual flamboyant self. I also thought he and Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai (Bajirao’s first wife) had authentic Marathi accents, not being locals themselves. Deepika Padukone as the epynomous Mastani was fantastic, her eyes conveying a lot that dialogues do not…

Mastani who is said to be the daughter of Raja Chatrasal of Bundelkhand from his muslim wife and who is raised as one is married to a Peshwa Bajirao under a Bundelkhandi tradition where people marry by exchanging daggers when Bajirao comes to help her father fight the Mughals. She then comes to Pune and there starts the real movie where Bajirao’s family who are Chitvapan Brahmins do not want to have a Muslim Mastani to taint their lineage and who start their courtly intrigues to stop Bajirao and Mastani from meeting.

The film is not historically accurate, which they announce right at the beginning of the film, more of what goes inside the bedrooms of Mastani and Kashibai and the intrigues of Shanivarwada (the official palace of the Peshwas in Pune).

Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai gives a very understated and elegant performance, something that I really didn’t expect and Tanvi Azmi as Radhabai who was Bajirao’s ambitious mother was fantastic! Vaibhav Tatwavdi who played Bajirao’s brother, Chimaji who wanted to keep the purity of the Peshwa lineage at any cost was very good.

The Pinga song however, brought memories of Dola Re from Devdas to mind and comparisions are inevitable there. Pinga, a song liked very much was not really a match for Dola Re!

The movie is a must-watch according to me, especially since it showcases some of the lesser known historical figures of India. For students of Maratha history (casual ones like me), it was fun as I knew pretty much all the principal characters, having read about them in school. For those who don’t know about Maratha history, this is a good starting point to get interested in it and read more…

BB enjoyed the movie while GG found parts boring. S found it quite boring, so I think it will be a hit or miss with children and some adults!


The Pinga Song

1 thought on “Movie Review: Bajirao Mastani

  1. Pingback: Vaibhav Tatwawaadi - Latest News & Updates - Vantage Point

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