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Review: 'Bajirao Mastani' is not just a film, but an enthralling experience with highborn drama!
Magnificent, bonafide set, royal costumes and ultra ornate look in the backdrop of highborn drama, 'Bajirao Mastani' is a delightful experience with climax reminiscent of an Opera. Bollywood hardly comes up with a film that is 'larger than life' nowadays, but one can count 'Bajirao Mastani' in few such exceptions.

The magnum opus 'Bajirao Mastani' is based upon a classic subject of history; a married Brahmin warrior deeply in love with a dancer and half Muslim princess Mastani.

Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra

Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Genre: Period Drama, Romance

Duration: 2 hrs 38 mins

IMDb Rating: 6.0/10

The film is set in the 17th -18th century when Peshwa and Maratha warriors ruled central India and the most successful warrior was 'Bajirao.' The movie starts with Chhatrapati Shahu (Mahesh Manjrekar) asking nomination for the post of 'Peshwa', and due to his unique skills and wisdom the title is bestowed upon Bajirao (Ranveer Singh)

A messenger reaches Bajirao from Bundelkhand to seek help for fighting against their enemies. For the first time Bajirao sees Mastani (Deepika Padukone) and accompanies her to Bundelkhand and saves her kingdom from enemies. In the whole process, Mastani finds herself madly in love with Bajirao.

Back in the kingdom, Bajirao's wife Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra) greets her husband who has returned home safely from the battleground. The story takes a turn when Mastani too arrives in Pune along with other gifts (Mastani is a gift from her father to Bajirao) that Bundelkhand's king has sent for Bajirao to express his gratitude for saving his kingdom.

As Mastani is half-Muslim and half-Rajput princess, she experiences contempt from Bajirao's mother (Tanvi Azmi) and pines for her lover. The already married Bajirao faces conflicts and opposition from all fronts, and thus makes a seperate palace for his second wife named Mastani Mahal. But do they live happily ever after?

Bajirao Mastani follows the path of the lovers as their fates get entangled with each other. But on the other hand, there is the heartsore Kashibai, whose helplessness is more engrossing than the lover's moments of rejoicing.

Although it was initially thought that, Deepika as Mastani's will undermine Priyanka's character in the film, but the latter's steller performance in expressing Kashibai's pain in the love triangle touches the most, although it is not Kashibai's story.

'Bajirao Mastani' is an adaptation of a Marathi novel, Rau, by NS Inamdar. But, the cast is not much apt to the film despite their steller performances. Actually, every character appears highly created with over toned bodies and unreal accent. The repetition of few words of Marathi does not make up for the lack of authenticity in the film.

However, cast has done their homework well and given their best to the film.

Ranveer Singh as a Peshwa with a bald head, single choti and tilak looks convencing. Priyanka Chopra as his Maratha wife with her silk navvaris, half moon bindi and round nose ring is impressive while Deepika Padukone with a heavy armour and long, layered, utterly gorgeous beige gold kalidar kurta looks ravishing in her regal refinery. They all look the part of their characters, all thanks to the film's team effort.

All three stars shine in their respective roles along with supporting cast Tanvi Azmi, Milind Soman and Mahesh Manjrekar who have done their roles exceptionally well.

Ranveer Singh delivers a career's best performance; Deepika in her character is spirited and perfect with the sword as well as with her words; and Priyanka brings life into the film as a forgiving, compassionate and responsible wife.

Few flaws are there but they can be overlooked like the lack of crisp editing etc. Although the songs are individually graceful, the overall music does not go well with the plot and the era. A couple of wars depicted in the film look a bit extended.

The story could have been more polished if more depth would have been added into the story along with historical references. The climax runs like an Opera. In the end, you feel more connected and focused on Kashi's pain instead of Bajirao and Mastani's tragedy.

The extravagant sets, production designs and cinematography of 'Bajirao Mastani' are highly appreciable. Bhansali's film might not be a perfect piece, but its mesmerizing and a dazzling cinematic experience. It is a memorable love saga and Bhansali proves to be the master of extravagant love-storytelling yet again with his epic Bajirao Mastani.

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