It looks like it’s historic film season in India. One more on the list is Bajirao Mastani (2015) by Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The fact the movie is still running (albeit in one time) in theatres, after more than 60 days from its release proves the success. It has crossed over Rs.350 Crores in box office collection. I was intrigued to watch the movie, as it was about Marathi Empire and it’s Prime Minister (Peshwar) Bajirao I from 1719-1740. In the Indian history I have read in schools, we see coverage of British rule of India and before them the Mughals, there is little coverage of Marathas, other than Chhatrapathi Shivaji, though they ruled significant part of India including regions near present day Tanjore.
The story is about the personal life of Bajirao played brilliantly by Ranveer Singh, with this performance he is sure to go to great heights. Bajirao fame was because of his intellect, military skills and his love for two women in his life. The film focuses on this love triangle, his love for his first wife (a Hindu) Kashibai played by Priyanka Chopra and his love for his second wife (with a muslim ancestry) Mastani played by Deepika Padukone.
The first scene where we see Chhatrapati Shahu’s darbhar hall, the throne and the row of minister seatings with water body in front of them was a visual treat. Don’t miss the scene. Similar the sets and costumes throughout the film were resplendent.
I enjoyed throughly the military campaigns led by Bajirao in the first half. The bloodless coup he does in the second half against Nizam was masterly. Though the film is about Bajirao, it is Deepika Padukone who steals our heart with her eloquent acting. She excels equally in the war scenes, dance and in the emotional scenes. Priyanka Chopra though assigned a lesser screen time, has given her best. The second half was a bit slow compared to first, and I didn’t enjoy the villified (though it may be historically correct) portrayal of Bajirao’s mother character, other than these two, the film was great and a must watch of 2015 releases.