19 December 2015 | kyasaar
'Bajirao Mastani' transforms into 'Bajirao Kashi' - Liberty of cinema ★★★★★
The Story, Overview and Music:
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is back with his 12 years old dream he nurtured like a baby titled as 'Bajirao Mastani', which is Bollywood's magnum opus and a reply to Tollywood's Bahubaali. Enthralling from beginning to end, the movie doesn't contain a single boring moment which is a huge plus point for its genre which can often be cumbersome and boring. And that can be large attributed to the visual aesthetics. Each and every frames are picture-perfect shots. From the very opening credits, you know that you are going to travel into a divine universe unraveling the 500 years ago's history (the 1700's). The sets and art direction are so well crafted, huge and super grand. Visual poetry on screen. Kudos to the set designers. The costumes, before describing, I would love to salute Anju Modi (costume designer) and Sanjay's vision of the past. Yes, they have rendered their imagination into a visual bonanza indeed. Ornamental is the perfect word. Every color that was picked for the costumes reflected a mood in addition to visual appeal. Applause! The cinematography is par excellence. The screenplay is multi- dimensional. It leaves you thirsty to know more. The background score is the "cherries on the cake". It is soothingly melodious in romantic scenes while explosive in war scenes. The action and the wars are new in Bollywood. First time a movie from Indian has excelled in such scenes. And the dialogues are a marvel. Very few films get you hooked up by its dialogues and Bajirao Mastani is one of them. There are many lines you will take home: the 'Guroor' one is pure cinematic and the 'Cheete ki chaal,..' is beautifully written and used cleverly. As for the music, the album has 10 tracks and SLB as the music director has done a magnificent job. The album is a beautiful blend of Marathi folk and Persian/Muslim influences. So, technically, the film is far superior than any Hindi movie I have seen in the last decade or so. The introductory portions in which they narrate the Peshwa's conquests using semi- animation/CGI were brilliantly performed. It's definitely one of the best of 2015. You are simply left mesmerized. You really are! The story of the film, I'll leave it for you to catch. I won't be a spoiler. I will just say that it is surely a love- triangle but one with a big difference.
Ranveer Singh as the Peshwa Bajirao Ballad.- He is unbelievably good. Looks, body language, Maratha accent, physical strength in the war scenes. Hats off. I was skeptical about Malhari but it fits perfectly fine. His eyes spoke so many feelings. The anger, the love, the guilt, the passion, the pride, simply a WOW. I have always believed he's got a stupendous amount of untapped talent, and boy does this movie bring out the crazy range of acting skills that he possesses. He hit the right notes at all points. Mark my word, his performance shall make you a fan if you are not. This goes as his career best performance. He should win all 'Best Actor' awards for this. Deepika Padukone as the warrior princess is a marvel. She is beautiful, charming and stuns in songs like Deewani Mastani (I heart heart emoticon her in that). Her restrained half-Persian nuanced acting seemed to jump out less. Her character is one-dimensional. That's the minus point. Her biggest weakness being her poor kathak and you will feel sometimes in war scenes, she just lacked it and in romantic scenes, she went quite below par. Maybe due to parallel filming. She is undoubtedly a treat to watch but is overshadowed by Ranveer and Priyanka in acting. Nevertheless, she gives a remarkable performance but not her best. Priyanka Chopra as the Peshwin Queen Kashibai – *Breathe* Kashi was the most complex character of the film. It's an arc immensely enjoyable act at the same time heart- breaking. Kashibai might be an image of helplessness but it takes such strength for a woman to respect and protect the other woman your man fell in love with. Priyanka Chopra is terrific, her intelligently expressive eyes speaking volumes, she stood out in her Marathi intonations and prosody. Her no- nonsense Marathi rhythm was bang-on. Her each expression is layered with a thousand emotions, her dialogue delivery is pitch perfect and even in her dance her footwork is crisp and nimble. She crossed expectations in the film. She gets your eyes teary and your heart in pain. Her scenes are the highlights of the film and she owns them. In confrontation scene with Deepika where she goes "Dil? Kaisa dil?" gives you goosebumps. She knows her husband loves Mastani but she loves her husband. She can't hate him. The day she married Bajirao, she swore to support her man in his all decisions that make him happy. She knows her husband is no longer hers yet she doesn't want to lose him. The 'Guroor' scene where she calls her husband and tells him to go with his second wife is the scene of the year. In the climax, she comes to her ill husband but the latter calls her Mastani in hallucination and at that very moment you can feel her. She is devastated yet she pleases her husband by acting like Mastani. The lovers Bajirao and Mastani die but it is Kashi who is left behind all alone in pain. She takes forward the journey and raises Mastani's son as hers together with her two other sons. Priyanka's Kashi is so vivid that Deepika's Mastani pales in her comparison. In short, Priyanka Chopra has given a lifetime performance. You won't believe that the same Ranveer-Priyanka who played siblings in Dil Dhadakne Do have given such a soaring chemistry as husband-wife. Watch out for their love making scene. It's HOT. At the end Ranveer stands out, Deepika shines but Priyanka outshines. She leaves a legacy behind.