BHANSALI DOES IT AGAIN !!
Sanjay Leela Bhansali does it once again by creating a grand movie,BAJIRAO MASTANI
Based on a Marathi novel, depicting the life of Bajirao, the Peshwa of the Chartrapati of Mewaar, the movie is a love saga of Bajirao and Mastani ,the illegitimate daughter of a rajput king and his Muslim mistress.
Bajirao takes over as the Peshwa of Marwaar, after his father’s death at a very young age, displeasing many but proves his metal with his exemplary war skills and political knowledge and reaches new heights of success. While helping the king of Bundelkhand, he falls in love with Mastani, who is a great warrior herself and saves Bajirao’s life during the battle. In spite of the strong resistance and displeasure of his mother and society, he marries her and has a son .His wife Kashi resists but finally accepts Mastani, for happiness of her husband, but their son and the society fail to do so and capture Mastani and finally both die craving for each others love and company
Though based on a historic background the movie, like most of Sanjay’s movie, is out and out a la Romeo Juliet, love story further dramaticed by adding the good old love triangle of man, wife and the other woman.
The story is old and simple but the presentation in Bhansali’s style has put life in it. Ranvir Singh has again proved his metal with extraordinary acting and a superb characterization of a young peshwa. His body, dialect, dialogue delivery, mannerism and action are almost perfect. At places he is a little comical ,casual and funny, typical of him, but probably that was a part of Bajirao’s character. The overall portrayal or the role he played was realistic but besides a warrior, he emerged as a great romancer and a ultimately a failed lover. Deepika Padukone, in the role of Mastani has been superb and truly lived the role of the other woman. Unlike the aggressive other women of many stories, Sanjay’s Mastani is submissive and willing to accept her unaccepted status in family and society and Deepika has brought this out superbly by her soft n slow dialogue delivery, efforfull monotony,dull clothes, little to no makeup and negligible jewelry at most times and above all a non confrontist attitude and even a sympathy gaining bland facial expression. Kathak performed by her on the song, mohe rang do lal,was a real treat and enchanting. In spite of sans the external glamour ,Deepika has looked glamorous and even sensuous by the confidence of her faith in her love and her willingness to fight the world for her lover. Priyanka Chopra, as Bajirao’s wife Kasi, has shown great histrionics and a wonderful portrayal of a faithful wife, devoted daughter in law, loving mother and above all a mature lady. Her acting, dialogue delivery, mannerism, get up and dancing were superb, but well above all this were her expressions of helplessness ,torn between love, duties and betrayal. Priyanka brought all these out most effectively making this role one of her many memorable ones
Talking of a Sanjay’s movie is like talking of Bhansali himself, because he is seen all over his movies. With his vivid imagination and passion for movie making and portrayal of romance and love, he has once again painted a love poetry on celluloid and proved that he is the true Dream Merchant. Only person with whom he can be compared as a film maker is Raj Kapoor, but even Raj Kapoor often gave in to commercialism but as many of his movies before Sanjay has again proved that he puts his life in his movies. The sets of the movie and the locale are realistic and larger than life and the cinematography is soothing to the eyes and involving. Unlike the glamorous display of bright colors, which are sine quoin of his movies, keeping in sync with historic aspect of the movie, he has maintained a faded dull brown and grey hue uniformly throughout the movie but even this dullness sprayed with frequent use of fire, lamps and lights brings out the gorgeousness of a black and white picture of Marlyne Monroe with red lipstick. The screen play is effective and dialogues impactful. There is a fair blend of use of Marathi, hindi and urdu to keep the ethos of the story realistic but still acceptable to the masses. Bhansali’s obsession for his movies is so clearly evident by the hangover of his earlier movies in his new productions as also evident here, with conspicuous glimpses of Devdas and Ramleela.His flare for group dances, dhol, clouds of gulal and diyas have been expectantly and aptly repeated giving a feeling of dejavu. The dance of Deepika and Priyanka was almost a replica of Dola re Dola of devdas. The overall choreography of the movie has been great though at two instances, in the individual dances of Ranvir n Deepika he has used contemporary dance, not prevalent in those days, probably to reach out to the masses.The editing is of the highest order and overall impact of the movie is highly inclusive and entertaining.
Bhansali’s direction has been memorable as always with his god gift of successfully infusing the souls of the characters of his story realisticaly in his actors. His venture with music in this movie has been applaudable too with hypnotizing background score, beautiful soul touching lyrics and enchanting hummable music and songs. Action has been excellently and beautifully done or rather choreographed to the extent that even the hard core war scenes look like dance sequences similar to a ballet performance. Few scenes from the movie leave an everlasting impact on the mind, the mahabhoj for Brahmins, the recitation of prayers, the struggle of Ranvir with the arrows and the hallucinations of attacking warriors in the end, being few. Ranvir and Deepika share a great on screen chemistry and have actually set the screen on fire at few places though the scenes were shorter than expected. Bhansali has always used a very pleasant blend of sensuality and even erotism in his movies with great expertise, but without being disappointed I felt they were less in this movie, in spite of adequate and valid reasons and opportunities. Or is it that the censors have clipped a little more. I definitely missed an erotic duet dance of Ranvir and Deepika. Bhansali is always guilty of repeating pieces of his earlier movies, but in mastani,first time he has gone outside home and borrowed impacts from someone else’s creation. Many scenes takes one back to the all time super hit movie ….Mugle Aazam. The sheeshmahal, Deepikas dance, Dialogues to her by Chatrapati, her arrest, her portrayal as a captive and her death are borrowed, stolen or recreated from Mugle Aazam.This this an indicator that his next venture is on Samir and Anarkali…….would love to see their story through Bhansali’s eyes.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is so obsessed with Romeo Juliet and Devdas that he can narrate them repeatedly in different forms or transform any story on their lines, but what I fail to understand is that why is Sanjays hero so helpless. His heros are born to love…..well accepted, but why do they really have to fall in love. Love incapacitates Sanjay’s hero and makes him almost impotent, something I can’t accept. True love should give strength but wonder what he displays….the strength of his commitment or the weakness of his love. Bajirao Mastani is however a master piece and must see by all cine lovers and a movie which will be remembered in top movies of Sanjay, Ranvir, Priyanka and Deepika
Sanjay Kapoor , Bareilly