Bajirao Mastani (2015) *HQ*

Peshwa Bajirao Ballal (Ranveer Singh) is an ambitious Maratha warrior, who dreams of bringing the entire country under the Maratha rule. During one of his campaigns, his help is sought by Mastani (Deepika Padukone), the daughter of King Chhatrasal of Bundelkhand, whose kingdom faces a threat from a Mughal invader.

Impressed with Mastani’s fiery valour, Bajirao decides to help her and manages to win the battle, making Mastani lose her heart to him in the process. The warrior-princess decides that Bajirao is the only man for her and follows him all the way to Pune, where the Maratha warrior lives with his wife Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra).

Naturally, as this threatens the very fabric of the Peshwa culture, Mastani endures persecution for her troubles, while Bajirao struggles with love and guilt and Kashibai mourns the loss of her husband. How love falls prey to palace politics forms the rest of the plot.

Credit must be given to the director who very rightly puts out a disclaimer before the start of the movie. He informs us that he has spoken with historians and tried as much as possible to get the facts in place. However, the disclaimer says, the film does not claim to be historically accurate.

This is a good way to start a movie which goes back in time. Recreating history to the ‘T’ is never possible; will never be possible. No one in our present time has been present to witness the past. The most they would have access to would be references of the past through historians and books. But that too, has come down the ages, and the accuracy of it can always be debated.

Putting to rest the accuracy debate, Bhansali gets into his own. The creative wizard who has a tremendous eye for detail is once again in his elements recreating breath-taking sets, magical moments, dazzling dances with good music juxtaposed with delicate close-in and far-off angles captured creatively by the camera. The whole cinematography (Sudeep Chatterjee) and lighting and mood Bhansali creates is worthy of applause. It takes immense creativity to get the detailing right.

For that alone, the director needs a standing ovation!

Bajirao Mastani celebrates love, life, the longing of a man torn between three women (including his mother), his loyalty and his helplessness when faced with religious diktats!

Bajirao Mastani also celebrates the mood of the moment!

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