Now if no one had told me about the actual history of one of the greatest warriors in Maratha history and if I wouldn't have really paid attention to the disclaimer, this would have been my take away from the film :
Bajirao was a brash, cocky, sadakchaap warrior who was made the prime minister urf Peshwa because of his peerless talent. He was the Virat Kohli of the Marathas, foul mouth, cocky gait, irritating presence...( or maybe it's just Ranveer... you never know)! He was kind of psychotic too... I mean who shows a LOTA of water so much tashan anyway? Also, he loved standing in between fountains and in water of any kind. Like most men, he went soft ( err.. hard) around beautiful women also, and really didn't have too much control over his men ( or women) because his people routinely messed with his orders. And yeah, powerful sperm - I mean 2 nights, 2 women and poof, 2 sons!
Mastani really confused me. Beautiful, tender princess, who was brilliant at sword-fighting, dancing and what not. But it seems the poor soul suffered from split personality... One moment a powerful princess, the other - a lady with absolutely no self pride. But then LUVVVVVV makes you do stupid things right? Once Bajirao Bajaoed her, she was a goner. And yeah, she was the Sidhu of her times - Shayaris and Kafiyas at the drop of a hat!
Kashibai, Bajirao's wife, was the sensible one. Terrible Maharashtrian accent, but sensible. Also, an ace dancer with absolutely no problems in any of her limbs!
Anyway. Bajirao for one, really didn't fight too much. He fought a couple of battles and hammed his way out of battles otherwise. Mostly he was ping-ponging between his wife and Rakhail ( harsh word, but couldn't quite pick the other word Kashibai gives her). Also, his elder son - Nanasaheb, was a real prick.... a worthy successor!
And last but not the least, Bajirao's brother Chimaji was almost like Sheldon Cooper- brilliant but intolerable. I mean he built a projector that displayed Live feed of things happening far away in the times of no electricity. Yes, tilt the reflective glass at the right angle and poof, dish tv is ON. Otherwise, he too was a real prick!!!
------------- Enough history lesson for today, let's get down to the making.
It's said that Bhansali creates grand sets and then sets a story within them! This time too, he has created the most opulent, grandiose sets, but kinda forgets to set too much of a story in them. While every frame is like a piece of art, what lacks is the craft! There is no basis for the insane love and hence, we really don't feel for them. Mastani's love seems too forced, too sudden. Also, beyond a point, there is no story. You just have a never ending loop of - Song-Dance, Mastani pines for Bajirao, Bajirao stands in a fountain, Peshwa Clan insults Mastani, Kashibai sad, Bajirao goes on a trip, Peshwa clan tries to get rid of Mastani, Mastani Sticks around, Kashibai welcomes Bajirao, Kashibai stands in a fountain, Bajirao wants Mastani to be accepted, Brahmins refuse, Bajirao angry, Bajirao stands in a fountain, Song-Dance and repeat all over again - 5 times - Bajirao dies, Mastani dies, THE END.
If Bhansali had paid a little more attention to facts and to writing a better script, rather than focussing solely on costumes, colour combinations and grandiose sets, this would have been more than just a costume drama. Infact, he does a great job even in the battle sequences and would have been great if he could have ended with one epic battle. All you get is a caricaturish, Gaddar style Sunny Deolish scene of Bajirao taking on an entire army alone!
Anyway, this is definitely better than the squirm inducing Goliyon Ki Raasleela, Ramleela for sure. So if you screwed history during exams in school, then you won't mind Bhansali doing the same on screen too! And if you still don't know Bajirao-Mastani's love days ki history, then you definitely won't say "History ke Love Days lagg gaye"
Rating: 4/10 ( Stupendous Art Direction, Production value and Cinematography!)
To read my take on DILWALE : CLICK HERE
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