Bajirao Mastani review, one and half stars: Deepika Padukone movie ends up being a costume drama

Bajirao Mastani review: Deepika Padukone is lovely, and creates sizzle with Ranveer Singh, but hasn’t melded with the part. It is hard to imagine anyone else as Bajirao after Ranveer Singh finishes chewing up the part.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Updated: December 21, 2015 9:25 am
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From the first frame, you know you are in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. Everything is scaled up, grander than grand, a-glitter. The Maratha court is in session. As all eyes turn to Peshwa Bajirao (Ranveer Singh), we are invited not just to see, but to behold a warrior in the full glory of manhood, striding off to conquer new places and hearts. It’s all razzle-dazzle, the way only Sanjay Leela Bhansali can turn it on.

And then we tear our gaze away from the lush sets and the gorgeously attired actors – Priyanka Chopra playing Kashibai, Bajirao’s wife, Deepika Padukone as the film’s eponymous Mastani ( lover, concubine, second wife?)and the equally beauteous Singh, and demand the very thing we come to the movies for: a story. (Read Review of Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol’s ‘Dilwale’)

View: Bajirao Mastani review in pics: Five reasons why this movie is all costume and no drama

And we don’t find it, or chance upon it only sporadically, in between all the song-and-dances, and the set-pieces in the battle-fields and the palaces. Oh look, there’s a lovely chandelier, and gasp, what a beautiful glass palace ( `Mughal-e-Azam’ has a lot to answer for when it comes to our fascination with glass studded walls and ceilings), but excuse us, where’s the plot point? See Pics: Bajirao Mastani releases, Here’s why Deepika Padukone’s movie can be on your watch list

All you enraged historians, breathe easy. With a disclaimer in place, the film doesn’t even pretend to be a faithful document of the events that took place in the early 1700s, when the Maratha empire in its ascendency. The facts, such as they are recorded, are not allowed to weigh heavy upon this pretty edifice. There is some chatter of the ‘debauched Dilli darbar’ and ambitions for ‘poora Hindustan’; a couple of kohled, bearded Mughal invaders show up with their armies, as well as scenes featuring a crafty ‘Dakkhani Nizam’. But these are stray mentions, and mere diversions : the real action in ‘Bajirao Mastani’ is in the bedrooms and boudoirs and hallways, between Bajirao and brave ‘Bundalkhandi’ lass Mastani, with Kashibai valiantly fighting a rearguard action. Also read: Dilwale or Bajirao Mastani: Who will win the box office battle on Friday?

It is hard to imagine anyone else as Bajirao after Singh finishes chewing up the part ( and, to my untrained ears, cracking the Marathi accent), and owning the film – he swaggers, struts and ruts, an actor fully enjoying himself. Priyanka Chopra’s hurt wife has a couple of strong moments ( in fact, the only remotely felt sequence in the film belongs to Chopra and Tanvi Azmi, who plays Bajirao’s widowed, ambitious mother, as they ponder over the meaning of love and betrayal, and the man they are tied to). Deepika Padukone is lovely as usual, and creates sizzle with Ranveer Singh, but hasn’t melded with the part. Her Mastani is all dressed up, and acting away. And of course, we get an item number with the two lovelies—aiming for total ‘paisa-vasool’ two-for-the-price-of-one,—but ‘Pinga’ felt such a tired ‘Dola Re’ rip-off, only spectacle, not spectacular. See Pics: Deepika Padukone, the beautiful Mastani from Bajirao Mastani; see pics

But too quickly you tire of all the showiness. The grandiosity wears off. You long for a genuinely moving, exciting story, featuring all these beautiful people, all actors able to pull off characters, but buried under their mounds of clothes, mouthing dialogue. ‘Bajirao Mastani’ had the potential to be a terrific historical. You want to be transported. What it ends up being is a costume drama : too many costumes, too much revved-up, empty drama, and too little plot. See Pics: Bajirao Mastani premiere: Rekha, Hrithik, Sonam are Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special guests

Star cast of Bajirao Mastani: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Tanvi Azmi

Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Watch Audience Give Thumbs Up To Bajirao Mastani:

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  1. B
    Brib
    Apr 26, 2016 at 11:09 am
    Sam, do you even realize what you are saying. The w movie is based on a TRUE story and maybe here and there has been changes but the w plot is based on the life story of the trio. lt;br/gt;The movie is therefore then centred on visuals and dialogues to strengthen the movie. It really amazes me how people do not see a potential in a movie which is way different than clic indian love stories. Really amazes me
    Reply
    1. A
      amarendra dasari
      Jan 4, 2016 at 10:09 am
      while i broadly agree with the review, a rating of 1.5 is rather cruel. I would like to put it at 3.5. I almost decided to skip the movie after reading this review, but other positive opinions made me to rethink and visit the movie. I did that and i am happy i saw the movie
      Reply
      1. S
        Sandra Bloom
        Jan 20, 2016 at 1:16 am
        Watch Bajirao Mastani Full Movie HD
        Reply
        1. S
          Sandra Bloom
          Jan 20, 2016 at 1:16 am
          Watch Bajirao Mastani Full Movie HD wolmoviesite.wordpress
          Reply
          1. T
            Tom Willson
            Jan 18, 2016 at 9:55 am
            Bajirao Mastani Full Movie goo.gl/qaw9Eq
            Reply
            1. J
              Jaya
              Jan 3, 2016 at 11:33 pm
              If SLB is ignorant and not sticking to historical facts then he could have chosen any ficious king and made a triangle love story. Why pick a famous historical character and distort facts. It is a shame for him to do so just to make even more money and fool the people
              Reply
              1. J
                Jaya
                Jan 2, 2016 at 12:17 am
                SLB pls do not take credit for Sets and Costume. That is not your work
                Reply
                1. J
                  Jaya
                  Jan 1, 2016 at 8:06 pm
                  The producer/director should read up about Bajirao and his immense contribution and his noble deeds. Instead all they focus is showing Bajirao in a bad light like he only cared about his romance with Mastani. They also had Bajirao dance to a pop song. Ridiculous all the way..As usual Deepika did the only job she knows well - trying to look good. Nothing much to do with good acting.
                  Reply
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