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Movies Ashdoc's movie review---Bajirao Mastani

Discussion in 'Theatre, Movies & Cinema' started by ashdoc, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. ashdoc

    ashdoc India
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    'Bajirao Mastani' is the love story of Bajirao the warrior peshwa ( prime minister ) of the maratha empire with mastani who was the princess of Bundelkhand---muslim daughter of the hindu rajput king's muslim wife . But Bajirao was already married to Kashibai and Mastani became his second wife .

    So who was Bajirao ?? To those who haven't seen the film and don't know the history , he was the prime minister of Chhatrapati Shahu the grandson of Chhatrapati Shivaji . His time saw power slipping into the hands of the peshwa as Shahu was not an active ruler and let Bajirao handle most of his campaigns . Bajirao led the tide of maratha conquest into north India until his forces began to knock on the gates of Mughal capital Delhi by attacking it's suburbs . Bajirao was a brahmin by caste .

    Now there have been some objections raised against the film---that the peshwa's first wife has been shown dancing like a dancing girl in the film , and that the great peshwa who was a mighty warrior who won 41 battles without losing any of them has been reduced to just ' lover of Mastani ' . My answer to those objections is---
    Even though the peshwa is shown in the film as mainly 'lover of Mastani' he was anyway largely unknown outside Maharashtra . The film at least gives publicity to his name all over India and lets north Indian people know that maratha armies once invaded north India to liberate them from Mughal rule . Yes , it is not right to show a royal lady like the peshwa's wife dancing like a dancing girl , but director Bhansali has to sell his film isn't it . Now even though Bajirao has been a subject of marathi films and plays and TV serials , all of them have been made at a fraction of the budget of this film . Since Bhansali has made such a grand film on a huge budget giving good publicity to Bajirao's name all over India , what is wrong in giving cinematic liberty to him to show a few songs and dances to help his film recover the money spent ?? Nothing is wrong in that .

    The thing that strikes you about this film is the absolute grandeur of the settings and beauty of the photography and the lavish scale on which everything has been picturised . The costumes of the maratha warriors are splendid , the rhythm in which they dance is perfect and there is an orgy of colour everywhere . The women look good , the men are smartly dressed , their horses gallop with speed and the saffron flags they fly billow in the wind magnificently . The mansions and the palaces and the forts in which the scenes are set look superb . Every scene looks like a work of art---the earthen oil lamps in the vast rooms , the chandeliers , the jewellery and the saris of the women , the flowing robes of the royal men...all has been painstakingly picturised . The battle scenes are less spectacular but good enough . The forts of kumbhalgarh and amber in rajasthan and the fort of maheshwar in madhya pradesh has been used for filming some of the scenes .

    The first half moves with pace , and it is Mastani ( Deepika Padukone ) who initiates everything---war , peace , love , travel from bundelkhand to Pune , marriage , confrontation with the peshwa's family , and sacrifice for love . Ranveer Singh looks every inch a peshwa ( thank god the Salman Aishwarya affair broke down and Sallu didn't make it as peshwa as earlier planned ) and has made every effort to look like Bajirao himself---the style of walking and talking , the manliness , and above all the arrogance . He fights his enemies with fervour and dances with gusto . His words are sharp and his sword is always gleaming---except when it is reddened by the opponent's blood . His arrows always find their accurate mark .Priyanka Chopra acts as Kashibai and her acting is even better than Deepika and perfectly shows the pain of a wife who has to contend with her husband's philandering---but even in her pain she never loses her dignity . The obnoxious Pune brahimins who are always outraged over something ( they are outraged over the film ) are in full form---refusing to accept Mastani because she belongs to a different religion and refusing to give her son a hindu name . Tanvi Azmi has really cut her hair and become bald to play her role as Bajirao's formidable widowed mother---widows were balded in those times to make them unattractive to other men .

    In the second half the film becomes tragic and the beauty of the scenes lose some of their sheen . Bajirao seems to fall in love like a warrior rather than lover---with a sense of duty towards his beloved who has come from far to get him and crossed boundaries of religion to meet him . Music cannot be called the strong point of the film . The songs don't impress . But the film does , and should be watched on the large screen to be really enjoyed for it's cinematography .

    Verdict---Good .
    Three and a half stars .
     
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  3. ashdoc

    ashdoc India
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    Seeing Bajirao Mastani again

    Seeing Bajirao Mastani again , I was struck by the stupidity of the Pune brahmins and Bajirao's mother and brother and elder son . Why could they not let Bajirao have what he wanted---company of Mastani ?? It was to Bajirao that they all owed their position . If he was not so gallant and brave the maratha empire would not have been so great . It was he who had transformed the kingdom established by Shivaji into an empire . It was due to his military genius that they all ( Pune brahmins ) were enjoying the perks they did---for it was he who had effectively transferred the power that the maratha caste enjoyed in the kingdom ( Shivaji was maratha by caste ) to the brahmins and made the brahmins supreme . Why could they not set aside their narrow religious beliefs to let the great peshwa enjoy the love of Mastani ?? If it is true that Bajirao died because he was pining for Mastani , then they were shooting the maratha empire in the foot . Because after Bajirao's death his son Nanasaheb took some time to establish himself as Peshwa . In the meantime many precious years were lost---years that could have been spent in expanding the empire . And Nanasaheb could not prove to be as great as Bajirao . Coould the Pune brahmins not put their narrow religious beliefs aside for the sake of the empire ??

    But Bajirao's infatuation with Mastani to the opposition of everyone also proves why he is deservedly considered a lesser political personality than Shivaji . Though Shivaji was kind to his wives he would have never gone against the clergy and society for a woman if it harmed politics of the kingdom . For him expansion of his kingdom was above all else . Though he was not brahmin he used to go to considerable lengths to keep the brahmins in good humour . He was never so much in love with a woman that he would pine for her to the cost of the kingdom's politics . That is why he was able to establish a kingdom in the face of such powerful opposition from the mughals , the sultan of bijapur , the siddi of janjira , the portuguese and the english . Bajirao actually died pining for a woman !! All his greatness lost for a woman !! Then he was not as great as Shivaji !!
     
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  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Bajirao did not die pining for a woman, no historical proof show this . Kings of past times used to fall in love with women which are not from their communitty.Our own Maharaja Ranjit singh fell for a muslim woman .

    I was wondering if bollywood decide to make Ranjit-Moran like Baji Rao Mastani then how will sikhs react , I don't think sikhs will allow that film to be screened in Punjab , Delhi
     
  5. ashdoc

    ashdoc India
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    on other websites where i wrote the post many people are raising doubts about whether bajirao really died pining for mastani . actually he may have died due to heat stroke . it is the movie which shows him dying pining for mastani but movies always exaggerate romance dont they....so the premise of my whole post ( my second post that is , not my review ) may be false . maybe it was just bad luck that he died so early.
     
  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    He did not die early , most warriors at that time used to die between 35-50 years.Very few warriors at that time used to see old age

    here is the age of Peshwa's

    Vishwanath (Baji rao's father) 58
    Baji rao --39
    Chimaji Appa-34
    Nana Saheb 41 (died because of depression loosing 1761 war)
    Raghunath Rao -49
    Madahav rao --30 ( died of TB)
     

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