Bajirao Mastani — why it is not in my top pick of Bollywood 2015

Top movies of 2015 (for the acting and crisp, tight plots)

1) Talwar

2) Manjhi

3) Piku

4) Tanu Weds Manu Returns

5) Badlapur

These two for the entertainment galore

6) Bajrangi Bhaijaan

7) Tamasha

When it is Bhansali this is what you expect- grandeur, impeccable sets, drop-dead gorgeous leading ladies, dhol, dance, dialogue ‘baazi’, fearless but emotional, larger than life characters. You know you are watching Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie when you see those detailed jewellery and costumes — this wedding season the brides and bridesmaids will obviously be seen wearing Mastani Bai inspired bridal ensemble.

Bajiroa Mastani is terrifically entertaining piece of real love story presented as a melodrama in the garb of artistic license.

Ornate sets, costumes and exaggerated emotions took precedence over audience sensibilities turning it into a roller coaster ride of a family melodrama. So much for the creative liberty and vanity, Mr Bhansali! It’s not that I want to watch intelligent movies (I barely understood Christopher Nolan’s Inception), but don’t challenge an average moviegoer’s IQ for the sake of entertainment.

1) Melodrama# 1 Ranveer Singh is confident, impulsive and brash Peshwa Bajirao Ballad, if that is what Peshwa was like in real then he has done justice to the character. In one scene he goes on a killing spree, like a superhuman, all alone, after hearing the news of Mastani Bai’s imprisonment. Something that Gernald Butler didn’t do even in a fantasy film called 300. And he valiantly slays and slaughters everyone who comes in his way, all alone! Was Peshwa Bajirao an impetuous fighter in reality? From the time he met Mastani Bai the movie starts building up like a melodrama (from the first scene itself) and then it explodes!

2) Melodrama# 2 The second half is full of it, especially the long conversation between the two wives when they come face to face with each other for the first time, just before the promotional dance sequence of Pinga. This can happen only in these big households. Women argue, there is sarcasm in every dialogue and the next minute they are seen dancing together to celebrate sanctity.

3) Melodrama# 3

‘Malhari’- The beats are so Gujarati (that’s okay because the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, MP etc. belonged to Marathas). Bhansali (as a Music Director) throws his home state flavor particularly in this fun song. Lyrics are ‘Bombaia’ with words like basti, wat, some slangs coupled with whistle sound. I had heard this song few times on radio just before the movie released and imagined it to be some mainstream movie’s hero item number- like selfie le le song where they introduce our ‘bhaijaan’ in Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

Yes, agreed that Malhari is a perfect peppy dance number but it is fallaciously out of place. Can’t imagine a great Peshwa of 18th century expressing his joy of victory with a musical number and that too with his ‘sena’ shaking their legs next to him.

4) Melodrama# 4

The family fight starts when mom in law (Tanvi Azmi) doesn’t accept Peshwa’s second wife in the family. Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra) is seen expressing her resentment only silently and in passive aggressive behavior. Peshwa Balaji Rao, a man of galore and gallant takes this melodrama to the next level when he gives up his title of Peshwa for the ‘second’ love of his life — Mastani Bai.

5) Melodrama# 5

Last scene where Peshwa is seen hallucinating and once again he goes on a killing spree all alone. But this time he is delusioned Peshwa, fighting his inner demons during his last breath where the warriors in black horses, swaying black flags are seen riding past him. And Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra) and his mom are seen standing at the river bank, watching him breathe his last breath as a warrior. There is no long sighs, no hue and cry, just silent weep and there he falls and the very moment falls Mastani Bai too. May be in 18th century the telepathy was happening at the speed of a jet aircraft!

Made with a fancy budget of approximately 200 crore, the movie did join prestigious 100 crore club. But will this epic be remembered even ten years later?

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