Top 5 ‘Bajirao Mastani’ reviews: What do critics think of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s opulent drama?

Based on the book Rau, Bajirao Mastani, tell the story of Maratha Warrior Bajirao Peshwa and his second wife Mastani.

Bajirao Mastani

Battling the controversies since before its release, the movie hit the theatres on Friday.

Here is what critics have to say about  Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie – 

Film: Bajirao Mastani

Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra,

The Hindu – Bajirao Mastani: A historical leap

In the Bhansali tradition, Bajirao Mastani does scream opulence; what with those fountains, chandeliers and drapes, and the headgears and jewellery that seem to weigh the actors down. There are many nods to Raja Ravi Varma kitsch with some scenes seeming straight out of his art. The extravagant setting is backed by a stylised operatic narrative, song ‘n dance set-pieces, declamatory dialogue, and emotions that are forever heightened. Crowds are in perfect geometry even as feelings are carefully choreographed. Notice how well Bajirao’s teardrop is orchestrated in the scene where he blows the lamps off and bids a sad farewell to his betrayed first wife Kashibai. One dramatic confrontation follows another. In fact, the confrontations, the argumentative characters, their high-strung interactions, and emotions are relentless. There is not a moment of silence. Even when there is, the pounding background music takes over.

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Maratha history gets the full-on Sanjay Leela Bhansali treatment in Bajirao Mastani.

The overwrought but impressive extravaganza elevates the legendary 18th-century warrior-hero determined to establish Hindu rule across the subcontinent to the level of a selfless crusader for love in a climate of hate and bigotry. 

Bhansali fictionalises several of Bajirao’s key battles but focuses more on the married Peshwa’s passion for Mastani, the beautiful and courageous half Rajput, half-Muslim princess of Bundelkhand. 

Every emotion in the film – be it love, longing or valour on the battlefield – is translated into a grand and elaborate song-and-dance routine. 

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First Post – Bajirao Mastani review: This Deepika, Ranveer, Priyanka-starrer is the best film of 2015

You sense you are in the presence of something extraordinarily creative the minute you step into the world of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani, a costume drama clothed in the conceit of the times when royal arrogance permitted social injustices as a birthright and brought to incandescent life by a filmmaker who understands the layered language of opulence better than any contemporary filmmaker.

By now everyone knows Bajirao Mastani is the story of forbidden love between Peshwa Bajirao Ballal and Mastani, the warrior-princess who falls in love after he comes to her kingdom’s rescue. It’s also the story of Kashibai, Bajirao’s gamine-like wife who’s the most interesting character in the tempestuous triangle. The three roles are infused with infinite irradiance by Ranveer, Deepika and Priyanka. They bring to the director’s passionate palate an inner conviction that eventually leave us spellbound and hankering for more.

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Hindustan Times – Bajirao Mastani review: Deepika is brighter than Bhansali’s opulence

Bajirao Mastani explores the romantic side of 18th-century Maratha general Bajirao Ballal Bhat, who fought and won 40 battles against the Mughals with an aim to create a unified Hindu kingdom or Akhand Bharatvarsha (united Bharat).

With Mastani’s scarcely recorded history, Bhansali had a beautiful premise of a love story that has never been explored onscreen. However, he makes it a tiring affair: Laden with the burden of self-indulgence and dramatic “dialoguebaazi”, the film drags on at its own sweet and laid-back pace.

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Times of India – 

Straight away, Bajirao Mastani is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s most gorgeous – and most political – movie. Peshwa Bajirao (Ranveer) stretches the Maratha empire across 18th century India, fighting Mughals and rivals for Chhatrapati Shahu (Mahesh). Suddenly, Bundelkhand requests protection, Bajirao approached by its half-Muslim princess Mastani (Deepika).

Bajirao Mastani‘s most outstanding star is its cinematography. Every visual resembles a grand painting – courts with shadows and chandeliers, courtiers with tilaks and teers, chambers gleaming with mirrors, skies blushing with passion. Certain shots – Bajirao leaping up an elephant – stamp themselves onto your memory. 

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