It is a mark of a quality film when you are still thinking of moments or scenes days after it has been viewed; with haunting visuals and a killer soundtrack, Bajirao Mastani is a film that left me deep in thought as soon as the final scene concluded.
I loved how the film felt like a novel where it was more the unspoken that resonated – this is not to say the dialogue missed its mark but there was a real sense that Bajirao, Kashi and Mastani were battling demons even when they are not on screen with plot and circumstances culminating nicely in dramatic peaks for the characters.
Two points really stood out for me; one was how modern the film felt -whether it is the messengers and the Hall of Mirrors which beam the happenings straight to Kashi’s cloth screen that felt like a social media of sorts or the feeling of lightness to the density and opulence presented that kept the pace moving. The second was the technical – from sound design to cinematography to set design – every element of this cosmos gave the appearance of being considered and complete.
This is by no means a flawless film – the second half falters and the commercial demands clearly act as a plough to the creative ambition of Bajirao Mastani. Yet this is amongst Bhansali’s best work – seeing him exercising a lot of restraint, curated and allowing that unique bohemian sensibility to shimmer in key scenes and songs. Not only that, this is amongst the best Hindi films of 2015 and well worth a watch.