Ashdoc's movie review---Bajirao Mastani

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by ashdoc, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

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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. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Not a big of Bhansali. I have read the film is too long which makes it boring.
     
  4. Shikha Rathi

    Shikha Rathi New Member

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    Publicity of movie is important but No one has right to touch the culture. Royal ladies never dance like a dancing girl. Who have not seen the royal culture can accept but everybody can't accept it, even I can't accept. Royal families have some culture to follow so for just publicity we shouldn't do it because movies makes an impact on society and definitely on new generation.
     
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  5. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Did you go and see Royal ladies not dancing? They would probably not do mujra in front of 1000 people but they can do whatever they want in their private lives.

    Art and dance were learnt by many royal woman in the past.
     
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  6. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    Don't they give a disclaimer for historical inaccuracies, i think they did with Asoka the great.
     
  7. Shikha Rathi

    Shikha Rathi New Member

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    Definitely they did give disclaimer for historical Inaccuracies, but is this sufficient?
     
  8. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    Meanwhile at Secularabad.......... Aaakar Patel :laugh:

    Bajirao the great Hindu nationalist — That’s only in the movies

    I think I’ll write about Bajirao Mastani today. I have not seen the movie, nor do I intend to (only one Gujarati makes the cut as director of watchable pap and that is neither Sanjay Leela Bhansali nor Sajid Nadiadwala, but Manmohan Desai, a true master). However, I have read Bajirao Mastani’s reviews and one of them said to my alarm, that the film “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”.

    Whoa, hold it right there. First, the Marathas only ever wanted a Marathi kingdom for themselves. It was not unified, hardly akhand and never Hindu. The Marathas were despised by other Hindu rulers, and disliked by non-Marathi Hindus as well, as history shows us.

    Bajirao and the Marathas campaigned for one thing alone, and it was called chauth. It meant a fourth of all revenue from other kingdoms, no matter what the faith of king and subject, and at collecting this Bajirao and the rest were efficient.

    Maratha extortion caused Jaipur’s Ishwari Singh to commit suicide in December 1750. Sir Jadunath Sarkar (the Manmohan Desai of our historians) writes of what followed in his four-volume classic, Fall of the Mughal Empire: “On 10 January, some 4,000 Marathas entered Jaipur… (and) despising the helpless condition of a king propped up by their arms, seemed to have behaved towards Jaipur as a city taken by storm. Suddenly the pent-up hatred of the Rajputs burst forth; a riot broke out at noon, and the citizens attacked the unsuspecting Marathas. For nine hours slaughter and pillage raged.”

    The Marathas first invaded Bengal in 1742. Of their behaviour, the New Cambridge History of India tells us that “all authorities, both Indian and European are agreed”. A contemporary writer calls them “slayers of pregnant women and infants” and Sarkar has recorded their gang-rape of Hindu women, inexplicably stuffing the mouths of their victims with dust and breaking their arms and tying them behind their backs. The only Indian to try and protect his subjects against the Marathas incidentally, was the Mughal governor Ali Vardi Khan. So much for Akhand Bharat. But I must say that the Marathas did not behave differently from any other ruler or warrior community, and the idea of a unified Hindu sentiment exists only in the imagination of those who get their history from the movies.

    What the Marathas did striking north from the south, the Sikhs did in the opposite direction (they called their extortion ‘rakhi’, or protection, and it was 10% for all Indians). It is undeniably true on the other hand that the Marathas were originals.

    It is important for this romance between Bajirao and Mastani that she knew how to ride well because there were no palanquins and howdahs travelling with the Marathas as there were with the Mughals.

    The Marathas were the Mongols of South Asia, always on horseback, and with no infantry and no giant camp behind. Even the scavengers who followed them around, the bargis, rode. When the monsoons ended, the Maratha army, about 40,000 men, rode across the Narmada and Tapi, the border that marked off the Deccan, and attacked ‘Hindustan’.

    Shivaji always organised this on a particular day: Dussehra (Bal Thackeray continued this tradition of declaring war on other Indians with his fiery Dussehra speeches). After the death of the peasant king, power passed to the Brahmin peshwas of whom the best was Bajirao. As the Mughal fighting ability and finances (the two being interchangeable) declined after Aurangzeb, the Marathas began penetrating increasingly into hitherto unknown territory in the north. It was the young Bajirao, then only in his teens, who determined, rightly, in one of these raids that the Mughals had gone soft and could no longer defend the realm.

    From this point on, the Marathas began holding ground instead of just taking their horses back. It is why we see Marathi names like Holkar and Scindia and Gaekwad in parts of India they do not naturally belong. Everyone grabbed what they could and held onto it, there was no Hindu or Bharat angle to any of it.

    Bajirao had one good battlefield victory, against Chin Qilich Khan, first Nizam of Hyderabad. It was a positional win, meaning the arrangement of Bajirao’s force gave no space for Khan and he gave up without much fighting. Like chess. A similar situation came in Panipat, when Abdali positioned the Marathas out. Bravely, the Marathas chose to fight and were slaughtered. Scindia (Jyotiraditya’s ancestor) and Holkar, it may interest the reader, fled the field, and the man who helped Abdali with supplies ensuring his win was Ala Singh. Abdali rewarded him by making him Maharaja of Patiala, Captain Amarinder Singh’s ancestor.

    Can you spot any Hindu or nationalist angle to any of it? No, because it exists only in the movies.
     
  9. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    What more? They wanted to make a romantic bollywood movie.........well duh............they wanted a theme and they got one. Rest is history :laugh:
     
  10. Samar Rathi

    Samar Rathi Regular Member

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    I think those pseudo secular relate everything to Mujara so don't mind them.

    They can do whatever they want in their private lives but creating a movie on falsify facts is a distortion of history and wrong message being delivered to the new generation.

    I think you adjoining two different topic all together ,it's not about restriction on royal women but more about distorted history being utilized for cheap public stunt.

    Exactly that's why i never watch historical movie as that's not their forte. Story like they have to get matured first.
     
  11. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Sapola Akaar Patel is not happy because Bajirao culled Mughals.

    The scoundrel do not want to see the movie because history associated with the name Bajirao do not suit his secularism.

    People like Akaar Patel are the reason I abuse secularism and its compulsive custodians without guilt.
     
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  12. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    What is the wrong message? That dancing is bad?

    It is just a movie and that too stupid Bhansali brand. You must be naive to take him seriously.
     
  13. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    The dance is factually inaccurate. Pinga is a marathi folk dance which is dedicated to the goddess. Maharashtrian Brahmin culture in the time of Bajirao was chaste and the nauvari or nine yard saree would never show skin. Bhansali has gone one step further and mixed the lavani dance form in a song called Pinga. No royal woman or even any ordinary woman from a maharashtrian brahmin family of the bygone era would be dancing a lavani.
    That said i found the dance and expressions of the two heroines nice from an artistic point of view so bhansali can "almost" be forgiven for his blunder and factual inaccuracies of showcasing a culture which is tradition driven.
     
  14. Samar Rathi

    Samar Rathi Regular Member

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    I do not care about stupid films but i am trying to understand and trying to put those people views who are oppose to this.

    I don't mind on personal level but i am trying to counter the narrative of those who are trying to nullify those people who got hurt by those cheap mujra scenes.
     
  15. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Good info.

    Still it is Bhansali movie and has to be high on emotions rather than factual accuracy. If you don't like it just don't watch the movie- it is not that difficult.
     
  16. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Learning classical dance forms was part of Hindu culture and it was related to worship of Ishwara. Royal families promoted it and their women were being formally educated in the same.

    People those who are raising objection look to me have surrendered their dignity and cultural continuity to foreign influences. Sick
     
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  17. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    If you ego is so weak that it gets hurt by a stupid movie than such people should suckle their mama and stay in their homes.

    People are getting hurt all the time these days. They should write articles and put down explanations like @Rashna did rather than get offended. They can counter it through many other means instead of getting hurt!
     
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  18. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    I haven't seen it, but i have seen the songs on youtube..The music for Pinga has been lifted from three marathi songs.
    I don't usually watch opulent movies so i don't know if this one will make it to my watchlist.
    People can decide what they like only after they see it? So....

     
  19. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    These are the same people who want to disown naked paintings all over Indian temples!!
     
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  20. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    :pound: ironic that you are complementing the perpetually offended @Rashna for not getting offended.
     
  21. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    There was no man around when those women in that song were dancing. This is absolute bullshit to make a claim here if they used to dance or not in those times, because even going by what the director has depicted it looks like a private gathering of women in a court surrounded by massive walls.
     

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