6 reasons why Bajirao Mastani didn't work for me...

I hadn't planned that I would be writing a post on Bajirao Mastani on the first day of the year. I had assumed I would be writing some poetry (most probably Haiku), or  a Book Review.

I hadn't planned to watch Bajirao Mastani on first of January 2016 either.

Well, I did watch the movie.

Bajirao Mastani - Theatrical Release Poster

Before starting on my reasons for being disappointed with the movie, I have to clarify that I realize I am over-reacting here.
I am over-reacting because I had gone to watch this movie, assuming that I would love it.

I have watched all the movies that Sanjay Leela Bhansali has directed (except Saawariya) and liked (and usually loved) each one.

From what I had seen of Bajirao Mastani in publicity videos, etc., it seemed like a typical Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, with its grandeur and strong emotions. And it is doing great at the box office.
Thus, I knew I'd be lost in the world of Bajirao and Mastani, and come out of the movie theatre still intoxicated with the emotions of the movie.

As I said, I had exceptionally high expectation.

Before you read on, be warned that there are spoilers ahead.

Okay, now on to why Bajirao Mastani didn't work for me...

  1. The first thing that disturbed me is the character of Mastani (played by Deepika Padukone).Mastani is introduced as a strong woman, a warrior. I can just begin to imagine the kind of strength - mental and physical - that would have gone into becoming one.She gives it all up, to live a life of more-or-less exile, shunned by society, lonely. All for the love of a man. Her only aim in life after that is to be with this man.Strength and Sense, both lost.

    Mastani (Image Source)
  2. I would have accepted this craziness, had I been convinced by their love. I am not.There is Devdas crazy, there is Ram-Leela crazy and then there is Bajirao Mastani crazy. The last one goes beyond the other two, at least in theatrics.Make me, as a viewer, feel their love, and I would have welcomed the craziness.

    Devdas (Image Source)

    Goliyon ki raasleela Ram-Leela (Image Source)
  3. A little too much seems too similar to some previous movies of Bhansali.There is of course the song where Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone dance together. So similar to Madhuri and Aishwarya in Devdas.Madhuri danced to 'Hara Rang'. Deepika has 'Mohe Rang Do Lal'.Ranveer seems to be doing another version of 'Tattad Tattad'.I was even reminded of 'Dhol Baaje' by one of the songs.

    Image Source
  4. Coming back to Priyanka and Deepika dancing together in 'Pinga'. Too reminiscent of Madhuri and Aishwarya of Devdas' Dola Re.Madhuri and Aishwarya have accepted each other when they are dancing together. There is a warmth and friendship that they share.Priyanka and Deepika, on the other hand, have reached a shaky truce. There is no affection.Well, it seems like a song that didn't need to be there.As I said, convince me of the emotions, I will accept the drama.
    Paro and Chandramukhi in Devdas (Image Source)
    Kashi and Mastani in Bajirao Mastani (Image Source)
  5. Mastani is the daughter of a king. Where is he through it all.She's mistreated and rejected, then she's grudgingly accepted.He's nowhere to be seen, after happily accepting her decision to land at Bajirao's house unannounced.
    Mastani (Image Source)
  6. The climax made me cringe, literally.There is no build up to the love of Bajirao and Mastani. Just assume that they love each other to eternity.It just seemed like a crush gone crazy, when words like Ishq and Mohabbat are uttered rather flippantly.
    Image Source
The one saving grace is the role of Kashibai. Interestingly, I am watching Quantico as I am writing this. Much as the role of Kash is played beautifully by Priyanka Chopra, the contrast of Kashi of Bajirao Mastani and Alex of Quantico is made me appreciate the acting more.
Priyanka Chopra as Alex Parish in Quantico (Image Source)
Prianka Chopra as Kashibai in Bajirao Mastani (Image Source)

I think I am going to watch Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas again soon to get over the shock of watching Bajirao Mastani.

©Nimi Arora


  1. Nimmi History has been grossly butchered here, for one Mastani was not Chhatrasaal's daughter but a courtesan in his court. He gifts her to Bhaji Rao.
    Mastani did not enter Pune, actually there is a Mastani Mahal in the outskirts of Pune.
    Kashi Bhai and Mastani did not meet each other.
    Now for the pinga, the choreography was like a Lavani and not a pinga.

    1. Thanks for the additional info, Sharmila. I will include a screenshot of your comment in the post.


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