This is the week for movie reviews – both catch-up and newly watched ones – today’s review falling into that latter category. Because what I have to write about today is what I just watched – and I cannot but help want to rush to put into some words – as inadequate as they might be – my deep admiration for this indisputably and gloriously epic love-story in the time of the Marathas in the northwestern part of India.
And the rendition of this famed love-story is no ordinary one; it is indeed an extraordinary one. It is a love-story that is most irreverent and untamable, no matter the circumstance. It is a love-story that transcends status, faith, culture, familial relations, political connections, geographic boundaries, and any other societal divisions one can imagine. Set in the eighteenth century in feudal India, this is the kind of love-story that legends are made of. When the name of both lovers is spoken as though it were one name, you can feel it in your bones from the very first moment that this is a love that is doomed, but a love that will go down in the annals of history to set the bar for what it means to have loved and lost.
Frame all this in the most grandiose of cinematic sets – both indoors and outdoors – that include masterfully orchestrated battle scenes, breathtakingly beautiful palace interiors, exquisite costumes and jewelry, and a cast of convincing actors, and you have an epic motion picture. Add to that a great musical score, moving dialogue, and a pulsating chemistry between Singh and Padukone, and you have a winner. Not without flaw, but trivial enough to be negligible, the story of Bajirao Mastani follows the trajectory of the lovers, whom nothing can separate, and whose destinies seem intertwined.
High marks, all around – to the directorial prowess, the spectacular cinematography, and the skillful acting. And a strong word of recommendation to see it on the big screen at the movies, please. Anything less would be cheating yourself of a most fantastic viewing experience.