Review : There was a time when SLB used to be a masterful filmmaker, never letting art get in the way of telling an engaging story. Khamoshi and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam are evidence enough to corroborate my above stated views. But, of late, there has been a sense of disappointment in the fact that his movies associate filmmaking with elaborate dance pieces, excessive indulgence and an utter disregard for believable and relatable characters or situations that would strike a chord with an average viewer. Bajirao Mastani, unfortunately, is plagued by these same issues. It shares the same problems as faced with Bombay Velvet; you're left longing for more soul.
That's a shame because BM starts off promisingly enough with a powerful introduction scene for Ranveer Singh, followed by a nicely shot war sequence leading to events that herald the onset of the bittersweet romance between its titular characters. So far, so good. From here on, BM pretty much turns into a snoozefest where conversations between the leads (constantly referring to the sky, moon and blah blah) seem too out of place to evoke any kind of emotion. Perhaps, SLB could have taken cue from Ashutosh Gowarikar's magnificent and far-superior Jodha Akbar where he deftly blends rage on a battlefield with passionate love between its leads. In BM, however, SLB neither successfully establishes a heartfelt love story nor gives us many moments of tension in those war scenes.
All said and done, BM still boasts of beautifully choreographed and performed songs that are a treat to watch and it would be rather unbecoming of me to belittle the efforts gone into conceiving them on screen. Unfortunately, even the performances by the three leads could not help shake off the feeling that the film was more showy than sensitive.
I'm going with 2.5/5 for Bajirao Mastani. How I wished the makers invested more in scripting the film than staging it.