Bajirao Mastani.

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Three factors got me out of my comfort zone to watch this film earlier today. The first one was Looney’s post in his blog about his experience with the film in Fremont, where he claims that the Indians have taken over life, the second was the fact that I had not seen a film in a mighty long time thanks to being indisposed and the third, just the inspiration I needed to get into trousers and go out, a call from my partner in crime Ramesh that he had already got the tickets and that I must rush to the theater.

I am glad that I went out because it helped me to figure out what could be objectionable about a historical film based on real characters and places. Having seen the film, I need now to read more about the story before I can come to some conclusion, but the experience of the film itself is simply one of increase in my admiration for the character Bajirao.

The story is basically on the eternal theme of an eternal triangle. To understand the nuances of this particular theme I am particularly well placed living as I do in Pune and among Maharashtrian Brahmins and also because of my understanding ot the nuances of the Rajput / Muslim liaisons of the period as well as my interest in Indian History.

The three main leads and without exception, all the supporting cast deliver very powerful performances under the able direction of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The cinematography is outstanding and the juxtaposition of the period to standing edifices like the Shaniwar Wada has been very effectively managed.

If I have a grouse, it is that at least two song and dance scenes could have been done away without affecting the storyline which would have also cut down the viewing time by a few minutes from the two hours and forty minutes that I spent!

If you are interested in a piece of very important Indian history of the period of Maratha ascendence and Mughal decline, this film is worth viewing.