Bajirao Mastani BAJIRAO MASTANI is colourfully dramatic and gripping, but lacks depth! Exhibiting grandeur in every which way, this Bhansali’s magnum opus is a visual treat to say the least. Despite being a chapter in the so-called boring history, it’s extremely riveting from start till the end. But with flaws galore and over-dramatization, the film ends up being a case of average content in a splendid packing. Albeit, Bhansali’s masterful touch and the bright performances make the film worth a watch. The story is based on the love that flourishes between Peshwa Baji Rao (Ranveer Singh) and his second wife Mastani (Deepika Padukone) in ancient India - a land of war, passion, grandeur and love. Director Bhansali’s fervour is evident in every frame of the film which is filled with exuberance of each emotion, be it love, hatred, anger, folly or sheer visual appeal. There isn’t a dull moment ever. The developments are delicious and despite being mostly predictable, the film maintains a sense of eagerness in the audience throughout. There are extravagant sets adorned with intensely choreographed fight sequences where each shot is more grand than the previous one. Bhansali yet again relies upon poetic dialogue to sustain the heft in the screenplay, and also match with the magnificence of the visuals. What he does new this time is incorporate CGI for war scenes, which are perhaps a first in a Bhansali cinema. While the scenes are adequately presented, the VFX isn’t consistently up to the mark, thereby making the choreography of these scenes all the more apparent. It’s the script that’s a failure here. It struggles to do justice to any particular genre. Neither does it excel as a war film, nor is it complex enough to bring out a love story fully. While it fakes a lot of it, there isn’t real heft in the narrative. It’s just that the screenplay has tremendous engagement quotient, with a lot happening all the time, keeping the audiences glued. Then the songs are gorgeously presented, and despite not being the chartbuster kind, some of them surely are hummable. The performances are top-notch. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has a knack of bringing out the best of his artists and he does this yet again. Ranveer Singh is the soul of this film. His presence is magnetic and his mannerisms are believably regal. He doesn’t play the quintessential ruler, and brings a novel flavour to his character, making it all the more interesting. His best performance thus far. Deepika, goes without saying, is superb too. But the film belongs to Ranveer and he steals the show in every scene he appears. Priyanka Chopra’s act has terrific layers, making her performance truly laudable. Her poised depiction of an emotional struggle of Bajirao’s first wife just reassures you of her tremendous skills. Tanvi Azmi’s act is consistently powerful. All others do justice. In all, BAJIRAO MASTANI is definitely something not to be missed. While you won’t come out overwhelmed, you will find plenty to like. Worth a watch!