Bajirao Mastani (India)

by Serge Rakhlin January 15, 2017
A scene from Bajirao Mastani

Bajirao Mastani is an Indian film in the popular Bollywood genre of historical epic with a strong love story component. The lavishly staged picture was directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali who is also credited with composing the score for the film.

The action takes place in the early XVIII century at the court of Maratha King (Mahesh Manjrekar). The king appoints as his new prime-minister the young Bajirao (Ranveer Singh) instead of more experienced politicians when the young man passes the test of splitting a peacock feather by arrow. In the king's eyes the feat shows Bajirao’s spiritual wisdom and knowledge of weaponry.

Ten years later, Bajirao’s wife Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra, Quantico) is visited by her widowed friend Bhanu (Snehlata Girish Vasaikar), whose husband was accused of spying and was executed by order of Bajirao.

The film was in development for 15 years. The start of production was delayed many times and the cast underwent several changes. Filming started in mid 2014 after the casting of principal roles was finally approved. The film was released in India in December  of 2015 and was met with rave reviews. In particular critics had warm words for the direction, cinematography, production design, costumes, music and acting.  Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh were especially praised for their portrayal of the main characters.

Bajirao Mastani  has grossed over $52 millions in US dollars at the Indian box-office and became not only artistic but also a commercial success as one of the highest grossing Indian films in history. The film also won several prizes and awards at most prestigious Indian film festivals and award ceremonies for director, actors and in technical categories. The international film industry publications and the general press gave the film mainly positive coverage.