Review: Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani

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There is much to marvel at in Bajirao Mastani.

There are the sets, lavish and excessive and opulent. There are the performances, lavish and excessive and opulent. There are the principal characters, lavish and excessive and opulent. There is the film’s running time, lavish and excessive and opulent. So packed with sheer scale is this film that director Sanjay Leela Bhansali scrimps — only — on the nuance, deciding that detailing is best left to the art directors and to the crafters of hula-hoops for Deepika Padukone’s nose. This is a film painted with the broadest strokes, with characters taking turns speaking in exposition, and in couplets.

bajirao1Which is fine. This is a giant film, a magnum opus drunk on its own magnum-ity, and it is perfectly clear early on, as the narrative races out the gate and gauntlets are flung up in the air and shot through with…

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