In the year 2002 it was published in a magazine that Sanjay Leela Bhansali has announced his dream project “Bajirao Mastani” with Salman/Aishwarya playing the title roles. The hangover of “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” was lingering in the minds of cinema lovers. The phenomenal chemistry between Salman & Aishwarya was unmatched. Their’s was considered as a Rich Pair. The two were having a strong affair which was inching towards marriage. As fate would have it, the duo had a highly publicised break up. Sanjay was heart-broken as his periodical Magnum Opus was conceptualised with these two playing the lead roles of Peshwa Bajirao [1700-1740], a Marathi General & PM to the 4th Maratha Chhatrapati and Mastani [his second wife]. Bhansali decided to cast Kareena Kapoor as Mastani but developed apprehensions later. He wanted Salman/Kareena as an exclusive pair under his banner but could not prevent other producers from signing them. He shelved the project and continued working on other projects.
An ardent fan of his work, I tried to search for the legends of Bajirao/Mastani and I remember very clearly that I was unable to gather a desired result for these two periodical personalities. I was presented with a rather obscure image of Mastani as a mere courtesan/dancer in Chhatrasali court. Today I approached the net once again and thanks to Bhansali, I have a clarity regarding the two Lovers/Couple/Soldiers.
In 2014, Bhansali launched the project finally with Ranveer Singh as Bajirao, Deepika Padukone as Mastani & Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai (1st wife of Bajirao). Stuck in the pipelines for 10 years, this Masterpiece is finally releasing in Dec this year. Bajirao is shown as an uncelebrated character;a diligent son; a responsible husband & father; a passionate lover- a leader who falls from grace. Bhansali is known for his magnanimous style of making movies;he holds extensive workshops for his cast to get into the characters; Ranveer has gone bald; trained hard to pick the ancient Marathi accent altering his voice. He reportedly went the Heath Ledger way and locked himself up in an anonymous hotel for 3 weeks: he wears a particular deodorant every time he has a shot (a weird way he adopted from Vidya Balan). It must have been a gigantic exercise for him to channelize the hyper/over energetic Ranveer; to convert his highly urbanised look into an 18th century General.
Mastani was a beautiful woman & a skilled dancer. Daughter of a Hindu King/ Muslim mother, she was a brave soldier who accompanied Bajirao on his military campaigns. Deepika has received training in Kathak/horse riding & along with Ranveer has learnt ancient Indian martial Art. It will be interesting to see Priyanka Chopra as Ranveer’s wife after “Dil Dhadakne Do” where they demonstrated exemplary chemistry as brother sister. He has picturised a song with both the lead actresses a’ la “Dola re Dole” style.
He is investing in the magical pair of Ranveer/Deepika who mesmerized the audiences in “Goliyon ki Rasleela- Ramleela”. Recognised for his massive budgets, he will surely not disappoint his fans when they flood the cinema halls.
As an addict of his work, I foresee a Classical; with first-class sets; paramount Drama; songs & dance picturised in hypnotic choreography; glittering costumes & acting par excellence. Counting the days till its Dec-18/2015.