Dilwale’ is for masses, ‘Bajirao Mastani’ for the class audience
It was a good Friday at the Bollywood box office with big budget films ‘Dilwale’ and ‘Bajirao Mastani’ raking in over Rs.20 crore and Rs.12 crore respectively on the opening day itself.
It was termed as a clash of the titans when Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Dilwale’ opposite Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s ‘Bajirao Mastani’ were going to be released on the same day. Eventually, both the films seem to have found their own audience. Industry experts say though ‘Dilwale’ has opened to packed houses, the numbers will only get better for ‘Bajirao Mastani’.
On the other hand, there is Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who at least is trying to give us something new, even if it is a little reminiscent of Jodhaa Akbar.
There are two gorgeous women – Deepika Padukone is a dancing, fighting, superstar. Priyanka Chopra is both fun and funny as the cuckolded first wife. Then there’s Ranveer Singh, who has clearly worked hard on his character of Peshwa Bajirao. The accent is right, the physicality is perfect, the acting is restrained. The battles are designed as ballets, the costumes are brilliant, and the dances are scintillating. So what if the film is not historically accurate?
At least there are notions of a Hindu nationhood, there is talk of religion and love (rang ka koi dharma nahin, dharm ka koi rang nahin) and questions of inclusiveness (hamari ladai aapse hai, aapke dharam se nahin).
In this age of questions about the idea of India, it is good to hear a mainstream movie discussing how there is no distance between Durga and dargah. And not dialogues such as this gem: Woh fast hai to aap furious mat ho.