After years of will-it-be-made-or-won't-it, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's epic Bajirao Mastani is now close to completion. Its lead actor Ranveer Singh, Bajirao of the title, revealed the poster of the film with the ominous tweet: "A storm is coming."
Production house Eros followed it up with the first looks of the lead characters - Ranveer as Bajirao, Deepika Padukone as his second wife Mastani who is also a warrior princess and Priyanka Chopra as the first wife Kashibai. Director Bhansali, who calls this his dream project, said it was a challenge to make the film.
The movie’s shooting will continue till August this year. It releases in December.
The first looks are intense and just reinforce the point made by Ranveer in his tweets. While Deepika is in complete battle regalia, Priyanka also seems to be toying with the idea.
The man happiest today is the director Bhansali. The film is nothing short of a dream project for the filmmaker.
“Absolutely, you can call it that,” says Bhansali. He initially wanted to make the film in 2003. “Yes, I had thought of making it right after Devdas (2002). But, of course, I couldn’t [make the film that time] due to many reasons,” he says.
Initially, it was rumoured that Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan would play the lead roles in the film. Later, Kareena Kapoor Khan was set to star alongside Salman, while Rani Mukerji was supposed to play Bajirao’s first wife. Then, several actors, including Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif were rumoured to have been approached for the film.
“Many people said that
ab toh ye film kabhi banegi hi nahi
(now the film would never get made). It has been stuck for so many years,” says Bhansali.
But why did he decide to make it now, after so many years? “After doing Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013), I felt I was in the right frame of mind to take on a big film, before I went back to my other comparatively smaller films,” says the filmmaker. Despite the movie’s elaborate war sequences, Bhansali adds that they (his team) “actually shot for all the major sequences”, rather than using computer graphics and special effects. The filmmaker also admits that since he knew his actors — Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra — from the time they starred in his last movie, making such a “challenging film” became easier.
(With inputs from Prashant Singh)