In an unprecedented collaboration, leading Bollywood directors Rohit Shetty, Imtiaz Ali and Sanjay Leela Bhansali managed to achieve a rare 5 star rating for their recent films- Dilwale, Tamasha and Bajirao Mastani. This was done by combining all 3 movies into 1 composite script and then adding up the individual scores.
Bajirao Mastani 2.5 stars + Tamasha 1.5 stars + Dilwale 1 star = 5 stars
The cast of this combined romantic drama is as below; red lines indicate their movie pairings and blue lines their real life relationship statuses.
With the complex dating permutations decoded, let’s dive straight into the movie plot. Bajirao (Ranveer Singh), a great warrior, has been appointed as the Peshwa, a position that everyone in his family has always desired and expected of him. But he had in fact spent his childhood visiting an old storyteller in the hills who used to narrate tales of various products from near and far. He was so influenced by this that he harbored a secret desire of becoming a product manager.
One day, he declares war against Corsica but is unsure whether his army can cover the long distance to France from the grandiose sets constructed by art director Bhansali in Film City, Goregaon.
So he summons Raj (Shahrukh Khan), who along with his brother Vir (Varun Dhawan), runs a garage where chariots of all makes are repaired and remodeled. Raj and Vir, in addition to dominating the chariot modification market, also share a brotherly bond that is the cynosure of siblings all around.
Raj modifies all Bajirao’s chariots such that they reach Corsica in super fast time and a massive war ensues. Under the able supervision of stunt director Rohit Shitty, hundreds of chariots get blown up – twisting, twirling, somersaulting, flipping and exploding spectacularly in slow motion.
Lonely Planet guide in hand, Bajirao steps out for some sightseeing in Corsica when he bumps into the princess Mastani (Deepika Padukone). Anonymous and far from home, on a lark he introduces himself as Ved, a product manager.
They sing a song or two, he takes her through his product catalog, gifts her a dagger and then they part rather abruptly. He returns home to his doting wife Kashi (Priyanka Chopra) who taking advantage of his absence has redesigned their bedroom and also installed a security system to keep tabs on him around the palace.
Meanwhile in Raj ka garage, business is booming and even King (Boman Irani), the local drug dealer is now on the client roster. Raj however hides a deep dark secret – he used to be Kali, a dangerous Bulgarian mafia don. He was also the inventor of a 5-minute speed dating system by which he successfully wooed Meera (Kajol), daughter of a rival mafia don.
Their relationship was smooth until a lover’s tiff ended with, probably a common occurrence when gangsters date, Meera pumping a bullet in Kali’s chest. He survived – heart beating but broken – and left Bulgaria forever.
Back to the present and Vir assists a damsel Ishita (Kriti Sanon) in distress and promptly falls in love. But as it turns out, Ishita is the younger sister of Meera, who now goes by the name Pogo.
Given her bullet-ridden baggage with Raj, who now also goes by the name Ramlal, Meera is vehemently opposed to the Vir-Ishita jodi unless Vir promises to never modify any more chariots in Raj’s garage. Vir goes WTF, walks out and focuses his attention on needling King instead.
Meanwhile back in Corsica, Mastani is getting antsy and decides to make tracks to Bajirao’s home.
Upon arrival she bumps into his mother at the door and gets down to brass tacks – explaining the Corsican tradition where receiving a dagger is the equivalent of a chutki bhar sindoor. The mother, aghast, summarily dismisses her claims and sends her packing.
Undeterred by this slur on her sobriety, Mastani seeks Bajirao and finally connects with him in his palace. Her happiness at reuniting with him is short-lived however – the palace, the weapons, the armor, the power – it dawns on her that he’s not the product manager that he had projected himself to be but just a fearless Peshwa. She is very disappointed and fervently goads him to pursue his original dream of managing multiple products.
Kashi meanwhile is extremely upset at the attention that Bajirao is giving Mastani. To calm herself, she takes up yoga and also practices deep breathing by blowing out lamps with a long pipe. Mastani is not happy either so she joins Kashi on the yoga mat and they also do a dance together, which I can only assume was awesome since I had to step out to get coconut water and soya hotdogs.
Back in Goregaon, matters between Kali, Vir and King have reached boiling point and a grand showdown occurs. Kali puts on his hoodie and beats up All The King’s Men. King tries to shoot Kali but Meera dives in between them and now with the score even at one bullet each, she lets bygones be bygones and swipes Kali’s profile photo to the right. A thrilled Vir and Ishita start making plans for their Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
At the palace, things are not as rosy. Bajirao finds himself stuck between career choices, upset women, an overacting storyteller and nagging family members, and decides to go on another war to get some much-needed space-time. So he imparts a ‘till we meet again’ weather code to Mastani and leaves to blow up a last batch of chariots.
His family, pissed at Mastani for messing his climb up the war-porate ladder, imprisons her. Bajirao wins the war but starts losing the battle and gets bedridden with an unexplained fever; his mother, Kashi and his doctors can only watch helplessly as he pines for Mastani. He monitors the weather from his tent and she does the same from her prison cell and in the poignant final scenes, at the occurrence of the predetermined pattern, they call it a day.
With no more fanciful sets to build or vehicles left to blow up, the directorial baton gets handed to screenplay director Imtiaz. Ranbir and Deepika are sent on stage to complete a vague pantomime gibberish that they had started at the beginning of the movie. And then as the curtains fall and credits and disclaimers roll by, I am gratified to note that no animals were hurt in the making of these films. Looking at all the pounding heads around me, I wish the same could be said for the humans watching them.