Daniel and I went to see Bajirao Mastani
, a an Indian historical epic movie. It's a good movie - a little on the long side (at 2 hours and 40 minutes), but visually gorgeous and with a couple of really excellent acting performances. Trailer below.
Much as I enjoyed the movie, there were a couple of points where I imagined the movie taking a very different turn, and I kind of wish that somebody would go and make those movies. Explaining more involves spoilers, which I'll put under a cut. (I'm not sure how worried one should be about spoilers in this kind of movie - it's not the kind of movie that relies so much on shock and surprise for it's impact. But since I'm on the spoiler-insensitive side anyway, I figure I'll give people a choice.)
Some basic essentials of plot: Bajirao, a great Marathi general, is asked for military aid by a neighboring kingdom. The soldier who comes to request this aid is revealed to be Mastani, the beautiful daughter of the king of this neighboring kingdom. They fight together, she saves his life, they save the kingdom, he accidentally clocks her with his sword and has to carry her back to her father's fortress. You know, the basic stuff that true love is made of.
And this was the point where my brain really wanted to rest of the movie to be "Bajirao and Mastani go and conquer the rest of India together because, damn, Deepika Padukone looks fantastic in chain mail." Alas, the film doesn't go that way - Bajirao gives Mastani a dagger (thus accidentally marrying her according to the customs of her people, a mistake that really anyone could make, because Marathi generals probably hand out daggers like breath mints) and buggers off back to Pune. She decides to follow him, which means no more chain mail and fewer fight scenes. (Mastani does get a fight scene late in the movie where she fights off a score of assassins while carrying her sleeping toddler on one shoulder, which is pretty badass, but still.)
Anyway, Mastani catches up with Bajirao in Pune, where they have a couple of big problems. First is that Bajirao already has a wife, Kashi, who is not thrilled about sharing him. Second, and ultimately much more problematic, is that Mastani is muslim, and Bajirao's mother and brother and all the court brahmins and basically everybody are like, "Nope!"
Kashi eventually decides to make her peace with Mastani, which results in the fabulous dance number below. During which I kept hoping that the movie would turn into either "Kashi and Mastani decide that being co-wives is fantastic and the movie morphs into a happy polyamorous love story" or "Kashi and Mastani decide to ditch this Bajirao guy and run off together." This was not either of those movies. Alas.
The dance number is fabulous, though: