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One of my all-time favorite classic movies is showing this weekend, very likely at a theater near you!
It’s Billy Wilder’s 1959 farce Some Like It Hot, starring Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as a pair of Chicago musicians who accidentally witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and are forced to go on the run in disguise with an all-girl band, whose lead singer just happens to be Marilyn Monroe at her most adorable.
This is probably Wilder’s most direct tribute to his mentor and idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with its cross-dressing, mistaken identities, and unexpectedly sweet romance, all with a frisson of danger, both emotional and physical.
This is a special presentation by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) through Fathom Events, which means that it may be livestreaming to a movie theater near you so you can see it as it was meant to be seen — on a big screen with a hysterically laughing audience.
The two Fathom Events shows are this Sunday 6/11 and Wednesday 6/14, so I’ll be doing my usual spoiler-filled essay on Saturday 6/17. See you then!
- The musical score is sublime (jukebox 1 and jukebox 2)
- Best Number: Gajanana (entire song)
- Most Boring Number : Mohe Rang Do Lal, even Bajirao looks like he is going to fall asleep at any moment.
- Most relatable character : It has to be Priyanka Chopra’s Kashibai.
- Best Dressed : Kashibai, I loved her traditional Marathi outfits, from the nose-pins to the nine-yard sarees to the traditional khopa, or the braided bun.
- Character that defies Credulity: Mastani, she was drowning in a sea of fabric and seemed weighed down by the jewelry, especially the nose rings. You would die in Pune in summer (90s in shade, if you are lucky) if you wore all those layers. Also, her pedantic lectures about Ishq (romantic love) to her parents, Bajirao’s terrifying mother and Chattrapati Shahu defy both common sense and credulity.
- Dialog seems at times overwrought and overdone, see the point above.
- Hottest scene: Kashibai sneaking up on Bajirao in the bath. (around 0.56 in the Albela Sajan video)
- A paragraph about where Bajirao fits in the history (chronologically and in terms of importance) of India would have been useful either at the beginning and/or the end of the movie. A prologue and/or an epilogue, if you will.
- All in all, despite some missteps Sanjay Leela Bhansali manages to hit many high notes. The main love story is not as riveting as it could have been, I found it hard to root for Bajirao and Mastani. However the resulting fallout and conflict with orthodox religious hierarchy of Pune and Bajirao’s own family is believable and depressing familiar. Even today an interfaith match like Bajirao Mastani wouldn’t go down too well among most Indian families.
Musical Score : A
Dialog : B-
Overall : B +
I will expand on these points in my upcoming posts. Until then I leave you with a poster of Bajirao Mastani starring my kittehs. As always questions and comments are welcome.
By two_kittehs ( Picture by: two_kittehs)