With both films set for a Friday release - and the makers being courteous enough to each other and not declaring "competition" formally - the atmosphere is undoubtedly heavy with excitement and expectations.
While Dilwale is banking on SRK and Kajol's timeless chemistry, Bajirao Mastani is betting high on the sex appeal of real-life couple Ranveer and Deepika.
One is action-packed in Rohit Shetty's signature style, another embellished with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's classical touch. The response to the films' music has been average, and from the audience's perspective, neither has a clear edge over the other.
Now the trailer is where Bajirao Mastani has an upper hand. The editor has done a good job in giving us glimpses into what promises to be a larger-than-life experience.
Dilwale, on the other hand, for some unfathomable reason, came up with a trailer featuring the Aadhaar card and "maang mein sindoor" jokes.
The songs of Dilwale being released during the last-minute promotions are also leading to criticism. On the other hand, the sets of the period drama have been a feast for the eyes since day one.
It's flying cars and sexy bikes versus galloping horses and royal elephants.
They both have their following, but it's certainly not the vehicle the mega-budget films are riding on.
Rohit Shetty movies can, at times, have one too many clichés, and Bhansali also has a tendency to become excessively melodramatic. Shetty's action sequences can be seen as being repetitive and Bhansali's art-school sensibilities might seem overworked.
So either script needs to be chiselled to outshine the other because both captains might be aces at their skills, but viewers have been witness to their flaws too.
Too many expectations
We have certain well-defined expectations when it comes to SRK-Kajol starrers. A little less magic can go very wrong with the fans who may overlook sins for this one treat. Not even a treat - if you are spending on a film starring the couple, romance becomes a staple.
So what Dilwale is relying on has to work come what may, because I doubt the audience will spare the filmmakers for messing up something almost sacrosanct.
Bajirao Mastani, on the other hand, is also loaded with similar expectations of mellowed intensity. However, if Ranveer and Deepika set the screen on fire like they did in Ram Leela, they are just inches away from joining the league of their seniors. The film better be "mohabbat with the subject" and not "aiyaashi".
Dilwale has a trump card in the lead pair up its sleeve, and Bajirao Mastani is wearing a similar card one on its sabre. Bhansali's film is high on risk and Shetty's on stakes. It's a gamble, and it might bring back the Gadar-Lagaan trend or a case of double disappointment, similar to the Jab Tak Hai Jaan-Son Of Sardaar debacle.
I am super-excited and have booked my tickets for both. I will watch Bajirao Mastani followed by Dilwale for reasons of my own. But after the recent success that earned a lot of undeserved "dhan", l wish we end the year being awestruck, twice.