Baahubali: The Conclusion Review
Indian cinema often falls for the lure of the epic Mahabharata to tell stories, and although it has twists and turns that are better than Lord Of The Rings, its religious connotation gets in the way of story-telling and it remains confined to television. Bahubali challenged that notion and stepped happily into Fantasy territory and surpassed every expectation. Bahubali 2 does one better. Not only does it keep the story alive, but does it brilliantly. It has the crown and the jewels and the Amar Chitra Katha style palaces, but thankfully no expense seemed to have been spared in creating those palaces. No longer do the palaces feel like a high school set, nor do the soldiers seem to carry cardboard swords. The armies look substantial and their armour too. When boulders fall, they don't look like painted over papier mache. The fabulous special effects make it look real.
That said, let us look at the story. You last watched Bahubali who grew up among the tribal people, carry the gigantic Shivlinga over his shoulders, rescue his people and his mom from Bhallaladeva and win all hearts. He needs to avenge his father the legendary Bahubali who was betrayed by Bhallaladeva.
But even if you missed the original film, this film, Bahubali 2, satisfies your thirst for fantasy, blood and gore and romance. The audience is in for a longish (167 minutes) epic story that spans more than twenty five years.
Prabhas is magnificent as Bahubali, and the director knows how to earn whistles from the audience. Right from the 'Hero's Entry' to earning 'Glory as Hero' to using his power wisely as heroes must, the director manages to check each box. Prabhas climbing on the elephant's back (and you have seen mahouts and his young kids do the same if you have visited Thailand, Sri Lanka or even Kerala) is a sight worthy of claps and whistles of approval. Right then you know that this film is going to be awesome. The camera angles get his stature right as well!
The romance between Devsena and Bahubali does go on for long and you wish they'd get on with it, because you want to see bloody confrontation between cousins. The gorgeous Rana Daggubati plays the villain so beautifully, you forget his 'good cop', 'hero' roles. It is because Bhallaladeva is so wicked and powerful, that when Bahubali wages an epic battle do we begin cheering for Bahubali.
Bahubali and Katappa are shown traveling the countryside before Bahubali is crowned, and the funny sequence remains funny. Thankfully it is not Brahmanandan style comedy, and it stays true to the story. Very well done, indeed.
How Bahubali earns Devasena's love goes on and on and on and you begin to wish there were a break, preferably Game Of Throne style. The break does come and we are glad to see the epic battle between the Pindari bandits and the locals of Kuntal, of course Bahubali comes to the rescue and how! The choreography of the battle makes you want to go, 'Hmmm!'
Thankfully the romance ends and the machinations for the throne begin. Also Bahubali's wife gets pregnant rather instantly, but you are not given a chance to giggle because you begin to want to set Nasty Nasser's moustache on fire. He performs so well. The conniving father and son duo manage to get Bahubali out of the palace and favor from the mighty Sivagami.
You do gag at how much of a goody two shoes this Bahubali is, and long for something awful to happen that would trigger a revenge. Then baby Orcs show up as if they had lost their way from Lord Of The Rings! (The same ugly dudes were in the first film, I believe). When Bahubali is fighting them in his own inimitable ways, more bad things happen and even worse things happen and then Bahubali shows up to fight the final epic battle which the good must win, of course.
I shan't tell you any more, but suffice it to say that there are helpful coconut trees, slow motion hits on Bahubali's biceps that will make you wince in pain, there is a sexy whiteness to Bhallaladeva's beard. Katappa's beard also turns from black to white, details are taken care of - like the number of earrings in Katappa's ears, although there is one female extra (a villager) who does not age at all with the story.
The slow motion capture of scenes is exactly what you will see in great graphic novels. You will gasp and sigh and clap (even when you are watching the movie in an uptown multiplex). Watch it on the biggest screen near you. The joy of watching an epic fantasy film will be complete.
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