Critic - No.104

Director: S.S.Rajamouli
Casts: Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Sathyaraj, Ramya Krishnan, Naasar, Tamannah
Music: M.M. Keeravani
Language: Tamil
Genre: Period Drama

Plot: The film continues from the prequel as Kattapa (Sathyaraj) narrates the past to Shivu (Prabhas) on how he ended up killing his father Bahubali (Prabhas). The story then travels into the complicated mystery behind the death of Bahubali and unveils the crux on whether Devasena (Anushka) will be freed from the slavery of the evil King Bhalla (Rana).

The best thing about Bahubali is that it is not a pretentious piece of epic work that follows the style of Hollywood period films. Rajamouli stays faithful to the culture and spins the story based on mythological characters and fantasy elements we might have heard during our childhood. Basically it’s uniquely Indian.

The story is more emotional as it dwells on the reason of Bahubali’s death. The relationship between mother and son is beautifully portrayed with so much of complexity, thanks to the mighty villainy acts of Bhalla and his father Bijja. The first half especially is very engaging with a racy pace. Unlike the prequel, the film is more focussed on its character development that pays off excellently by the end of Act 2. 

Each characters play a very big part in the story and even the songs aids to develop and etch the characters deep into our hearts. The titular character is of course the most lovable one with great strength and also strong morals whom will not hesitate to challenge his loved ones if they cross the line of virtue. However, the present portions could have been more extended as the character motivation of Mahendra Baahubali looks slightly thin. 

Performance wise, Prabhas of course steals the show with so much of dedication evident in each scene. I can’t even remember a scene without him. His physique, breath-taking stunt sequences and expressions are top notch. No doubt this film will put him in the list of important actors in the Nation.

Anushka with her majestic expression, pull off the fearless Devasena quite fittingly. Sathyaraj with more screen time makes us laugh at the first half and cry at the second. Other actors like Nassar, Ramya Krishnan and Rana also have given their career best in this. Surprisingly the talented actress Tamannah has only one dialogue in the film.

Baahubali breaks large chains, stays immortal and physically launches himself over castle walls by turning his troop into flying cannon balls. Even though some sequences tap on our logical side of our brain, we tend to ignore those to merely enjoy the triumph of Rajamouli’s endless creativity that has brought Indian cinema to an unimagined terrain. VFX get a hit at times too that sticks out as a sore thumb. But no one will be that picky when a filmmaker is trying to push the boundaries of his community.

Among all the jaw dropping sequences, the most adorable one, at least for me was the scene where Baahubali guides Devasena in mid-battle to shoot three arrows simultaneously – a set piece that speaks both to a love of action, and love in action.

Hats off to the exotic cinematography, massy goose bumps evoking music and detailed production design deserve a standing ovation.

With a more emotional plot and focussed screenplay, S.S.Rajamouli concludes his ambitious period film with breath-taking visuals and relevant commercial ingredients that will definitely set a new bench mark in Indian cinema. 




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