Bahubali 2 Review : How 'The Conclusion' can become the founding stone of a new 'Beginning'

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Bahubali 2 : The conclusion is the second and final part of the two-part epic saga from Indian film Director SS Rajamouli. Five Years back what started as a regional production in Telugu, today has transcended every known boundary. The films subject and visual language are universal and has attracted global audiences to the film; the response it is garnering is unprecedented in the 100 year history of Indian cinema. At an investment of USD 70 million (a small fraction as compared to budgets of Hollywood’s big Summer releases), the film is touted as the costliest film to be made in India, and by all means has been the most awaited film of 2017.

At CreativeYatra.com we have always believed in the power of reinterpretation – when coupled with aesthetic inventiveness – it can build a completely new audience for a forgotten genre. Bahubali 2 has Visual Inventiveness, EPIC Narrative, Technical Brilliance and a simple Storyline that has the power to engage any viewer, belonging to any culture and region.

The Plot of Bahubali 2 : The Conclusion

Bahubali is an eternal saga of Good vs. Evil with SS Rajamouli’s stamp on it. Prabhas as Amarendra Bahubali is supremely impressive, his on-screen persona comparable to any popular Hollywood Super Hero. Taking cues from Indian epics and mythology the film has built characters and situations, which are not-so-hard for an Indian audience to comprehend. Some might find the plot and screen-play at bit simplistic, but I guess, that is where the key of Rajamouli’s style lies. He has skill-fully leveraged the Indian mythic lore’s and imbibed them into the narrative, and shifted his focus on the visual impact rather than the plotting. The end result is captivating enough to keep the viewer glued to the seats throughout its 2 hour and 47 minutes of run time.

The sequel picks up from where the first part ended. It takes us into the life of Amarendra Bahubali who is being prepared for coronation. Through one of the best sequence of the film, we are introduced to the fiesty queen of Kundan, Devasena played by Anushka Shetty. In this masterful sequence –  action, romance and humour are radiantly mixed to create an unforgettable cinematic experience. What follows is a series of misunderstandings, ego clashes and treachery which leads to Bhallal Deva (Rana Daggubatti) taking the reins of the kingdom. The rest of the film deals with what happens with Bahubali Sr. and how Bahubali Jr. finally wins the kingdom back, and reinstates his mothers pride. There is nothing unexpected in the plot. And yet you cannot take your eyes off the screen, even for a second. Therein lies the craft of director Rajamouli.

With just two song breaks, and fewer amount of talk, the film has a fast-paced narrative, packed with action, one battle after the another – and the magnificence of visuals, powered by directors inventiveness, drives the character of Prabhas as Bahubali, and keeps the viewer on the edge. Yes by the end of the film it does get a bit tiring, but why complain when one is getting to spend more time in the world of Bahubali !

Ramya powers the scenes with her stellar presentation of Sivagami. Anushka Shetty’s Devasena is terrific and it is her character that plays a crucial role in the plot. The weak link in the acting department is Rana Daggubatti’s presentation of Bhallal Deva. Almost stone-faced throughout the film, Rana is not able to build a memorable antagonist. The plot ensures his despicability, but as an actor he fails to make the character menacing. This does take away the climax from the climactic fight.

Ah ! and Sathyaraj’s Kattappa is as endearing as Part One. And NO we are not going to reveal WHY KATTAPPA KILLED BAHUBALI ?!

Technical Brilliance of Bahubali 2

The entry sequences of Bahubali and Devasena are superlative – if this is commercial cinema at its peak, we are not complaining ! Every frame, every scene is larger than life, and it lends the simplistic story an epic narrative. Be it court scenes of Mahishmati, the kingdom of Kundan, the landscapes, the foliage – every frame is an experience to behold. Constant awe is the film’s effect on the viewer and you cannot but drool at the eye-popping visuals.

The VFX is at par with the best that global cinema has to offer today. If compared, the output is miles ahead than what was achieved in Bahubali : The Beginning. The sequel’s screenplay is a thread of battle sequences – and each one is executed magnificently enough to keep the audience keeps craving for more. The frozen frames and the super slo-motion action scenes or the ethereal and dreamy song sequence, the technical finesse uplifts the experiential quotient of the film.

With loads of whistle and clap moments, the auditorium kept roaring at regular intervals. This engagement with the audience is the mark of film’s success.

Other important technical departments like sound, background score, art, costume – everything is top notch to draw us into a believable world of Bahubali.

Epic Narrative : Bahubali 2

The plot and the character have taken generous inspirations from the Indian epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. A creative twist is given to create characters that have characteristics and qualitative inspirations from multiple characters of those ancient epics. For example in Kattappa we see loyalty, courage and devotion of Hanuman and dutifulness and limitations of Bhishma. Bhishma was a character who was loyal to throne, while Hanuman is an icon who is devoted to the person – Rama. Kattappa is a mix of both of them. Bhallal Deva is lustful and egoist like Ravana as well as blinded and greedy like Duryodhana.

With Rama like righteousness, steadfastness of Yuddhisthira, Warrior skills of the Arjuna, and with strength like BheemaAmarendra Bahubali exhibits all the qualities of the mythical Indian King.

These characteristics are so ingrained in the Indian psychography, that it doesn’t require much screenplay space to establish these characters; and the director optimises this fact to his benefit by focusing more on the visual impact of the on goings.

The Women in Mahishmati

Durga like in her demeanour Sivagami swings between being Kunti and Gandhari. Interesting is the characterisation of Devasena as Bahubali’s better half. Her pride and feistiness seems inspired from Draupadi and the value systems from Sita. But unlike both these epic women, Devasena doesn’t stop herself from taking the weapon in her own hand. Contrasting from Draupadi, she not only prevents the perpetrator to violate her, she acts upon him by herself. Unlike Sita, Devasena doesn’t drown herself in fire, rather vows to burn down the antagonist Bhallal Deva. It is heartening to see that even in the politics of Mahishmati, the Raaj Maata (Queen Mother) holds the supreme constitutional power. The women are independent who make their own choice.

The Stamp of SS Rajamouli

The film is an out an out action saga with generous dollops of emotions that highlight the Indian ethos of love and sacrifice. Every action scene is unique in itself, directors inventiveness is visible in each of those brilliantly choreographed action sequences. The rush of Bulls with horns on fire, the breaking of the dam doors, the use of palm trees as a catapult – each of these Bahubalian tasks have germinated from the imagination of the film’s director Rajamouli. The battle scene at Devasena’s kingdom can be put on top of the best action scenes that global cinema has seen. In all the action scenes the director has tried to keep aspects that lift the scenes beyond its visual grandeur. Be it the opening scene where Bahubali tames wild elephants, but the way it ends, lifts the scene to an emotional level. The archery scenes, the fist fights, the ammunition fights, each sequence has a unique indigenous flavour to it, which makes Bahubali much more beleivable than a standard super-hero.

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Never before in Indian Cinema, there has been a presentation of Indianness, in the scale that Bahubali has achieved. Yes India has given out rich films that are steeped in Indian ethos and have artistically showcased the intricacies of India – but Bahubali is on a different trajectory. It is a genre-bending saga, that amply satiates the 21st gen ‘SuperHero’ fed movie goers and at the same time communicates the importance of love, sacrifice and loyalty against power, deception and control – as makings of Kingship. Bahubali is courageous, fearless, instinctive, inspiring,  humble, loving, honest, resilient, popular and above all an inventive leader. A character who would never ‘give up’.

If you are willing to look deeper into the celluloid, you would notice that these characteristics are actually an artistic manifestation of the filmmakers own qualities. First and foremost for his epic vision and fearless imagination and secondly for his inventive thinking – it is SS Rajamouli’s cinematic craft that lends Bahubali its believability.  In his conviction to engage technical investments of this scale,  his ability to earn trust of various stakeholders and his leadership to lead a team of over 1000 technicians, Rajamouli has reinstated that cinema is a function of director’s imagination. Rajamouli has used the cinematic technology as a tool to paint a vivid canvas of mythical Mahishmati.

 

Visual Inventiveness, Technical Brilliance, Epic Narrative and a simple storyline – that’s the stamp of SS Rajamouli.

 

The Conclusion 

Bahubali 2 has emerged to be more than just a film. It has brought to fore the untapped potential of Indian mythic lore and traditional value systems as popular culture vehicles. SS Rajamouli’s grand vision and crafty execution has made this possible and that is the reason a culture portal like creativeyatra.com has to stand up and take notice of this mainstream film. Now, after the film is out, the bigger surprise is that no one ever thought to make such a film before ! That is definitely a point of introspection for the Indian Film Industry.

At creativeyatra.com we do not believe in binding our reviews with ‘ratings’. And Bahubali 2 is beyond any rating, it is a cultural phenomenon, that has come through as a film. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Indian film history will now be divided as ‘Before Bahubali’ and ‘After Bahubali’ in the years to come.

 

For its audacity, for its conviction, for its simplicity and for the magic of creator SS Rajamouli’s craft – WE RECOMMEND BAHUBALI 2 AS A MUST WATCH FILM.

 

Also Read: Bahubali’s letter to the Indian Film Industry

 

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