BAAHUBALI 2: THE CONCLUSION Movie Review: The grand revival of Indian storytelling

 

4.5/5

 

Make room Hollywood imagineers, Indians have arrived and they have just begun to scratch the surface of their ancient genius to tell their own stories. Indians were not the most copied storytellers of human civilization for nothing. If you want to revive your moribund imagination, look to India for ideas but of course not the shitty and fake ones like SLUMDOG MILLIONNAIRE. 

 

BAAHUBALI 2: THE CONCLUSION has everything an Indian story must have. It has juicy romance, heart-warming comedy, thrilling war sequences, great moral dilemmas and conflicts, ugly palace intrigue, a brilliant discourse on ‘dharma’, a mighty, valorous, and just hero as a Kshatriya warrior, an equally mighty, intelligent, and beautiful heroine, and a most vile, vengeful, and devious villain. It has a smartly crafted screenplay, which is as visceral as it can get. 

 

This has been presented to the audience on a grand, opulent, and visually stunning canvas, with mood elevating and inspiring background score and songs and dialogues replete with beautiful and energizing Sanskrit words that wake up the human spirit. If some people believed Sanskrit was a dead language, this film demonstrates the awesomeness and impact of the most perfect language on the Earth. It’s truly the mother and father of all world languages.

 

The film is also a lesson in learning for rootless new age Bollywood copycats who have no idea of the history and culture of this great nation. They gave birth to a bastardized artistic tradition out of their ignorance. These people with slavish mindset shamelessly and proudly wear the epithet of Bollywood around their necks and seek inspiration from third rated Hollywood genre films.

 

The sequel is better than its prequel and deserves repeated standing ovations for this. It’s the kind of storytelling that will work with cinema audiences around the world. Some may think otherwise as its director S. S. Rajamouli demonstrates exceptional chutzpah to stay unapologetic about his roots, the larger than life, robust, and highly dramatic cinema of South India that unabashedly borrows ideas and idioms from multiple sources, making them its own. The hero of this kind of cinema is a messiah and warrior who can achieve a few hundred impossible missions in one film and also sing, dance, and romance with equal ease. No opera in the world can match the high-octane energy and juiciness of South Indian films.

 

This is the story of how Amarendra Baahubali (Prabhas), soon to become the emperor, falls in love with Devsena (Anushka Shetty), a warrior princess of a small kingdom, and how his cousin Bhallaladeva (Rana Daggubati) uses this information as a devious ploy to poison the ears of the Rajmata of the empire of Mahishmati, Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan). This leads to the great and sad betrayal by Kattappa (Sathyaraj), the sworn loyal servant and warrior of the empire and its king. It’s also the story of how the new born child of Devsena and Amarendra Baahubali, Mahendra Baahubali, is saved by Sivagami. He grows up as a tribal youth named Shiva and returns as the savior of the people of Mahishmati to free them from the tyranny of Bhallaladeva and his father Bijjaladeva (Nassar).

 

It’s a grand celluloid opera that moves at a breathless pace. Though its finale is a bit tepid but one can pass that. After driving at a breakneck speed in a single car race, you tend to slow down a bit before it ends. That’s 5 or 10 minutes of nearly 2 hour 45 minute long film. It’s not that the screenplay of the film is flawless. It still has the scope for 100% improvement and visual indigenization but then the journey had to begin somewhere. I’m sure the screenwriter/director will gain enough confidence, further hone his imagination and skills and do a far better job next time and steer clear of visible foreign influences.

 

This does not in anyway diminish the beauty and power of this brilliantly performed actioner that’s far more enjoyable, entertaining, and thrilling than some of the recent Hollywood blockbusters that cost above INR 1000 cores to produce and have a worldwide box office collection of above a billion dollars.

 

It’s a world-class film on every technical parameter from costuming to production design, cinematography, editing, sound design and effects, CGI wizardry, action, and everything else.

 

4.5/5

 

Directed by S. S. Rajamouli, Produced by Shobu Yarlagadda, Prasad Devineni Screenplay by S. S. Rajamouli, Story by K. V. Vijayendra Prasad, Starring – Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Rana Daggubati, Tamannaah, Ramya Krishnan, Nassar, Sathyaraj, Music by M. M. Keeravani, Cinematography by K. K. Senthil Kumar, Edited by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao,

Production company - Arka Media Works, Hindi version distributed by Dharma Productions.

Rajesh Kumar Singh

@khulkebolo @neelnabh

Share on Google+