Baahubali 2: The Conclusion review – why this magnum opus is worth a second watch


Discussions and reviews on the film Baahubali 2: The Conclusion are aplenty. Here's a first hand impression on a viewer who found it mesmerising enough to watch it again!

"I watched the first part of Baahubali. So boring! No way I'm going to watch the second part." This was the reaction of quite a few people when I asked if they had seen Baahubali 2. Well, to be honest, I did not much care myself for the first part. I found it boring too, with no proper plot as such and found nothing great in the acting department. Yet, I went to watch Baahubali 2 for two reasons. No, I was not exactly desperate to know why Kattappa killed Baahubali! I simply wanted to know whether, like many films, the blitzkrieg publicity and over-hype it created before its release and on its launch date was merited. Secondly, I actually got a ticket for Baahubali 2 the reasonable price of Rs.100 for a matinee show and thus was not shelling out big bucks like hundreds of others at theatres across the country.

Baahubali 2 Film Ticket
[Baahubali 2: The Conclusion Film Ticket image - proof the author watched the film!]

So there I was, comfortably seated in an air-conditioned theatre with barely 30 odd people, with no great expectations of a grand movie, just having a simple wish to at least enjoy it in some parts at least.

And was I gob-smacked! It actually held my attention, the only time sagging with an absurd song on a boat and the too-prolonged final duel between the brothers. The acting department did not disappoint one bit and unique war tactics, such as using coconut trees as a catapult to hurl humans over the palace ramparts into the midst of the enemy, captured my attention.

Through this review of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, I will convey why it will capture your attention too –



Film Overview

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion has made history. What is remarkable is that, though it has the likes of Prabhas and Rana Daggubhati essaying the leads, it is the script of K. V. Vijayendra Prasad and direction of S. S. Rajamouli to which the film owes its success. It is one of those rare moments when a script is taken to another level by the magnificent imagination of its director and their vision is backed by a cast willing to do all that was asked - and more.

At last there comes a film where content is king and visualized with the full use of the colour palette in sharp contrast to the monochromatic hues of foreign fantasies. It is such a relief that, so unlike Bollywood films, there is no song for every season and every occasion like for a marriage, a baby shower, the birth of a child, a death or mourning. In fact, it is amusing to see the speed at which such events are disposed off!!

Sure, there is the mandatory genuflection to the deities and a courtship number but that's it. Kudos to the director for at least paring down the song and dance routine without doing away with it entirely. The script takes the basic premise of the Mahabharata but uses it only as a take-off point into a fascinating, though predictable, tale of a mother who must choose between her sons and makes the wrong choice.

The cast and characterization

In terms of characterization, both the mother, Queen Sivagami and wife Devasena are shown as cavalier and rude and the wife remains adamantly so till the end. Most unusual!

In a remarkable departure from the norm, for perhaps the first time in cinema, a mother acknowledges that her daughter-in-law recognized her son's magnanimity, which she had failed to do.

There is, though, the stereotyping of women as fierce warriors. Stereotype because they are never shown participating in strategy but they only await the men to figure things out and fight it out. Devasena is only allowed the one victory against marauders and after that she is shown up as less of an archer as well as panicking on the sight of a bull with flaming horns straying into her path. Utterly ridiculous, not to mention a major flaw in the script when she is bundled and thrown into the chariot by Bhallala Deva and he even plants his foot on her. This is highly inconsistent with her courageous character.

The only consistent character in Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is Kattappa - and Sathyaraj nails it. He deserves a best actor award, not merely an award for supporting actor, for the stellar role he plays throughout, in every frame that he features in. Ramya Krishnan played by Sivagami stands out because, despite the fact that her performance maintains a shrieking high pitch most of the time, she does not falter and manages to do it with conviction. Anushka Shetty as Devasena pulls off the character of the younger princess convincingly but fails completely in her aged avatar. The reverse holds true for Baahubali, where Prabhas nails it as Amarender Baahubali but does not quite own the character of Mahendra Baahubali. There is little of Avanthika, but Tamannaah Bhatia, in the few scenes she has, somehow fails to impress. Rana Daggubati has great presence and gets into the skin of his character and without Ramya Krishnan and him the film would have lacked punch.

The presentation

The film Baahubali 2: The Conclusion works because it breathtakingly creates a magic world of the ancient city of Mahishmati without actually bringing, as other fantasies do, the element of magic. It would have been very tempting to endow the characters with magic powers and have them play off against each other. However, except for the ship sequence where the waters change colour and the ship flies with images of horses and sundaris racing past, there is no dark arts here. There is also humour, which actually elicits laughs from the theatre audience and not forced laughter. Credit goes to the Subbaraju playing the role of Kumara Varma. He manages the buffoonery convincingly. His transformation into a hero does not quite play out as well though.

And that is actually the triumph of the director's vision, knowing how to showcase a fantasy but knowing, too, when to say enough and not go overboard and rigorously follow the spine of the plot. It is one of the films that actually is worth a second viewing.



Conclusion

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion takes the elements of early Indian films, with their flying contraptions, smoke & fire and beasts & beastly demonic figures and throws them into a cauldron of hardcore, colourful action. The result is a riveting magnum opus worth watching again. Go Watch It!

And no, you don't necessarily need to see part 1 of the film to understand part 2 (which is actually the prequel & not the sequel of the first part), as has been stated in posts on social media platforms. The story of part 1 is briefly summarized through visual images and a voice over at the beginning of part 2. Even without that, the storyline & plot of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is easy to follow.

A point to note: The end credit rolls includes the names of the carpenters and all those who worked behind the scenes to mount the film. This is very nice gesture on the part of director S. S. Rajamouli to give them due credit.

Liked this review? Maybe you would be interested too in reading my review of Bollywood film Pink.

Do post your own reviews of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion in the comments box below.


Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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Comments

Author: NK SHARMA15 May 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

I saw the film on 10th may in PVR INORBIT MALL HYD. The film is very interesting and good to watch. The stunts are very excellent and difficult and required a huge expenditure to film. Actress Devasena and Rajmata played their role very efficiently. Graphics and animations in this film is wonderful. The film has earned 1500 cr within 10 days and broken all the past records. The film is free from vulgarity and nudeness and has proven that without vulgarity also people can be attracted to the film.

Author: Kalyani16 May 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 0

Vandana
In response to some responses of the members in the recently posted article responses thread, posting this as a test response to check whether members can post internal links or not. Delete this response after the purpose is solved.



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