Review: Baahubali: The Conclusion

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Producers: Prasad Devineni, Shobu Yarlagadda

Director: SS Rajamouli

Cast: Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Sathya Raj, Anushka Shetty, Ramya Krishnan, Nasser, Tamannaah, Subbaraju

Writer: KV Vijayendra Prasad (story), SS Rajamouli (screenplay), Manoj Muntashir (dialogue)

Music: MM Kareem

baahubali 2Undoubtedly, SS Rajamouli has written the book on commercial cinema. A director who seamlessly blends his vision and genius with magic, has delivered a near-flawless movie in Baahubali: The Conclusion. The movie, which has stormed the domestic box office and has fans across the country in its hypnotic grip, has earned its maker the title ‘No 1 commercial filmmaker in our country.’

Rarely does a filmmaker come along who has the entire country taking pride in his or her work. Rajamouli is definitely one of them. After all, Baahubali: The Conclusion is much more than a movie; it’s a celebration for Indian cinema and a festive time for cinema lovers. Thank You, Mr Rajamouli for this gem.

Let it be said that Hindi movie-goers didn’t expect much from the first instalment, Baahubali: The Beginning, but they were taken aback with the movie and it did record business. Part one is the highest-grossing dubbed movie in Indian history. And now the second part, albeit dubbed, will also be counted among the highest-grossing films in the history of Indian cinema for years to come. Now that’s a HUMONGOUS film!

The film, a revenge drama, has a very simple story. Years after a father is killed, the son returns to avenge his death. But the movie is not simple, it’s HUGE!!! In Baahubali: The Beginning, Shiva (Prabhas) learnt about his heritage; now, in the sequel, he learns about how Baahubali died.

The story takes off with Kattappa (Sathya Raj) telling Shiva (Prabhas) about his father, Baahubali (Prabhas). Baahubali, chosen by Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan), is all set to become the next king of Mahishmati Kingdom. Before his swearing-in ceremony, he is asked to take a tour of the regions under his leadership as a commoner, just to learn about his people. On this tour, Baahubali meets Devasena (Anushka Shetty), a fiery princess. Impressed by her beauty and valour, Baahubali falls in love with her. While he is still in disguise as a commoner, Devasena too starts to harbour feelings for him.

When a proposal is sent by Sivagami for Devsena, the princess who has her head held high, refuses to be wooed by the gold and gifts sent to her. While Baahubali mistakenly believes the proposal is for his marriage, it turns out to be for his brother Bhallaladeva (Rana Daggubati). One thing leads to another.

Baahubali accompanies Devasena and eventually the truth about their love is disclosed in court. In order to honour the vow that Sivagami gave Bhallaladeva for his marriage to Devasena, Baahubali steps down as king and Bhalladeva takes the throne. How the story unfolds further forms the crux of the film. 

Directorially, Rajamouli yet again presents a film in his true auteur style, which is a majestic, larger-than-life canvas. His vision is extraordinary and his ability to convey his vision on the silver screen is spectacular. If one is to nit-pick, the story does get cloyingly melodramatic at times and the screenplay does tend to get dreary, but it’s his spectacular vision and the way he holds the narrative together that is hypnotic.

MM Kareem comes up with good tunes and the songs go well with the narrative. The background score adds to the flow of the story. Cinematography by Senthil Kumar is spectacular. Each frame is visually articulated with beauty and grandeur. Editing by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao is precise even though the flow of the screenplay dips in the first half.  It is the second half that lifts the narration to a whole new level.

The Hindi dubbing is among the best so far. With a runtime of 167 minutes, the film is spectacular post-interval, especially the battle scene. Special mention to the CGI and VFX, which makes this film technically extraordinary on many levels.

Rajamouli, along with his writer-father V Vijayendra Prasad, brings a fitting conclusion to the beginning that left the audience spellbound. Prasad infuses complex emotions in a simple manner into the story, which leaves an enormous impact, from symbolic gestures to the flamboyant moves of the characters. A special mention to the battle sequence, where Baahubali helps Devasena and her empire, from the bow and arrow fight to the breaking of the dam, the entire sequence is breathtaking.

The sudden shift in everyone’s emotion is objectified beautifully when Baahubali is dethroned. And, of course, the much-awaited sequence which reveals why Kattappa killed Baahubali is one of the finest scenes in the film. The performances too contribute to the outstanding nature of this film. The production values too are top-notch. Massive sets and dramatic visuals of locations is a perfect marriage of screenplay and locations. Costumes are beautiful.

Performance-wise, Prabhas is undoubtedly a master of his craft and plays his part so credibly that you forget he’s anything but his character. He is OUTSTANDING!!! Rana Daggubati plays his part with flamboyance. His performance is truly a well-rounded one, and certainly noteworthy. Sathya Raj is an actor par excellence and impresses with his gritty character. Anushka Shetty’s performance is another asset for the film and beautifully captures the essence of her role. Ramya Krishnan is a show-stealer. Nasser plays his part with aplomb. Tamannaah has nothing to do. Subbaraju is notable. The others support the narrative to the fullest.

 

Verdict: All-Time Blockbuster.

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