Now that we’d see Baahubali – the Beginning, the husband and I decided to see Baahubali 2 in the theatre when it released. At our local AMC, when the cashier asked for $71 for the IMAX show, we thought there’d been a mistake. No, she said, each IMAX ticket was $35. The non-IMAX ticket was $25. Now, we’ve seen films like Avatar in IMAX at regular ticket prices, so this was a surprise, an inexplicable one. Apparently, the film-maker had requested these ticket prices. Long story short, we saw the film much later :), once the frenzy (and the ticket prices) had died down.
Bahubali – The Conclusion takes up where Bahubali 1 had left off – Shiva’s discovery about his birth and past. This film is mostly dedicated to his revenge against the evil and powerful rulers of the kingdom of Mahishmati. There is pomp and splendor in each scene, as the director tells us, in flashback, the tale of the great Amarendra Bahubali (also played by Prabhas) and his downfall as plotted by evil brother Bhallaldev (Rana Daggubatti). There is lots of warfare, with grand armies lined up complete with trumpeting elephants and charging soldiers. As in part 1 director Rajamouli displays amazing vision, and gives us awe-inspiring and stunning visuals. It is all beautifully done.
Many of the characters from the first movie continue on here. Anushka Shetty is brought in as Royal Princess Devasena. There is much song and dance as romance ensues, but it all comes to a thundering climax with all the drippy, over-emotional sentimentalism of a desi film. As justice is done (and you know that it will be done) each moment is drawn out and the impact hammered in via pulpy slow-mo, and just as melodramatic dialogues. The average sounding songs don’t help much, not that I was watching this for the songs.
Inspite of all that, as far as epic Indian films go, this movie is the bomb. I don’t think I’ve seen any other Indian movie with this kind of sci-fi-fantasy-ish vision, and the incredible attention to detail. Bhansali comes close, but director Rajamouli is in a class by himself.
Baahubali 2 succeeds because it is a lavish visual spectacle, supported by a handsome and talented cast. This is how quasi-mythical films need to be done, albeit without the sentimental melodrama that plagues the desi film-scene. Recommended.
Kidwise: Violence of the slashy sword variety.