Indian cinema is used to having an intermission, which lasts between ten to fifteen minutes, but ‘Baahubali’ stretched that time to close to two years to screen the second half. S.S. Rajamouli has delivered a hugely satisfying conclusion to his tale and has surpassed himself as a masterful creator of grandeur with a strong emotional undercurrent.
‘Baahubali 2’ opens up the backstory of who Mahendra Baahubali (Prabhas) the King of Maghizhmathi is and how he meets, woos and marries Devasena (Anushka) the princess of a small kingdom. The hatred that Pallaladevan (Rana Daggubatti) and his father (Nassar) nurse towards the hero is explored in detail and so is the undying loyalty of Kattappa (Sathyaraj) and his love towards him.
To top it all, how powerful a character the Rajamatha Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan) is and that nagging question why Kattappa killed Baahubali is unraveled in a mesmerizing manner.
In the first part Prabhas’s dedication in the risky war sequences and his romancing skills with Tamannaah were on display and endeared him to the viewers. Here it is his emotions that rule in his impeccable performance.
His playful interactions with Sathyaraj are natural and heartwarming and every frame he shares with Ramya Krishnan is sheer poetry on celluloid. Prabhas uproots trees, kills a hundred men in every war sequence, but for not even a second, you doubt the credibility and that is the victory for the five years of hardwork.
This is yet another milestone film for Anushka who stands tall as Devasena who commands respect with her beauty, gait, posture, archery skills and measured acting. Only in the very end when she appears as the old woman the make up does not compliment her. Compared to the first part Rana does not get much chance to emote here and as usual excels in the stunt sequences.
Ramya Krishnan is actually the central character of ‘Baahubali 2’ and people will henceforth remember her as Rajamatha Sivagami and not Nilambari. Sathyaraj is another pillar of the film who tickles the funny bones when trying to get Anushka to fall for Prabhas, pours emotion and towers in the stunt scenes even at this age. The ever dependable Nassar is the fox personified while Subbaraju as Anushka’s suitor is very impressive.
Since every wannabe movie goer is already aware of the visual splendor that Rajamouli has created it is best left to experience it in every frame. Vijayendra Prasad’s story is definitely not new but is filled with emotions which are relevant at all times.
There are many underlying themes that are commendable, like the portrayal of Anushka’s character as a strong woman not willing to give up her self respect even for love or royalty.
The caste system takes a beating in the relationship between Prabhas the ruler and the slave Sathyaraj whom he calls “mama” and wants his child to be first held by him. Watch out for a beautifully choreographed duet between Anushka and Prabhas is not by a dance master but by stunt choreographer Peter Hein.
On the downside, there are a few CG glitches in the creation of animals. In the last half hour after are so after Prabhas decides to take on Rana we get a very well executed war sequence, but at the same time it is in excess forcing us to politely ask Mr. Rajamouli to cut to the one on one fight.
For the Tamil version the dialogues of Madhan Karky is the backbone and he scores big time leaving the audiences emotionally swayed many a times. K.K. Senthil Kumar’s camera not only, takes you on a wide panoramic ride of eye popping sets, but also drinks in every intricate emotion that is on display from an exemplary set of actors.
Kotagiri Venkateshwara Rao’s editing flows smoothly like a noiseless river never allowing the viewer to take his eyes off the screen and the story even on rare moments of excess. Production designer Sabu Cyril and his team can take a bow for creating such breathtaking manual sets and the computer graphics team can hold their heads high for some world class imagery.
A big salute to Mr. Vijayendra Prasad the visualizer and his son S.S. Rajamouli the executor par excellence who has set a benchmark in Indian cinema.
Verdict : Your search for an Indian movie with Hollywood quality has finally ended , so make a dash for it and enjoy Rajamouli’s show of wholesome entertainment .