Baahubali Movie Review
Cast : Prabhas , Tamannah , Anushka , Rana , Naasar
Direction : SS Rajamouli
Music : M.M. Keeravaani
Producer : Shobu Yarlagadda, Kovelamudi Raghavendra Rao, Prasad Devineni
‘Maaveeran’ , ‘Naan Ee’ fame SS Rajamouli has recently directed the epic fantasy movie ‘Baahubali’. The Tamil version will be distributed under Studio Green banner. Hindi version is presented by Bollywood Film Maker Karan Johar. The lead roles were done by Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah. National Award Winning Art Director Sabu Cyril has handled Art-Direction. M.M.Keeravani is the Music Composer. ‘Baahubali’ was given so much hype and was confessed that this movie will match Hollywood standards. If this is an idea to bridge the gap between Tollywood and Hollywood and to take take our films beyond the realms of global standards, then it’s a sheer manipulative gesture.
The Beginning is a period drama that takes a lot of liberties. It pushes the boundaries of physics, but we expect that from Rajamouli in general. It takes liberties with geographical possibilities, given the movie has a wide array of diverse landscapes all in close vicinity. Central characters in war scenes have clear vision across miles, what a liberty! Good moviemakers treat their story as life treats its characters, not as random scenes written to cater to enthusiastic idol worshippers. But, here you cannot feel for its protagonist, because he was hardly given any characterisation beyond lifting a Shiva Linga for his mother and obsessing over a gigantic cascade at the edge of his village.
The movie has two good characters. Ramya Krishna as Shivagami is breathtaking with an aura and authority that will get thumbs up from feminists. However, beyond a point her role isn’t given much screen-time. Katappa as the slave bodyguard was played to perfection by Sathyaraj. Nasser shone in sparks as the handicapped husband of Shivagami once ignored in favour of his younger brother (Think Dhritarashtra) who later dies only for Shivagami to take up the burden of ruling. The movie opens with Shivagami saving the life of Amarendra Baahubali’s son, while giving up her own.
Anushka plays Devasena, Mahendra Baahubali’s wife, now a prisoner to Bhallaladeva (Rana) who thwarted Baahubali to snatch away his kingdom – think Duryodhana. Devasena’s people have been fruitlessly attempting to save her for 25 years without much success. But, Avantika (Tammannah), a spirited warrior takes up the onus, while falling for Mahendra Baahubali aka Sivudu (Prabhas). In the backstory, we are told the tale of two cousins, Bhallaladeva and Mahendra Baahubali, competing for the throne, with the outcome of a war influential in deciding who deserves it more.
The movie is technically brilliant. Especially the vfx and CGI parts. Nothing looked staged or unrealistic. Of course, its a fantasy film so the hero climbing waterfalls and flying between mountains are acceptable. Music by Keeravani was good to me. He rocketed some scenes to a new level with his BGM and jarred a few scenes. Editing was a bit jumpy and abrupt but keeping the runtime down to 160 minutes is an achievement. Cinematography was awesome with perfect framing and angles. Other departments like Art, costumes, makeup etc were all in perfect sync.
Prabhas and Rana were the only characters who performed more than expected. Their body language and mannerisms were effing perfect. Anushka fails and even gets very limited scenes. Tamannaah is stone faced and doesn’t even emote. The war scene towards the end of the movie with strategies, formations and large number of soldiers was good. On the flip side, Keeravani’s music is an absolute dampener. An item song was unnecessarily placed. The first half is moving at a slow pace and lots of logic loop holes. The chemistry between lead pair is completely missing.
Overall, Visually thrilling and viscerally satisfying, but still it is not worth the hype
Review : Jeyya Sibby Stephen