Synopsis – A dispute between brothers spans across two generations.
My Take – I don’t get to watch much Telugu movies, until a couple of years back I got to check two of the most compelling films ever: 1 – Nenokkadine & Eega (also known as Makkhi meaning Fly). Director Rajamouli is the man behind Eega, story of a man who is reborn as a fly to take revenge from the people who killed him. I know that sounds redicolous, but hell the movie is one enjoyable feat! This time he is back with Karan Johar presenting the Hindi version of a film which is touted as India’s most expensive film at a budget of 250 Crores (USD 25 Million). This 1st installment of a two part series is not not the answer to 300, Gladiator or The Lord of The Rings because saying so would be foolish. Don’t compare this movie to the Hollywood ones because we still have a long way to go, its not the Indian 300, its the Indian “Baahubali”. This film should be set as the benchmark for story telling, visuals & production. The quality of graphics is insane for such a cheap price given that Hollywood uses big budget for the same. The battle sequence is great and reminded me of the finale battle in Return of the King (Lord of the Rings series).
Director SS Rajamouli has made something that we can be proud of. Judging by the trailer, I was sure that the VFX would be good however I had a doubt about the plot! And as expected the story was a run of the mill brothers fighting to take become the Kingdom’s heir. But without doubt its Director SS Rajamouli’s execution which makes this film a must watch! He took a big risk and made it big. This is what we need, good quality cinema. Salman Khan’s fans should learn something from it. The story follows Shivudu (Prabhas) born with some skeptical amaze worthy skills & raised on tribal standards who falls in love with Avanthika (Tamannaah), a member of a rebel group fighting against the ruler Bhalla Dev (Rana Daggubati) a kingdom named “Magizhmathi”. In order to free Avanthika from her debt, Shivudu is tasked with rescuing a mystery woman Devasena (Anushka Shetty). On rescuing her from the kingdom, he finds out his the sole heir of the fallen king Baahubali (Prabhas). Raised by Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan), the two princes Baahubali & Palvaadelvan would win the crown & the right to rule once they prove their traits as the noblest, wittiest, strongest, wisest, and mightiest at the end of a major war against one of the strong kingdoms led by a Kalakeya War Lord (Prabhakar). While the first half sets up the film, the second half leaves your jaw on the ground. The war sequence is one best scenes ever to been seen on a Indian screen ever. The war sequences are easily best ones seen till now on Indian screens. Yes! Plot wise the film is pretty standard & predictable, yet the despite its minuses the film rises against its odds, well most of the time. Especially the appearance of an item song (also a standard now days in Indian films) which is kinda absurd, even certain sections of the first half (especially the love story) seem dragged & can be easily done away with. The movie is definitely a huge production with its magnificent sets, promising VFX, thousands of junior artists, costumes, make-up, weapons. Though the project is touted to be the most expensive motion picture in the history of Indian cinema it had places in the first half where it was over dosed with CG and VFX making it looking like animation picture rather motion picture.
abu Cyril as the art designer has really put a huge effort to bring out SSR’s vision. Cinematography by KK Senthikumar has definitely elevated us to the historical feel. Hats off to the CG team for finally taking Indian cinema to the next level in VFX. With an ensemble cast Bahubali definitely scores well in the casting department. Note worthy performances delivered by three legendary actors (Ramya Krishnan, Sathy Raj, Nasser) in south Indian cinema. Ramya Krishnan as Sivagami fitted picture perfect to the role with her voice, walk and attitude. Sathyraj as Kattapa the sincere chief brigade of battalion has lived the role. Nasser as Pingala Devan a notorious villain inside the royal family has done 100% justice to the role. These three people are the supporting pillars for the movie. Coming to the leads Prabhas as the Bahubali/ Shivu and Rana as Palvaal Devan has put lots of effort to essay their massive historical characters. Rana seemed more convincing in the first half and Prabhas in the second half. Anushka as Devasena is hardly there, expectedly she has a more meatier role in the 2nd installment. Tamannaah Bhatia looks gorgeous & does her part convincingly. On the whole, ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’, is a big, sweeping epic that runs for close to 2 hours and 40 minutes. Spanning generations, going back and forth between the present and the past, alternating between vastly contrasting landscapes, it’s an ambitious work from a visionary filmmaker who skillfully blends a tale of old school palace politics with modern VFX to deliver a consistently watchable blockbuster. Just cant wait to watch the second installment ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’.
Director – S.S. Rajamouli
Rated – PG15
Run Time – 159 minutes