Apr 28, 2018

Baahubali - The third epic.

When I started this blog, one principle I wanted to follow was no movie reviews.  I remember writing about Myna, though not in review point of view but it did touch upon a few scenes from the movie.  Now, I chose to do a comeback (Blog was in sleep mode for couple of years and I wrote this post in December last year but did not publish it) with a note on Baahubali, a movie of its own kind.  This is not going to be a review - almost every Indian or every fan of Baahubali-1 would have watched the 2nd Part released in April this year but I wanted to list why Baahubali is most admired and appreciated and those parts in the movie that are my favourites.

I was in India with family when Baahubali - 1 was released.  Unlike movies like Kabali, Mersel etc I did not have any idea about making of such a movie and its release dates.  After I got back to the States, a friend mentioned that Baahubali - a new movie was released and the graphics work was commendable.  Looked at some reviews (not the youtube videos) and they were favoring the decision.  So, I booked my tickets for Tamil version and it was almost a month after its release and hence there were less # of showtimes and the one I got was for 10.20 PM.  The cinema was about 20 miles away and I was thinking that I would sleep as soon as I reach there. The film opened (though I read the reviews I did not visualize a lot of things) and even the very first scene of the map of magizhmathi to kunthalargal maraividam to the waterfalls and with the BGM was stunning.  I sat straight and started paying attention and did not have to worry about falling asleep.  The waterfalls was incredible and could not keep my eyes off the screen, and not just eyes but ears too, what a support that the music and the background score gave to the movie!!

The Siva Siva song was so mesmerizing.  I have always loved carnatic based film songs and this one is no exception. (There cannot be a woman in the world who did not admire Prabhas in and around this song's picturization)  Even a child would say it would be impossible to lift the Lingam but who cares.  Baahubali outsmarted Rajinikanth. There was not a single thing that was impossible for him.  Then on the journey was smooth.  Frame after frame, there was a neat flow of the story.  While the story/screenplay was progressing background score always made its presence felt and appreciated. Honestly there could not be a better composition than this for this kind of a movie.  If Rajamouli was the father of the movie, Keeravani was indeed the mother!!!

Shivu trying to understand the who Avantika was, and in turn trying to know her mission and the introduction of the bad king Balla were all simply wonderful, the flow of the screenplay was flawless.  Though the story looked very very similar to that of the rivelry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, the hatred of the bad brother towards the good brother was well captured.  Well conceived one was the statue scene; the people working to erupt the statue, those artists who perform various kinds of art- all showed a sullen face - doing their work with utmost disinterest, the BGM was reflecting the same emotion.  The moment they heard the magical word, everyone got the momentum and that made the difference in the output.  And Balla imagining Baahu's image deeply carved in the hearts of the citizens of Magizhmathi.  And there was the intermission right at this point. It was the "Yes Yes Rajamouli" moment.

I was so impressed by the war scenes.  The battlefield simulation, the way the vyooga is formed were really stunning.  Reminded me of Abhimanyu knowing only to break the padma vyooga in the Kurukshetra war.  Amerendra's war techniques were also good.  And what level of confidence would a director have to end the movie like the way Part 1 ended.  It appeared like a lot of scenes of Part 2 were shot alongside Part 1.  

When Part 1 was telecast on the television I urged my father to watch the movie as he always used to talk about the Old hit Chandralekha.  I was waiting for Part 2 to be released.  Baahubali is the one and only movie which I watched on the second day of release and the first show in the AM.  There were only 4 people for the show - we did not want to take the kids, so sent them to school and took the day off and went in the AM.   The second part had huge expectations as to how SSR was going to answer the most asked question of 2015/16 - "Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali?".  And yes, justice was served by the director.  

Devasana stood second after Mayabazaar's Vatsala - what a beautiful princess.  The romance was well depicted as well.  Again another raaga based song - endearing to the ears.  The costumes of Devasena and Amerendra were colorful and pleasing.  I have huge respect for people who stick to their principles and there is no wonder I became a fan of Amerendra for his justifications to being on the side of Devasena and opposing his own mother.  And the intermission scene for Part 2 was no less than that of Part 1.  Balla taking the oath under the name of God while Baahu taking it under Sivagami.  And the fear shown in the eyes of Sivagami when the citizens opposed the decision and when Amerendra saved the "Venn kotra kudai" from falling thereby showing his dedication to his post were some highlights.  The scene where the Kunthala kingdom's flag was bent and chopped off by the sculpture at the Magizhmathi fort, kind of indicated the ending of the Kunthala dynasty - another good thought and reminded of Silappathikaaram where decorative hangings (thoranam) signaled Kovalan and Kannagi not to enter the ill fated city of Madurai.  Beyond that everything was falling in place to conclude part 2. 

Were there no flaws?  There were - plenty in fact, but who cares!!  Baahubali was a visual treat and a great drama to enjoy a lot of nuances.  What else is needed.

The characterization of the Rajamatha Sivagami Devi - Ramya Krishnan was the basement for Baahubali - how strongly laid!!!  There was a news that Sridevi was approached to play the role; thank God it did not materialize.  None other than Ramya Krishnan could have done it better.  Every actor did 100% justice to his/her character.  Prabhas - what a handsome man he is.  And he and Anushka made the best pair.

Madhan Karky's work too was totally commendable.  Thoroughly enjoyed the lyrics of 'Siva Siva'. 'Thalaimagal un kaithiye' - nice thought.

Music was the soul of Baahubali - glad it all worked and we had a wholesome treat from the team.  I hope SSR makes many much movies and bring glory to Indian Cinema.  I'm hoping to see Ponniyin Selvan on the big screen.  Fingers crossed.

PS: Posting now on the first anniversary of BB-2.