Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
Baahubali 2 – The Conclusion: A Balancing Act of Intermittent Flaws and Breath-taking Visuals
Movie Review by Team Rocheston (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Director Rajamouli can always be counted on to provide an ultimately stunning cinematic experience. His sense of entertainment not only checks all boxes but also manages to push many envelopes as far as Indian cinema is concerned. Just like its predecessor, Baahubali 2 does have its glitches. But the magnum opus carefully sandwiches these flaws between breathtaking visuals and matchless execution. Just for realizing a bigger dream and taking Indian cinema to a larger scale, director Rajamouli deserves his fair share of the limelight.
After a two year long wait, you finally get to discover the answer to the question that’s been on everybody’s mind. Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali?
The answer to this question isn’t surprising, but the package it comes in is awe-inspiring. Baahubali 2 follows the events that lead to Amarendra Baahubali’s unjust death. It also takes us through the future of Mahismathi which now lies in the able hands of Mahendra Baahubali.
Baahubali 2 is the hard-earned result of ceasing to dream big. It is sure to be one of the grandest visions in Indian cinema. Every frame is a painting in which even the minutest details are cared for. But even this magnanimous tale has its fair share of intermittent flaws. In the grander scheme of things, these flaws seem prevalent yet forgivable. But in his pursual of perfection, Rajamouli would be closer to excellence had he done away with these glitches
Ruling the list of flaws is the love track between Amarendra Baahubali and Devasena. Except for their poetic archery scene, the establishment of their romance lacks a certain emotional depth. Even in 1964, a film like Karnan got us invested in the complicated relationships the characters. Building this rapport is very important because only then will the audience be rooting for the characters and their victory. This inevitable attachment and depth that Karnan brilliantly creates is what goes missing in Baahubali 2. It goes on to prove that romance is definitely not director Rajamouli’s forte.
Once the forwardable love track takes a backseat you witness a battle scene that seems to have lifted one of its ideas from Netflix’s Marco Polo: War against Crusaders. The only difference being, in Marco Polo they used fire-bearing horses; in Baahubali we see cows with their horns on fire. This moment tends to raise an unavoidable question in your mind. You start to question the underlying originality of such sequences. Such a drop in credibility should’ve been avoided.
Furthermore, the climax sequence is written rather lazily. After the kind of potential Rajamouli exhibits in the first half of the film, the hastily written climax is disappointing. Its predictability isn’t the problem, the fact that it seems too far-fetched to even be considered as fantasy is troubling. When men are thrusted into the sky and still manage to land like flocks of birds, you start to wonder why they never braced for impact. An imagination that served Rajamouli quite well in the first half, leads him astray with such unconvincing stunts.
Nevertheless, Baahubali packs in quite a lot of stunning sequences. Most of Prabhas’s heroic stunts are followed by a round of thunderous applause from the audience. The scene in which he majestically delivers salutation commands, as he assumes the duty of Mahismathi’s entrusted Senapathy is especially striking. Another fascinating sequence is where the kingdom’s two powerful women Sivagami and Devasena have a heated face-off.
As Amarendra and Mahendra Baahubali, Prabhas delivers the best performance of his career. Even though the stunts he practices are larger than life, he carries his character’s heroism organically. As the raging and impassioned queen Sivagami, Ramya Krishnan puts her iron-clad spirit on display. Anushka Shetty brings shades of blazing boldness to Devasena, the fiery princess. Veterans like Nassar and Satyaraj are brilliant too.
As Pingaladeva, Nassar exhibits extremely manipulative antics that make you loathe his character. With every arresting transformation, Nassar’s wondrous acting abilities scale to greater heights. The wrath of Baahubali would’ve been meek without a contender as cunning and worthy as Nassar’s Pingaladeva. You see strokes of Saguni in his character and only Nassar is really capable of rendering such a challenging metamorphosis.
Even with his monstrous body and raging fury, Rana Daggubati is the weak link in Baahubali 2. Sure, he displays tremendous rage but apart from anger he seldom emotes any other dramatic expressions. His emotional palette seems to be extremely limited and restricted. The intellectual yet manipulative qualities NTR brought to the film Karnan as Krishna is what goes missing in Rana’s character. He isn’t half as threatening as any other quintessential villains in the industry.
The technical department of Baahubali 2 deserves a standing ovation. The tremendous work that has gone into the VFX of this film is reflected in the unmissable visual storytelling. The production design too is impeccable. From the authenticity of each character’s costumes to constructing their intricate nuances, the art design has set extremely high standards. Cinematographer K.K Senthil Kumar’s imagery evokes admiration and wonder.
Rajamouli creates masterful scenes but another significant aspect that always falls short of expectations is the music in his films. They set the mood and stay in the shadows of breath-taking visuals but they never take the centre stage. What makes these epic films eternal is great music and Baahubali seems to be void of it. The songs are forgettable, mediocre and passable but what we expect from an auteur like Rajamouli are songs that sway you relentlessly. M.S Viswanathan and Ramamoorthy made sure of this when they took up Karnan. Even today, a song like “Ullathil Nalla Ullam” will make you weep like a baby but unfortunately, you cannot find such a song in Baahubal’s album.
Overall, Baahubali 2 is a breath-taking experience that you must witness. Its grandeur and magnanimity will leave you stunned. Chances are, the film’s undeniable charm will make you look past its intermittent flaws.