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Bahubali: The Conclusion  : Spectacular Blockbuster
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Friday, April 28, 2017
S. S. Rajamouli
Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah

Why did Kattappa kill Bahubali? I won’t spoil the party but he does have a reason and it’s palace intrigue at work all the way.


Director SS Rajamouli and his father storywriter Vijayendra Prasad make a worthy prequel with a jumbo beginning for Amarendra Bahubali, the one who was killed by Kattappa. The opening scenes delight all the senses, composer MM Kreem contributing with a highly rhythmic background score. What is the real test is that even though the viewer knows where it’s all leading to, it’s still a gripping watch. It’s achieved with a screenplay that’s packed with drama, conspiracy, romance, flashes of humour and of course, stunning warfare that’s on par with the best anywhere in the world.


While the earlier instalment told the romantic and dramatic story of Mahendra Bahubali and Avanthika his ladylove, it’s his father, Amarendra Bahubali’s turn this time. And his tale is laden withmother-son sentiments and loyalty to the crown besides a throbbing romance with Rajkumari Devasena that has its light moments as well as sharp fighting skills.


It’s cleverly plotted storytelling where the visual awesomeness promised in Bahubali: The Beginning is retained but Rajamouli makes a generational difference in the way he presents the romance of Amarendra Bahubali. It’s just as intense, a little less sensuous but as effective. And with a different sort of saas-bahu confrontation, it makes the women of Maheshmati human but substantial. Despite the obvious testosterone that’s emphasised in the superhero fantasy world of Bahubali, it’s a creditable hallmark of the screenplay that the Rajmata and the two daughters-in-law of Maheshmati are super strong too, both physically and in their unafraid outspokenness.


MM Kreem comes up with a tasteful ‘Kanha’ number that has a South Indian touch and beat. A beautifully choreographed bow and arrow fight sequence featuring Amarendra Bahubali and Devasena, and Bahubali extending his arms rippling with biceps to make a bridge for his bride are two of the many standout sequences.


The show belongs to Prabhas who’s swift on his feet, unerring in his action and soft when smitten. Anushka Shetty matches him move for move and looks lovely to boot. Ramya Krishnan as Rajmata Sivagami and Sathyaraj as Kattappa have a powerful presence. Rana Daggubatti is well cast as Bhallaladeva and veteran Nassar continues to make the perfectly wily evil parent.


Where I do have a problem is with its length which is nearly 2 hours and 50 minutes. And while it is symptomatic of the harsh world of Maheshmati, cattle with fire in their horns or pigs being hunted down, can be wrench to watch.    


However, the smartness of Bahubali is that it is representative of Indian cinema making gigantic strides in its narrative scale. It is smart when the first instalment ends with a hook that draws you back to watch the next even two years later. And the second edition intrigues you enough to want to watch the first if you haven’t already seen it.  


For a well-calibrated blockbuster, Bahubali: The Conclusion gets a 4* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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