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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Baahubali 2 Movie Review by The WIRE

Attention to Detail Makes ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’ a Riveting Watch 

The Baahubali films highlight that even violence can be lyrical, that inventive imagination can bend and break barriers.


Baahubali: The Beginning, the first film of the Baahubali series, hit us like a jolt. And it did so because Indian cinema hadn’t seen a film mounted on such a big scale, promising such a spectacle. Nearly nothing about it was commonplace, and almost everything remarkable. Whether it was Shiva (Prabhas) trying to climb a ginormous waterfall, the architectural splendour of the Mahishmati kingdom or the frenetic and kinetic, often jaw-dropping, battleground sequences. 

As if S. S. Rajamouli, Baahubali: The Beginning’s director, was challenging the very meaning of opulent and grand, heightening the melodrama so much and so often that it looked believable. And to top it all, the film ended on a terrific cliffhanger, a question that managed to sustain its potency for nearly two years: Why did Kattappa (Sathyaraj) kill Baahubali? 

So Baahubali: The Conclusion (a sequel to Baahubali: The Beginning) – which aims to tie the loose ends of the first part, while telling its own story – isn’t a standalone film. And that is both its boon and bane. 

Boon because, unlike the first film, it doesn’t have to set up a world or introduce its characters; it can dive straight into the story, keeping the audiences hooked through a compelling narrative and majestic visuals. 

And bane because, unlike the first film, the sequel is, more or less, set in the same world; we’re familiar with its settings – and almost nothing about them catches us off-guard, astounding us into submission. (Every part in Baahubali: The Beginning, in contrast, leapt at us, speaking a language of its own: whether it was the 3,000-feet waterfall, the snow-laden forest or the imposing palaces.) 

Besides, Baahubali: The Conclusion, even though more plot-heavy than its prequel, is still a fairly predictable fare. Sure, we await the answer to the Kattappa-Baahubali question, but beyond that, we know how the film will end – which is understandable, epics aren’t known for surprise endings. Baahubali: The Conclusion, however, is battling some complications of its own making. Having said that, the sequel, just like the prequel, starts on a strong note. 

Rajamouli begins Baahubali: The Conclusion in flashback, showing Amarendra Baahubali’s initial days as Mahishmathi’s king and how he fell in love with Devasena (Anushka Shetty). And it is heartening to see that the film’s female lead, Devasena, has more power and agency than Baahubali: The Beginning’s heroine, Avanthika (Tamannaah). Because even though Baahubali: The Beginning was a heart-thumping heady ride, it had its disquieting moments: Tamannaah’s Avanthika was almost used as a prop, her mission hijacked by Shiva; a romantic song, picturised on the two, was problematic, for her consent wasn’t clear; the soldiers of the warring kingdom, Kalakeyas, were black brute savages, reinforcing a colonial stereotype. 

But Baahubali: The Conclusion sets those flaws right by making Devasena her own woman. The daughter of Kuntal Desh’s king, Devasena is a fierce warrior, slaying her opponents with ease, while maintaining her calm and composure, much like the franchise’s heroes. She’s strong-willed, too, holding her own against Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan), the matriarch and the queen mother, rejecting some questionable practices of the Mahishmati kingdom. 

There’s enough plot-wise in Baahubali: The Conclusion’s initial segment to keep you interested. Rajamouli revels in Baahubali’s superpower: his hero crumbles giant doors, pulls a huge chariot, tames elephants. The romantic subplot, too, is enjoyable (and although its comedic track is a bit on the nose, there’s nothing here that’s particularly jarring). 

Rajamouli, just like in Baahubali: The Beginning, keeps finding ways to treat us visually, unleashing his untrammelled imagination on us with full force. So a battleground scene has numerous bulls charging towards the Kuntal Desh with flaring horns. Baahubali rescues Kuntal Desh’s subjects by opening a dam that drowns the warring army’s soldiers. A few scenes later, a boat becomes airborne, tearing through clouds, surrounded by cloud-shaped horses. 

Rajamouli nails the macro – the battle sequences, the big fight, the hero landing the blows, the villains flying in air, anything epic is underlined with a capital-E – but seems indifferent to the micro: the small scenes that allow us to know the characters better, the intimate moments between them. The latter is conspicuous by absence. In fact, only one scene in the film – between Kattappa and Baahubali, moments before the latter’s murder – carries true emotional heft. Otherwise, Baahubali: The Conclusion is a litany of adrenaline rush, which is fine and enjoyable on its own terms, but this would have been a better film had Rajamouli thrown some heart in the mix, too. 

But it’s notable and impressive that Baahubali: The Conclusion is tonally consistent – not just with this film but also with its prequel. K.V. Vijayendra Prasad (who’s written the story) and Rajamouli (credited with the screenplay) smoothly make the film transition from one part to next, giving every subplot its due, every character motivation its adequate reasons. 

No part of the plot is played for shocks or results from lazy writing. Even the most important and dramatic revelation, the first film’s cliffhanger, is believable. And with the exception of one bit that feels contrived, Sivagami realising her mistake, the rest of the film is marked by sure-footed plotting. 

The fact that both Baahubali films are riveting and enjoyable should act as a wake-up call for some Indian filmmakers, especially those known for making tedious actioners. Because, unlike their films (centred on cops, gangsters, hitmen), Baahubali is set in a make-believe world, employing the same melodramatic tropes, especially in action sequences (a hero vanquishing scores of opponents, all by himself), and yet Rajamouli’s is a more believable, more enjoyable, fare. 

And it’s so because Rajamouli assiduously sweats the small stuff. In the world of Baahubali, even the action sequences are laced with reasons. The characters’ modes of attack – such as an ingenious sequence in the film, where Shiva’s soldiers are launched into the Mahishmati kingdom on the back of palm trees – are inventive and original, sucking us deep into this world, keeping us hooked, making us care. 

It also helps that Rajamouli unabashedly adores his heroes, presenting them as beings capable of anything. They uproot trees, tame elephants, crack bricks, rain arrows. He shoots his action sequences (K. K. Senthil Kumar’s cinematography is brilliant) like someone would choreograph songs. Nothing is ordinary; everything is elegance personified. 

Shiva and Baahubali gracefully slide onto the ground after a huge jump. They wield their quivers and swords like a musician holding a violin. Blood almost always drips slowly; sometimes it runs in rivulets. Baahubali is, of course, an epic, so not every film can follow its model, but Rajamouli has at least paved the way, showing how even violence can be lyrical, that inventive imagination can bend and break barriers. 

Both Baahubali films, though, make for strange bedmates. Baahubali: The Conclusion is superior to Baahubali: The Beginning – in terms of plot, characterisation, VFX, even dubbing (the prequel suffered from some awkward translation) – and yet, the first, deliriously original and new, was more enjoyable, hitting us like a sack of bricks. Baahubali: The Conclusion hits us too, but some of the impact is diluted by familiarity. It isn’t Rajamouli’s fault though; he, and his team, should go home proud. 

The kingdom’s been conquered.


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Friday, April 28, 2017

Baahubali 2 gets phenomenal opening in India

Filmmaker SS Rajamouli's much-anticipated Baahubali: The Conclusion has opened to fantastic response from fans across the world.



After having waited for two years, SS Rajamouli's magnum opus Baahubali: The Conclusion is finally in theaters and has opened to rave reception from critics and audience alike. 

Released in over 9000 screens worldwide, the Prabhas-starrer has received phenomenal response from the audience. 

As per early trade estimates, Baahubali 2 is expected to do a whopping business of Rs 100 crore on its opening day. 

Trade analyst Ramesh Bala took to Twitter to share the news.
Meanwhile, noted trade analyst Taran Adarsh said:
In India alone, Baahubali 2 is hitting the screens in over 6,500 screens. Earlier this week, the film had a terrific response in advance booking sales. The craze was so much that the ticking website BookMyShow issued a statement saying that they have sold out a million tickets for the sequel. 

According to trade pundits, Baahubali 2 is very likely to emerge as the highest grossing Indian films of all time, raking in at least Rs 1000 crore. 

Baahubali: The Beginning ended with Katappa revealing himself as the killer of Amarendra Baahubali. And The Conclusion takes the story forward from where its predecessor ended. 

Made on a budget of Rs 250 crore, the film has already fetched enough moolah for the producers and reportedly raked in Rs 500 crore through its satellite and distribution rights. 

Baahubali 2 is released in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, Sathyaraj and Ramya Krishnan star in pivotal roles in this instalment of Baahubali too.

Credits : http://indiatoday.intoday.in



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Baahubali 2 Movie Review - 123telugu.com


Of late, where ever you go, there is only topic and that is how Baahubali 2 is going to be. Directed by the genius Rajamouli, the magnum opus has released in over 8000 screens all over today. Let’s see whether the film reaches our expectations or not. 

Story:- As shown in the first part, Baahubali(Prabhas)is declared as the king of Mahishmati. As part of the kingdom’s ancestral ritual, the would-be king needs to visit the countryside to know what problems the people in his kingdom are facing. In this process, Baahubali visits a small kingdom called Kuntala and falls in love with its princess Devasena (Anushka). 

He woos Devasena with his charm and brings her to Mahishmati. But to his shock, Baahubali’s mother, Shivagami(Ramya Krishna) changes her decision suddenly and announces Bhallaladeva(Rana) as the king. Why did Shivagami suddenly announce Bhallaladeva as the king? What is the back story behind her decision? and why did Kattappa kill Baahubali? To know answers to these questions, you need to watch the film on the big screen. 

Plus Points:- There are way too many things that impress you in Baahubali 2 but it is practically impossible to pen all of them down in this review. Let me start by talking about the gigantic scale of the film. It is like a never before and never again kind of scenario as Baahubali 2 is huge in every aspect. Every visual of the film is filled with surprises either in terms of graphics or the extravagant sets that have been put up. The costumes, drama showcased and performances are a first of its kind in Telugu films. 

Credit should go to Rajamouli for taking Indian films to another level with his mind blowing story telling. The way he has induced a terrific conflict between the two brothers is the major asset of the film. Prabhas unleashes his beastly side in the second part and takes away your senses with his striking performance. From the first scene, his screen presence is top notch and the way he takes Bhallaladeva head on is just terrific. 

A lot was said about Anushka’s weight but boy she looks top class in this film. Right from her traditional costumes to her mature look, she has pulled off both the roles with ease. She looks slim and quite beautiful throughout the film. Coming to Rana, it would not be exaggerating to say that Rana will never get such a magnanimous role in the future. What makes the film even more fiery and ghastly is his fabulous villainous avatar. No other actor apart from him could have played this role of a lifetime and Rana has done full justice to it. 

Nassar and Satyaraj are excellent in their roles and especially Nasser, is the major highlight among the supporting cast. Ramya Krishna showcases superb emotions and brings a lot of depth to the film. The family emotions are yet another highlight of the film as they elevate the proceedings with a lot of depth. The fist fight between Rana and Prabhas is a feast to the eye. 

Minus Points:- A number of audiences might get disappointed with the way Rajamouli has answered why Katappa killed Baahubali. Even though, the twist gels well with the script, it might not meet the expectations of many. Once the twist is revealed, the film becomes a bit predictable. The climax looks a bit rushed upon as things happen way too quickly. 

Tamanna is hardly seen in the film and only appears during the climax. There are certain areas in the film where pace gets slow and some unforced drama overtakes the proceedings. The romance between Prabhas and Anushka could have been edited out a bit to make things better. 

Technical Aspects:- Baahubali 2 is one of the most technically efficient films made in India. If part one surprised you with its scale, then second part will leave you speechless with excellent visual effects and emotions. The kingdoms shown and sets created look top notch on screen. The entire team of Makuta should be appreciated for taking the film to another level with their VFX work. 

What takes Baahubali to its peak is the stunning background score of M M Keeravani. Even though his songs are not that effective as the first part, the way he elevates the proceedings with his score is impressive. Dialogues are decent and so were the lyrics. Costumes done for every character looks top class. The weaponry created and props used look quite lethal. 

Coming to the director Rajamouli, he has surely done India and the film fraternity proud with Baahubali. He has dreamt of something out of the box and has also succeeded in bringing life to India’s biggest motion picture. The way he has continued the story in the second part and made the drama even more intense is superb. There is more depth in the proceedings and every character has been given complete justification. 

Every frame of Baahubali is his creation and you can’t but salute to the genius of this filmmaker who will be the next big thing in Indian cinema. At times, you just wonder how did he perceive all this in his mind and execute it in such a convincing manner. Technicians like him are rare and Telugu folks should be proud that our own director has gone ahead and proved that nothing is impossible. 

Verdict:- On the whole, Baahubali 2 is one film which leaves you speechless. Right from the word go, it has intense drama and action as every frame in the film is a visual wonder. Be it the heroic fights or the lavish war scenes, Rajamouli showcases some never before scenes in Indian film history. 

This film will be remembered and spoken about for years to come and break every possible record in the country. The performances, drama and the lavish scale look jaw dropping and make this film a never before experience for every movie lover. Finally, just ignore the simple story line and do yourself a favor by taking your entire family to watch this magnum opus called Baahubali as wonders like these only happen very rarely. 123telugu.com Rating : 4/5


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