Now that the brouhaha over the release of ‘Bahubali: The Conclusion’ has subsided, it is time to do a frank review of the magnum opus of director SS Rajamouli and question his oversight in many situations, which failed to keep the tempo of the film throughout like the first part ‘Bahubali: The Beginning’.
Starring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Nasser, Sathyajit, Anushka and Ramya Krishna, the film surrounds essentially Bahubali and Kattappa during the first half and how Kuntala kingdom’s princess Devasena loves Bahubali and goes with him as his captive on the promise that he protects her come what may. Surprisingly, Bhallaladeva and not his father, emerges as the main plotter of the sinister royal design to subdue more popular Bahubali.
When Bahubali falls in love with Devasena and begets her love, the news reaches Bhallaladeva and he maneouvres to get Rajamata Shivagami to promise him Devasena in marriage unaware of Bahubali’s interest. Since the entire second part of the film is around Shivagami vs Devasena, Bahubali was denied the throne for not obliging Rajamata to forgo his love Devasena. Bhallaladeva becomes the King of Mahishmati and manages to drive out Bahubali and his pregnant wife out of the royal court to live as a commoner.
Still insecure, Bhalladeva and his father plot for eliminating Bahubali forever and make Shivagami believe that Bahubali was the culprit behind an assassination bid on the King and she orders his execution through hapless Kattappa, who carries it out despite his love and admiration for Bahubali and hatred for Bhalladeva.
Intriguing but Rajamouli has apparently weakened the storyline here to justify the national question of “Why Kattappa Killed Bahubali?”. No doubt, he was under pressure to answer what the “Nation Wants to Know” as to “Why Kattappa Killed Bahubali?”. Since this question remained hot for 21 months, he tried to deliver a twisted and tweaked sotryline here, instead of making the film as gripping as the first part of the film ‘Bahubali: The Beginning’.
He should have given priority to “First Things First” but to enthrall his viewers first, he weaved a long love curve around Bahubali and Devasena in the first half that makes the second half too quick with sudden turn of events leading to kattappa killing Bahubali.
In fact, the excellent part of the film was not the civil war in Mahishmati between Mahendra Bhubali and his uncle Bhallaladeva but Bahubali’s mind-boggling strategy to defeat hordes of invaders in the night to protect his love Devasena and her brother who is the ruler of Kuntala Desam, which is very familiar for all those who would have been avid readers of Chandamama when they were children.
Story line apart, techniques, settings and war scenes are as excellent as in the first part. Prabhas has lived in the film throughout and no wonder the true royal blood of the erstwhile ruling dynasty in Andhra is vividly seen in his every expression and action. In Bhallaladeva character, Rana relived his charm and proved more than mere an antagonist when he was managing to recapture Devasena single-handedly.
Above all the characters, Anushka in Devasena has dominated every scene and true to her Arundhati stature, recaptured the admiration of her fans. Forgotten Avantika appears briefly for few seconds though. Obviously, the film would have lost its glory if Ramya Krishna hadn’t been cast. Nasser is the natural choice for his role and Kattappa lived up to his national image, especially when he questioned Rajamata for her decision to kill Bahubali.
All said, the nation owes Rajamouli a big thanks for bringing such a film. “Na Bhhoto Na Bhavishyat” is all one can say about the Bahubali project of Rajamouli.