Where should I start? What should I tell and what I shouldn’t? (Takes a deep breath) Okay.. I’ll start with this: The one million, no, the 155 million dollar question that gets answered in this Baahubali 2: The Conclusion part is not even a highlight of the movie. That tells you how good the movie is on its own, not relying on a single aspect.
As we all know, Baahubali 1 was more of a set-up movie for the conclusion and not that great as far as the story is concerned. But what Mr. Jakkanna (aka S.S.Rajamouli) did is that he utilized the maximum of the 158 minutes of part one for engrossing the patrons in the visual world of Mahishmathi and also for the character development of all the leads as well as the supports. So, it’s two wickets (VFX and Character intro) down already for the master and he is left with the 3 major aspects: The story, the screenplay and direction. And he has 170 odd minutes to do that. It’s like asking Dhoni to score 6 runs from 3 balls. A cakewalk for him and we all know what he’d do. Jakkanna followed suit. SSR hits it out of the park with this magnum opus of his. Uses all his advantages to the full scale and he pulled off a blinder.
The answer to the question WKKB is inexplicable in one word. It is the result of various sequences and scenes put together. Or to be precise, the whole first half itself. The flashback continues and Kattappa narrates the story of Amarendra Baahubali 2 and his journey through the Kuntala kingdom. The story takes many twists and turns and after the WKKB scene, everything seems to be predictable. But Jakkanna makes it all the more interesting, all thanks to his creative thoughts. And finally, the two part epic gets concluded on a familiar note.
The opening credits are so well made, the quality of VFX they put in this sequence alone is mind blowing to watch. We are immediately pulled into the film with narration of Kattappa from the background. Soon after Baahubali enters Kuntala kingdom, the narration might seem to drop just a little bit. But it drops only point not not not one percent. Anyway, the action sequences come to the rescue. Between all of these, the unfinished character acrs of Sivagami and Baahubali rapidly escalate with some intense drama wound around it. And then we arrive at the most exciting and movie defining point in the whole run time: The pre-interval scene. the likes of this scene are similar to that of part one but the situation is way different and how! If at anytime someone’s writing a book on ‘How to elevate a hero’s character’, then that book would be a waste without this scene being listed on it. And your skin never seem to settle, gooseflesh all the way! The second half is more racieras it approaches the end. The show down between Bhalla and Baahu is wonderful to watch. And that particular moment for which Devasena roots for 25 long years finally comes and is a bit disappointing, I should say. It was pretty ordinary for the standards of Jakkanna. But still, the film ends on a happy note, unlike its first part which gave us a mind boggling cliff hanger.
As previously mentioned, SSR used his advantage stance to the fullest. Having been free from character development, he concentrated on the story narration. The ‘good narrator’ that he claims himself to be is true yet again. Fantastic screen writing. All the creative ideas that he invested in this proves yet again why he is known as the best director of this generation. Hat’s off, Jakkanna!
And what should I say about the direction. It’s something beyond our grasp. Beyond our imagination. The way the scenes progress and the way in which he uses the high and low points of the scene are commendable. It’s better I don’t talk too much about his direction.
The amount of VFX they used in this film on a whole is much more when compared to that of the first part. The large expanses of Mahishmathi and Kuntala kingdoms are a visual treat. But in many scenes the use of green screen seemed quite evident. There were many aerial shots that had VFX in them and most of the time the camera was either shaking or that the VFX was completely blurred out of sight as the camera was moving fast.These were the few noticeable flaws w.r.t. VFX.
The original score composed by Keeravaani is like the salt and pepper for this recipe. Without his fantastic BGM, the film would’ve been incomplete. He used all the tunes that he could get. Remastered some and re-iterated some. But the final outcome is outstanding. Kudos to the legend.
The editing was really good all through. No complaints as far as the first half goes. The only complaint I have was with the work he did as the movie progressed to the end. The editing was too fast and rushed. Probably owing to the myth that too much run time can ruin the movie, editing had to be this way. You can’t say.
The eye of the film, Mr. Senthil Kumar pulled it off once again. And this time it’s a humongous six from this man. The shots that he teased in the trailer were just a sample and the actual package is in the film. Great taking. But due to the fact that the film was made by keeping Imax screens in mind, many theaters in India, especially single screen theaters do not have that aspect ratio of screen size and hence the framing was cut away. An Imax screen would probably do a 100% justice to the film. Similar to the previous flick, the DI colouring was again delayed and hence the trailer had all the original scenes which were rendered blue/night tint in the post production. Probably the quality of DI that is currently present in India isn’t that good maybe. Overall, it’s a visual treat and all the things I mentioned will not be noticed by general audiences. So, no issues there.
Performance wise, this is a way better outing for Prabhas. He was really lovable as the prince of Mahishmathi. The way he portrayed Baahubali is second to none and it’s really hard to imagine anyone else in this role. Rana was outrageous as the evil Bhallala Deva. He was literally under the skin of his character and has done a pretty good job. Especially the dialogue delivery, fabulous. Anushka plays a very bold, fearless Devasena in this one. She is a proud Kuntala princess and is an inspiration to many women in her kingdom. Her dialogues were fierce too. Just when you think that Ramya Krishna is stealing the screen presence, Anushka comes to the competition. Ramya Krishna’s Sivagami this time has many dialogues as well as many emotional scenes too. The drama that unfolds between these four leads is always great to watch and is very very intense. Bijjala Deva showed he isn’t less by cracking away the pillar grooves. As usual, a great performance from Nasser. Satyaraj performed equally well this time. He had a lot of screen time and dialogue too. The dialogue delivery and the intensity is more than the previous one. Subba Raju played a very entertaining character. An emotional one too. rest all the supporting cast did their job pretty well.
When Baahubali 1 released, Jakkanna was criticised a lot by the fans association of Prabhas for not showing their hero in a way they expected him to be. But this time he did not leave any chance where he can elevate the hero’s character. It will be one hell of a satisfactory ride for all the Prabhas fans for the way Jakkanna elevated him is out of bounds. The elevation might have breached the skies.
The best and high points in the film are Arrow Dance, Pre-interval scene, court hall scene in second half and WKKB scene. One word: Araachakam.
This film is something that needs to be watched on an Imax screen and I would recommend you to do so. It would also help one savour the visual wonders to the fullest on such screens.
Baahubali 2 is that kind of film that would be remembered for generations to come. A milestone in Indian film industry. Pride of TFI.
Rating : 4.5/5