Mumbai, 28 Apr 2017 14:45 IST
SS Rajamouli's hugely anticipated saga is an out-and-out entertainer, but it doesn't rise to the level of the first film.
Note: This review does not contain spoilers, not even the answer to why Katappa killed Baahubali.
There are very few films whose release is awaited as much as that of the sequel to Baahubali. But such high level of excitement also comes with the baggage of mammoth expectations. Hence, the only relevant question is whether Baahubali: The Conclusion succeeds in satisfying your cinematic hunger. The answer is in the affirmative.
Baahubali: The Conclusion starts off with Rajmata Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan) announcing Amarendra Baahubali (Prabhas) as the next ruler of Mahishmati, much to the agony of his cousin Bhallaladeva (Rana Daggubati) and his father Bijjaladeva (Nassar). To complete a task given by Sivagami, Amarendra mixes with the common folk of Mahishmati, along with their ardent warrior, Katappa (Sathyaraj).
Amarendra comes across Devasena (Anushka Shetty), daughter of the king of the neighbouring Kuntal Rajya. The young woman's beauty matches her bravery and warfare skills. This is the reason why Amarendra falls for her. Slowly, she too develops feelings for him. Finally, when Devasena gets to know Amarendra's amazing skills as a warrior, her admiration for him increases manifold. Soon, both of them get married.
But Bhallaladeva and Bijjaladeva make sure their happiness is shortlived. The sorry turn of events leads to Katappa killing Amarendra Baahubali. To add to the agony of Devasena, Bhallaladeva holds her captive. Now, his son Mahendra Baahubali (Prabhas) must make the evil father-son duo bite the dust. But will he forgive Katappa for killing his father?
If Baahubali: The Beginning is still fresh in your mind, it is easy to guess the concluding part in terms of the turn of events and the climax. As far as the first half is concerned, Rajamouli makes sure that the predictability is super enjoyable. The fast narrative with constant cheerful moments and Amarendra Baahubali’s creative heroics fill you with delight. His incredible entry scene plays a big role in winning you over. Although creative liberties have been taken during stunt sequences, the presentation and style ensure you won’t mind that. Add to this the exciting interval point.
The same entertainment quotient is maintained in the second half, which also has its share of seeti-bajao moments. But there are a couple of points here that stop the film from being as great as the first one. The behaviour of an important female character is questionable. Perhaps, they tried to show the qualities of Draupadi, a pivotal character in the epic Mahabharata, in her. However, you tend to forgive this since the momentum continues to be high .
In the genre of fantasy films, the climax is very important. Unfortunately, Baahubali: The Conclusion does not rise to the level that one would expect. The culprit is one stunt sequence, which is mindless. This cannot be brushed aside as just an antic because on it hinges an important turn in the tale. Although the first film too had over-the-top sequences, they weren’t mindless.
Just like the first film, the technical department is top-notch. In fact, the VFX (visual effects) in this one is better than in the first film which had some flaws in this department. Cinematographer KK Senthil Kumar has again created beautiful and breathtaking visuals. The aerial shots are a treat. The background score succeeds in giving one goosebumps during important sequences. The title track, ‘Jiyo Re Baahubali’, deserves praise and enhances Prabhas’s entry. The rest of the songs are average though.
The performances do match up to the first film. Prabhas is incredible in all three departments – acting, action and looks. He is a delight all the way. Rana Daggubati once again makes sure we love to hate him. He nicely uses his expressions to display jealousy and evil qualities. Anushka Shetty too provides a fine act. She is charming and tough at the same time. Ramya Krishnan gets more scope here and makes good use of the opporunity. Her performance is as memorable as that of Prabhas and Daggubati.
Sathyaraj too puts his right foot forward and lives the famous character of Katappa. This time he gets to do comedy, too. Nassar is again believable as Bijjaladeva, a character modelled on Dhritrashtra from the Mahabharata. Subbaraju, as Kumar Verma, and the rest of the actors offer perfect support. Tamannaah Bhatia has very little screen time.
Sudeep's scene in the first film indicated that he would have a part to play in Baahubali 2. But it is disappointing to find out that Sudeep hasn't found a place in the sequel.
To round up, Baahubali: The Conclusion doesn’t offer you as big a kick as the first film. Nevertheless, it is paisa-vasool fare. The first film succeeded in delighting admirers of sensible cinema too. But this one is tailored more towards the front benchers.
Reviewed by Keyur Seta