Reviewed by Madhukar KR
Baahubali is a two part series 2015 Magnum Opus film written and directed by star director SS Rajamouli released simultaneously in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam on 10th July 2015. The Hindi version of the film is backed by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions.
Baahubali sets new benchmark for Indian Filmmakers by setting new standards in filmmaking. Rajamouli captures the imagination of the film buffs with grand imageries on the silver screen. For starters we have a huge waterfall which in itself plays a character of sorts in the first half of the film. The second half of the film features a grand set which is the palace of the royal family. The film features many wild animals like elephants, bison and horses which are rendered in Computer Graphics Imagery which is so brilliantly done that it is difficult to differentiate between the CGI and the real ones.
Baahubali narration starts with a woman (Ramya krishna) from a royal family trying to save a child from the gushing waters of the huge waterfall. The child is survived by a group of tribes who are devotees of Lord Shiva. The child grows up as Shivudu/Shivu who is fascinated by the huge waterfall who wants to reach the peak of the waterfall. Shivudu finds the woman of his dreams in the waterfall called Avantika (Tamanna) who is a warrior princess who is trying to free a queen (Anushka Shetty) called Devasena from the clutches of the wicked prince Phallaladeva (Rana Daggubati). Who is Shivudu and who is Baahubali? What is the motive of the wicked prince Phallaladeva for capturing Devasena forms the rest of the story of Baahubali- The beginning which is the first part of the two part series. The second part of the film will be called Baahubali – The conclusion.
The director Rajamouli takes his time to establish the characters and the premise of the film. This explains the length of the film which is around 169 minutes. The film being of mythological or pre-historic genre requires ample screen time to narrate the sequences to the audience. This is one area where a crispier editing could have saved the day for Rajamouli. The second half of the film picks up pace with the screenplay but the item song with 3 average looking lasses which is a necessary evil for a commercial potboiler of South films reminds us that this is an ingredient of a masala entertainer. The last 30 minutes of the film culminates into a fitting climax with war sequences containing gripping action scenes.
Prabhas, Ramya Krishna and Rana steal the show in acting performances followed closely by Tamannah, Anushka, Satyaraj and Nasser. Prabhas and Rana’s action sequences are the highlight of the film.
Every scene rendered on the screen is so picture perfect that it seems like canvas painted with vibrant colours. Kudos to the cinematographer for a commendable job done. The background score adds the much needed mythological dimension to the film. The intro scene of Prabhas in the waterfalls, Ramya holding the child in her palms in the gushing waterfalls, Tamannah in the dreamy sequence song, the action sequences in the climax especially the final dive by Prabhas to attack the villain are worth mentioning scenes where the camera work is outstandingly done.
The film is a visual treat and a grand spectacle worth watching on a big screen. the film belongs to a genre of mythology and Pre-historic period. It will be interesting to see how today’s younger generation will receive this genre. Magadheera was set partly in similar genre in previous birth sequences but it had major sequences in current age rom-com genre. Give it a skip if war movies with mythological backdrop are not your cup of tea. But if you do not want to miss the visual grandeur then rush to the theatres from Monday as the tickets are already sold out for the first 3 days of the release !
Directed by S. S. Rajamouli
Screenplay by S. S. Rajamouli
Story by V. Vijayendra Prasad
Music by M. M. Keeravani
Cinematography K. K. Senthil Kumar
Edited by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Arka Media Works
Arka Media Works
Global United Media
10 July 2015
159 Minutes (Part 1)
Budget ₹250 crore (US$40 million)(II Parts)
Prabhas as Amarendra Baahubali and Shivudu alias Mahendra Baahubali
Rana Daggubati as Bhallala Deva in Telugu and Palvaalthevan in Tamil
Tamannaah as Avantika
Anushka Shetty as Devasena
Sathyaraj as Kattappa
Nassar as Bijjala Deva in Telugu and Pingala Devan in Tamil
Ramya Krishnan as Sivagami
Sudeep as Aslam Khan in cameo
Adivi Sesh as Bhadrudu
Rohini as Shivudu’s mother
S. S. Rajamouli in cameo appearance
Nora Fatehi in cameo appearance in a song.
Scarlett Mellish Wilson in cameo appearance in a song.
Gabriela Bertante in cameo appearance in a song
Prabhakar as Kalakeya