A dispute between brothers spans across two generations.This is part 1 of a 2 part period drama. Part 1 shows the brothers Baahubali and Bhallaladeva fight for the throne to Mahishmathi Kingdom.
Director: S.S. Rajamouli
Cast: Prabhas, Rana Daggubatti, Anushka Shetty, Tamannah Bhatia, Ramya Krishnan
Language: Telugu/ Hindi
I watched this movie at PVR, Oberoi Mall. This was my first time at PVR. It was a Sunday & the mall was over crowded. I also tried out the new mTicket introduced by BookMyShow. You just need to flash the code on your smartphone in front of a machine at the entrance & you are through. No collecting tickets from the counter, no wasting paper.
What I liked:
- The story: After ages, I finally got to see an Indian movie which had a solid story. Though it is largely inspired by Mahabharata, the writers have improvised it without ridiculing the epic. They have picked up different threads from the epic & woven them in to a story of their own.
- The locations: You may as well close your hanging jaw manually for each scene in the first half makes your jaw drop in awe. The scenes are breath taking, all of them. From what I have read the waterfall which Shivudu climbs exists in Kerala. What a shame that Yash Chopra ran to Switzerland when we had such beauty in our own country. Extra points to the director for saving money on foreign trips & instead shooting in India, retaining & enhancing the Indian flavour of the movie.
- The actors: All were excellent in their respective roles. My favourites were Ramya Krishnan as Sivagami, Prabhas as Bahubali & Rana Daggubatti as Bhallaldeva.
- Sivagami: What a brilliant woman. She reinforced my long held belief that women in ancient India were not weak willed or mere children yielding machines. They were a force to reckon with. She has style as well as sense. She is the first ruler character in any Indian movie who is not blinded by stupid ideals & oaths. She is everything a ruler should be. Practical, patient, courageous & wise.
- A truly secular India: Initially I was a bit confused when Shivudu talked about the Ganga. What was Ganga doing in the South? The confusion increased the worship of Kali & sacrificing a buffalo to her which are found in West Bengal. I guess, what the writers & directors were trying to portray was an India as a whole with all its regional diversity & culture intact but without its divisions which are so prevalent today thanks to our politicians. I really loved the idea of this secular & united India.
- The cliffhanger: I had no idea this was a two part movie. Hence when the movie was drawing to an end I was wondering how the director would explain so many incomplete story lines in so less a time. The cliffhanger was awesome & totally unexpected & would definitely guarantee packed houses for the sequel.
- The war: The entire war sequence is beautifully choreographed. The ideas used by Bhallaldeva & Bahubali in the war were novel & hence made the whole fight more interesting.
- Image breaker: I rarely watch South Indian movies. But ask any person from the North of India & his impression of them is the same. Gaudy clothes, mustachioed heroes who look fit enough to be the heroines father, fat heroines & weird dances which are supposed to be sexy but just look weird & funny. This movie broke that image which people have of South Indian movies. It was in a class of its own.
Tamannah looked utterly gorgeous in this white dress ❤
What I did not like:
- The first half: I was thoroughly bored in the first half. I hated that whole romantic sequence between Shivudu & Avantika. It was stretched out & seemed unending. I found it irritating as well as vulgar in some parts. I would have hit my head against the nearest hard surface had the movie ended with their happily ever after.
- Avanthika: She started off as an extremely strong character. But no sooner did she meet Shivudu & she was assigned the role of the damsel in distress, always too lost, always too dumb struck by the hero’s bravery to be of any importance to the story line. I would have liked it better if she had accompanied Shivudu on his mission to rescue Devasena & kicked some ass with him.
- The songs: As usually happens with dubbed movies, the songs are always ignored. This one was no different. Not a single song to hum once you leave the theatre. Though there was one in which a woman in white (Avanthika) is luring Shivudu up the mountains, in that song Tamannah Bhatia looks utterly gorgeous. The Hindi lyrics did not even register in my head.
I loved the second half of the movie & will certainly go in for the sequel. It is the sort of movie which should be seen on the large screen. It just won’t have the same effect on a small TV screen.