Baahubali is no more a movie. It became an Indian brand with salability in abroad too or in one word, the magnum opus is a National prestige. After Baahubali 1 left a section of audience waiting more for content and emotional drives, here comes Baahubali 2 releasing today in theaters amidst a hysteria unseen for a Telugu cinema. Has SS Rajamouli and team lived up to the expectations, let us know more in Baahubali 2 review part.
Continuing the flashback from where Kattappa (Sathyaraj) left in the first part winning over Kalakeyas, kingmaker Shivagami announces Amarendra Baahubali (Prabhas) as King of Mahishmati leaving Bijjaladeva (Naazar), Bhallaladeva (Rana) envious. Before taking up crown, Baahubali and Kattappa are sent on Desha Yatana to observe, understand the lives of common people. Here is where, Amarendra Baahubali falls in love with Kuntala Princess Devasena (Anushka) by hiding his identity. Knowing this, Bhallaladeva influences his mother to fix his marriage with the same Devasena. Unaware of Bhallaladeva and Bijjaladevaís false trap, Shivagami orders for Bhallaladeva Pattabhishekam and Baahubali-Devasena marriage.
As time passes on, Amarendra Baahubali becomes a man of masses which discomforts the King Bhallaladeva thus forcing Kattappa to kill Amarendra Baahubali with permission from Shivagami. Thus ends the flashback leaving vengeance burning Mahendra Baahubali, Avanthika directly announce war on Bhallaladeva. How Mahendra Baahubali kills Bhallaladeva in war is rest of climax.
To overcome the criticism leveled by South and importantly Telugu critics on Rajamouliís failure in following his trademark commercial format in Part 1 missing at strong emotions and genuine content, literally he impaired the holiness and purity in central characters for Part 2. For the sake of commercial screenplay, breaking the spine of Kattappa, Shivagami, Devasena is inexcusable. These characters looked upon with great respect and esteem in Part 1 has now become forced and irritating. Whatsoever, story ran on expected lines and so is the screenplay. Yet, Jakkanna scores brownie points as a firm storyteller. Couple of episodes in first half and couple more in second half made the overall narrative unyielding. Dialogues arenít really clap-worthy.
KK Senthil Kumarís camera becomes the viewerís eye. It traverses through magnificent Mahishmati, Kuntala taking us on a visual ride. Technically, Senthil is one of the best assets. Back to much talked about CG works, I would rate Baahubali 2 no way got close to Baahubali 1. Looks like Rajamouli is hurried up leaving major CG half baked. Editing by Kotagiri isnít really up to the mark and looked incoherent at many places. Thereís still a scope to chop excessive runtime. MM Keeravani, though his musical score for songs is less effective than Part 1, he is just amazing in providing the soul and essence for many episodes alone with his background. Production standards from Shobu, Prasad of ARKA Media are top notch and world class.
Onto artists, Prabhas delivered a striking performance. He looked more commanding in looks and action rather than weak dialogue delivery. None can match his elegance in royal costumes. As most of the film narrates Amarendra Baahubali story, significance of Prabhas as Mahendra Baahubali is less.
Anushka is gorgeous at places and looked pale, unexciting at other instances. Costume designing for Devasena isnít imposing. Yet, she stole the show at important portions.
Rana is literally weakened, except climax fight and cruelty in killing Baahubali. His physical appearance is inconsistent.
Sathyarajís comedy is Aravam Athi but his honesty in second half tugged the heartstrings.
Ramya Krishna, the authoritarian character in Part 1 became forced, idiotic and egotistical with loud voice here.
Naazar went overboard at times. Subba Raju is in a tested character and the one Adavi Pandi episode is unbearable. 30 Years industry Prudhvi is for namesake. Among the rest, none needs much of a mention including Tamanna.
Rajamouli Mark Commerciality
Opening Scene, Interval Block
Mid First Half Portions
Involuntary Drama, Emotions
What made entire India and a part of world to wait for Baahubali 2 release is the closeness one has developed with characters, visual grandeur, mammoth production scale and the one question on why Kattappa killed Baahubali. More or less, Rajamouli was honest to his regular, adapted style of storytelling process and focused more on elevating the greatness in Amarendra Baahubali and Devasena forgetting the fierce negative side of story in Bhallaladeva, Bijjaladeva and Shivagami. This imbalance led to knee jerk narrative leaving no big memories in Part 2.
Beginning with superb CG in Oka Pranam song, the take-off reached zenith as and when Amarendra Baahubaliís Saahore Baahubali song with elephant episode comes on screen. This is the best of a hero introduction scene in Rajamouliís career for sure. On other side, Rana along with Kattappa, Naazar, Ramya Krishna went degraded scene by scene.
Once Bahaubali, Kattappa leaves on country side visit to fall in love with Devasena, treatment literally derailed. Entire exhaustive romantic track filled with Kattappaís Athi, Adavi Pandi hunting, Pinjariís attack on Kuntala is sub-standard. The process followed to build romantic chemistry went awry. In between, Rajamouli covered the drawbacks with Orori Raja song visuals and 10 minutes interval block. Muripala Mukunda song is tad too long. Reason how and why Devasena falls for a timid Baahubali isnít established.
Serving at commercial cinematic liberties, Baahubali 2 moves for an extra ordinary interval block of Bhalladeva Pattabhishekam and Baahubali becoming Sarva Senadhipathi. Hats Off to Keeravani for lifting this scene to next level with his BGM. Except the opening and closing scenes, first half leaves an average feel.
Second half kick starts with Baahubali, Devasena marriage and pregnancy in a rush. Again the way Devasena stands tall questioning Shivagami on Mahishmati Constitution and Laws lacked in conviction. Jakkanna never misses his mark in one episode when Baahubali cuts the throat in the centre of Devasenaís court trial. Using Subbarajuís Kumara Varma character, the plot etched for killing Baahubali through Kattappa hands could have been dealt with more potent. Once Baahubali is killed, Shivagami and Devasena dominate the show for a while with decent drama pushing the narrative back to present as Mahendra Baahubali declares war on Bhallaladeva, it is a common ritual. CG used in this lengthy war portion is good but definitely not on par with Part 1 battle fields. Climax is expected and eye feast to watch on big screen.
All in all, Baahubali 2 is targeted mainly at Telugu audience with Rajamouli mark commercial equations at the cost of making rigid, well built characters bent elastically for our convenience. This may hamper Baahubali 2 Box Office run in other languages and repeat audience in Telugu is also doubtful. Yet, the film is a visual masterpiece with dedicated efforts from Rajamouli team visible throughout. Apparently, there is a winner for sure on hand for producers and buyers but the level of appreciation, glory and reverence Rajamouli team garnered with Part 1 will be missed with Part 2. Cinejosh gives Baahubali 2 rating at 3.5 stars encouraging the illustrious endeavor from our own Telugu squad.