Baahubali: All that glitters is not gold
It took me quite a while to catch SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus. You know how people say it’s better late than never? Whoever said that obviously hasn’t watched this movie. My expectations were pretty high because of the rave reviews that the movie got and the still-soaring box office collection. These expectations fell quicker than a college-goer’s GPA after the first half. Somehow the movie didn’t blow me away like I thought it would. (Will not appreciate fat jokes at this moment.)
The movie just did not make any sense at all. For starters what kind of person makes ‘Shivu’ the nickname of Shiva? And why does everyone love jumping in this movie? The entire movie seemed like a competition to see who can beat Vijay’s half-flying/half-leaping scene from Kuruvi. Well let’s not nitpick and instead focus on what this movie is actually about. Bahubali is the story of a young boy who grows up to be Hulk and finds out that he is actually the son of a king and sets out to seek revenge against those who did his family wrong. Clichéd, yes, but I would watch that. Except only half of that was in the movie. Well what do you get for two and half hours then? A slightly toeing the sexist line first half and a flashback filled second half.
I liked the eclectic combination of mythological stories drawn out in a lot of scenes. The movie starts off with a brilliant visual of a lady keeping a baby afloat while crossing a river (the slight Krishna’s birth feel). There is a scene where Queen Devasena refuses help because she wants only her son to rescue her giving us a déjà vu of Sita’s episode with Hanuman. The flashbacks sketch out the character of a man who was refused the throne due to a physical defect making us think of Dhritharashtra. Finally, you see the slave Kattapa killing the king he loves for inexplicable reasons (“Et tu Brute?”, quite literally the comparison here). But all these fantastic subplots are lost in a less than ordinary screenplay.
The small ideas this movie suggests are truly baffling. It portrays Tamannaah as a brave and fierce warrior at first. That’s fantastic right? Breaking gender stereotypes and everything. Errm..not so much. A few scenes later the hero thrusts into her the idea that being a warrior is her mask and being a pretty damsel is who she truly is. I, for one, would get pissed at such a suggestion. But no, Tamannaah immediately falls in love with him. So boys, today’s lesson in Chicks 101 is that sexist is the new charming.
For some strange reason every Indian actor associates royalty with overacting. That’s where the acting department comes into play. Sathyaraj was perhaps the only great performer of the lot. Now Prabhas and Daggubatti, fantastic job with the body but what differentiates you from my gym trainer is that your acting should be superb. Anushka gives her midas touch of being annoying as usual (great tan tho). Ramya Krishnan was pretty good except for her moments of overexcitement. Maybe she should learn how to be the queen mother from Cersei. Or maybe not.
The graphics were good by Indian movie standards. But that’s not really a comparison is it? Kudos to Karky for inventing a new language and putting it up there with Klingon and Dothraki but rest of the dialogues are poor. Maybe because this was originally a Telugu flick but the inspirational dialogues leave you laughing.
Now SS Rajamouli wow-ed us with what he could do in Naan E. That’s the exact same thing I expected out of this. Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t really enjoy the movie but the flaws in it are obvious.
P.S : Pffttt cliff hanger ending for cliff hangers sake