Rajinikanth once reportedly said that his favourite type of stories were the ones that started with the words, “Once upon a time… there lived a king…” and that is why he chose to do Kochadaiiyaan. . . I like such stories too… That’s why I have watched Bahubali thrice already… Contrary to popular belief, not because of the presence of Tamannah. . .
The plot of Bahubali is nothing new. It is probably one of the oldest stories in Cinema. Bahubali’s plot is the same as Batman, Trishul (Mr.Bharath), Agneepath, Gangs of Wasseypur, Ram Lakhan, Amaidhipadai etc… A wronged son takes revenge for the death of his parent(s) or avenges the loss of his mother’s honour… The biggest difference lies in the screenplay and ‘Drishyam’, the visuals…
Bahubali, rightly boasts of the grandest ever visuals in an Indian movie… I was hooked on to this visual spectacle right from the moment, the title came on screen . . .
“Bahubali – The Beginning” . . .
Prabhas(Bahubali/Shivu/Sivudu) is impressive as the chiselled, emotional and charming protagonist, though I personally felt that the real verdict of this choice would depend on the next installment. Apart from the entire war sequence and the confrontation scene with Kattappa, the performance of Prabhas was overshadowed by the technical wizardry and the movie’s opulence… The sheer audacity of making Tamannah(Avantika) play a warrior is an inspired choice. Though the filmmaker makes her play the muse in a couple of song sequences, he does it with panache.
Rana Daggubati(Palvalthevan/ Bhallala Deva) is a mountain, a reason why a word like gargantuan was coined. He is extremely effective as the principle antagonist and I’m scared to write anything against this guy, not that there is any. Anushka (Devasena) effectively saunters through her performance and that one scene where she senses her Son’s return could be a reason why Karan Johar came on board to present the Hindi version. She obviously has a bigger role to play in the next part.
Nasser(Pingalathevan/ Bijjala Deva) does a role that he has performed enough number of times that it can be patented to him by now. The other casting choices seem to be perfect with the inclusion of actors like Rohini(Sanga), Tanikella Bharani (Swamiji), Sudeep(Aslam Khan) and the highly menacing Prabhakar (Kalakeya chief).
Personally, I felt that the reel hero and heroine of “Bahubali-The beginning” are Sathyaraj (Kattappa) and Ramya Krishnan (Queen Sivagami). They get the best lines and scenes to perform, and they deliver it majestically. Sathyaraj is a performer who reinvents himself with every chance he gets. He is the Dark Knight of this epic movie. An extremely complex character and in Mahabharata terms can be likened to Bheeshma… I clapped the hardest with wide opened eyes, whenever Ramya Krishnan said, “My word is an order, my order is the LAW” and that other scene where she just walks away with the infant in her hand, after slitting the throat of a traitor. WOLF-WHISTLE-WORTHY…
Comparing the graphics of this movie with any other Indian movie would be unnecessary and also a borderline abomination. The real success of the graphics team was the audience searching for the tag of C.G.I in certain scenes that transcended the line between virtual and man-made shots. A special mention to Sabu Cyril (the Art Director), for those outstanding locales and sets and Madhan Karky, for creating a new language(Kalakeyan tribe language)…
The background score by M.M.Keeravani was rousing. The BGM during the war sequences, the individual themes for all the characters, especially Ramya and Anushka was just Goosebumps-inducing. Though I didn’t quite like the songs, the visuals made it a lot more worthwhile.
Last but not the least at all by a very far margin, as someone in the theatre shouted out, S.S.Rajamouli is actually Super Star Rajamouli. After Mani Ratnam, he is the only director I’ve seen, whose name in the credits made the entire audience give an astounding applause. As someone once said about making movies, “The only restriction to your creativity and imagination is in your mind or in the bloody budget”. He dared to dream, he backed up his dream with a solid team and his track record got him the money. The first innings has been a resounding success and not one person came out of the theatre without wanting more. If anyone can surmount the expectations of the second innings, it is Rajamouli himself.
Believe in SSR
I wish for a time when Bahubali comes out as a graphic novel or becomes something on the lines of a story from Amar Chitra Katha or Chandamama. A story that parents tell their kids before bed or to feed them… An epic that would be retold or revamped for generations to come. . . It is just a start. SS Rajamouli has opened a floodgate of expectations and ambitions.
For now, there is just one thing to say…
P.S. I also wish we have a Bahubali based theme park. Rides conceptualized like the swirling chariot of Bhallala Deva, a rodeo on that humungous bison etc… Our answer to the theme parks across the world based on Hollywood movies.