Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (BB2) starts off from where the first part ends in the flashback mode. It begins with the to-be king, Amarendra Bahubali (Prabhas) deciding to do a world tour before taking up the reins of the kingdom. You know, exactly like how Simran wanted to tour Europe before taking up marriage. His tour begins with the Old city of Hyderabad, goes on to the great plains of The Shire, Punjabi Khet, and ends up at a lake filled with Inferi.
After paying homage to the great fantasy epics, he bumps into Devisena (Anushka Shetty), a princess of a small kingdom called Kuntala. What follows is a brief period of courtship interspaced with some comedy involving Kattappa (Sathayraj) and Devisena’s cousin Kumara Varma (Subbaraju). The flashback segment goes on till the burning question of “Why Kattappa killed Bahubali” is addressed and then we’re back in the present moment with Mahendra Bahubali locking horns with Bhallala Dev (Rana Daggubati) to bring the saga to a culmination.
The story is not really great. The entire movie (and the prequel) hinges on miss understanding between Sivagaami and Amarendra which is laughable in its simplicity and has been done to death by various PG Wodehouse novels. But then, BB2’s strength lies in some great confrontational scenes interspaced with some really good action sequences. The most sceptical of the viewer will not be able to help but to feel over awed by the superbly choreographed action segment involving Devisena and Bahubali fighting in tandem.
SS Rajamouli plays to his strengths by giving some high voltage drama between Sivagami and Devasena. The answer of the much hyped question has been really handled well purely due to the emotions involved. The scene where Bahubali gives a speech to Kumara Varma (Devasena’s cousin) and exhorts him to take up arms is a goosebump raising scene. The pre-interval sequence involving the coronation will leave you with a rousing high. The action set pieces and the histrionics by the actors more than make up for the story deficiencies.
Having said all that, while it was a great experience during most of the initial 2/3rds of the run time, the climax is mostly a let-down. More than “Why Kattappa killed Bahubali”, the real question is “Why wasn’t more time given for the VFX in the climax”. The entire battle sequence in the climax leaves a bad taste in the mind, more so after getting enthralled during the earlier part of the movie.
Acting wise, Anushka Shetty and Ramya Krishna steal the show. While it is also a function of the way the story moves, good to see they both have made full use of their scenes. Sathayaraj is terrific in the entire scenes and his acting during the Bahubali killing sequence and it’s aftermath really takes the movie to a higher plane. While Prabhas and Rana do justice to their role, I would have been happier if the scenes between Bhalla and Amrendra, and Bhalla and his dad Bijjaladeva, were a bit more developed. I am sure paucity of time did not permit that to happen. Nassar did a good job as Bijjaladeva, but I couldn’t help but get reminded of a similar role which he enacted in Uttama Villian.
And finally a word about the megastar of the entire saga, Mr. SS Rajamouli. While Rajamouli has a lot of achievements in illustrious career, for me the two main achievements were 1. He got Ram Charan to act and look good while doing that 2. Make a movie out of a fly as a protagonist and keep the audience hooked throughout the film.
It’s purely because of his reputation, vision and execution skills that a series of this scale and magnitude could come about in our country. Now, with the grand execution and success of Bahubali series, I don’t know what aim, scale will he targeting for. I really hope his career doesn’t go in the way of Ramesh Sippy.
My personal wishlist for him: May he make his dream project of the Mahabharatha, but, not produced in India, but as a Hollywood production and a global release.