Bahubali The Beginning is an epic fantasy history saga made both in Telugu and Tamil and dubbed in Hindi and Malayalam as well. It is directed by SS. Rajamouli and it took 3 years to film. SS Rajamouli is the one who directed Naan Ee as well, Eega in Telugu and Makkhi in Hindi not to mention Maghadheera, Tamil, Maaveran. The stars that stud Bahubali are Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Tamannah Bhatia, Anushka Shetty, Ramya Krishnan, Sathyaraj, Nassar, Sudeep, Adivi Sesh and Prabakhar. It’s touted as India’s biggest film with a budget of $ 40 million.
The story of Bahubali The Beginning is not new to Indian cinema – son taking revenge of betrayed father and tortured mother in a dynastical battle of sanguine which runs in the veins of all involved. What stands out though, is how Rajamouli brought the story magically on screen.
Director SS Rajamouli used every bit of $ 40 million to the max. He kept audience glued to the screen by using CGI that looks as natural as the back of my hand.
It seems like the director questioned himself, “What can I do with the $40 million? (which is pocket exchange for Hollywood)” And, he stretched the limits of Indian cinematic limits to breaking point. Baby carried like Lord Krishna. Bingo. Hero jumping from mountain to mountain amid waterfalls. Yep. Men fighting raging bulls with bare hands. Check. Avalanche escaping lovers. Why not. Fighting off a salvo of arrows by a sword. Done. The director’s dexterity reminded me of India’s MOM – done in less budget taken to produce the movie Gravity. I saw that feat in this movie.
The waterfalls and jungle have a lot in common with Avatar. Similar but not the same. The animation is solid and seamless. I am glad that the animation is not cumbersome like the animation in Kochadaiyan. The backdrop is breathtaking. It makes one wonder that Indian cinema has come this far?
Bahubali, Vere Maari
Bahubali The Beginning is very artistic and graceful and aggressive and gallant at the same time.
Romance is taken intertwined with nature. Fish eating off scabs from the heroine’s hand and hero painting art on her submerged hand from the underwater. Hero painting the defiant heroine’s eyes with kohl and lip colour derived from berries. Poetry in motion.
One can make out that the plot smacks of Mahabarata but not punctuated. The story can’t be said as completely original or different. The same tale told with heightened aesthetic taste.
Prabhas and Rana Dagubatti compete with each other in flexing muscles and earnestly tried to outdo each other in acting as well. Tamannah is portrayed in a new light – a warrior princess but she blew it by overacting. Her sword wielding skills is commendable – due credit. Sathyaraj’s character is totally badass. Nassar has a deformed hand and makes up for it by his avarice for power.
I saved the best for the last Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan) and Devasena (Anushka). I’ve never seen a woman kill men while holding a baby tenderly in one hand in any movie and Ramya does this TWICE in this iconic film. She totally nailed it as a strong yet gentle queen and the epitome of justice, commanding deferential respect. Ramya shows what GIRL POWER is – that women should know how to nurture and kick ass. And, she’s as hot as ever – what a fresh deviation from her Vamsam serial appearance.
I am actually glad they didn’t show Anushka all dolled up. She’s a leading heroine but proved that she’s an actress by essaying an old and in tatters role, something new to Indian cinema maybe after Pooja, Vedhika and Laila in Naan Kadavul, Paradesi and Nanda. But the latter 3 heroines weren’t depicted old, only oafish.
This movie is epic on every level – the costumes and makeup in Bahubali The Beginning has set a new benchmark for Indian cinema. The Kalakeya warlord is scary gila gaban. And, the barbarian language is funny gobbledegook. I giggled when Kalakeya went about the gibberish.
The last 45 minutes is characterized by full scale war in flashback. The thing to look out for here is leadership interspersed with compassion, the greed for power and mostly ingenious war tactics never seen before in Indian films and even Hollywood films – the red cloth soaked in gasoline sent flying using ball bearings to cover Kalakeya’s troops and set alight, killing many soldiers. I understood why the soldier cuts the tent as Nassar looks up to the soldier and questions, “Why are you cutting the tent?” The soldier will say, “Chinna elavarasarar kudarathe vetti vare chonar.” Nassar, mulls, “Kudarethe ethukku vetta soldran..?” When I saw the red cloth sent flying, I literally shouted, Oh, for this la!” I resent fights but I was electrified by this action sequence. The animation mirrors 300 and by Indian standards, it is exceptional.
Music by MM Keeravani is slow poison and is the perfect foil for Bahubali The Beginning.
Tongues are wagging that Shankar has been replaced by SS Rajamouli the way Ilayaraja was replaced by AR Rahman but that remains to be seen.
Bahubali The Beginning has no climax. You guys have to wait for next year for Bahubali The Conclusion.
Roll in 2016.