With a sequel, especially one this anticipated, there is that fear that it just cannot live up to the first movie, or the hype. I am here to tell you, after having just spent $40 to see the very first IMAX show of the day, that it satisfies. It completely satisfies. Rajamouli has done it again!! It was absolutely glorious to see it on the huge IMAX screen. Totally worth the money to me. Kartik from Bollyfools Youtube Channel interviewed me moments after I came out of the screening:
Everyone has spent two long years wondering #WKKB – Why Kattappa Killed Bahubali. The first film left us with possibly the biggest mystery cliffhanger of all time. I’m not going to spoiler the movie for you. You need to experience it all for yourself.
I just loved how the movie circled back to the beginning in lots of ways — thematically and visually. You’ll know what I mean when you see it.
I loved being in a first day crowd that was whistling and yelling for the big entrances. Prabhas is AMAZING! One thing I really loved about the film is that it had some wonderful moments of humor. After I saw Bahubali the Beginning, I sought out Prabhas’s other films, and in his rom coms especially he has such a mischievous sense of humor and play in his wooing. And Rajamouli let him show that side. Kattappa as matchmaker is just a delight.
Rana as Bhalladeva turns SO evil. Shockingly so in some parts. Great performance as the villain, and the final epic battle between Shivuvu and Bhalla at the end of the film is everything you could hope for in a mano a mano fight. Really thrilling.
Anushka Shetty really shines as the proud warrior princess. She does have flaws — I liked that she wasn’t just a perfect doll. Unfortunately, Tamannah is only really seen in the final battle sequence. This movie is more about the love story of Shivuvu’s parents.
There are great battle scenes, too, but much of the movie, which almost till the end takes place in the time of Bahubali the elder, is about the family drama. What leads to Bahubali’s death? Why did Bhalla chain Devasena in the courtyard? Who put that arrow in Sivagami’s back? All the answers are very satisfying. You can guess where the story is mostly going to go, just from the first film, but there are still some surprises along the way. Pride goest before a fall, is all I’ll say.
Someone asked me if I like this better than the first film, and I can’t really answer that. Because you can’t get back that feeling of wonderment the first time you saw the imagination and visuals of Bahubali. Now you expect Rajamouli to blow you away. There was one love song that literally went into a flight of fantasy that had me saying “Wow” out loud.
The score is particularly effective in heightening moments of tension and drama. I don’t know that the soundtrack songs are quite as catchy earworms that the first film songs were. But especially the beautiful harmonies of the female voices singing together in this one are growing on me:
I saw Bahubali the Beginning four times in the theater alone. I don’t know how many times I’ll see this one, but I know I’m taking all three of my sons to see it for Mother’s Day. I’ve told them this is what I want for my present — for us to see it together. That will make the second Indian film they’ve ever seen, but the first in a theater. I loved that at my 2:30 shows there were parents who had taken their kids out of school early to see the show. I told one little boy that someone must love him very much.
There are scenes and tableaus from this film that will always stay with me, but one in particular is Prabhas sleeping with his head in Sivagami’s lap. Since I don’t speak Telugu, I didn’t realize some of the songs lyrics talk about that. This film does have a romance and brother rivalry, but at the core it’s about the relationship of a son with his mother.
This is such a great film! I left ecstatic and wishing I could see it all again right away. There’s revenge that’s sweet, and redemption, too.
Bravo S. S. Rajamouli! Bravo Prabhas and the rest of the cast! You’ve done it again!
Glad that you liked it.
As a Indian i have a question for you, hope you don’t mind answering.
I guess you might have grownup in a culture where musicals is a genre but for us Indian’s song and dance is part and parcel of our movies.(You already know this i guess)
When we watch a well made Indian movie we still get involved in the proceedings even when a lip sync song plays in the middle because that’s the movie grammar we are used to.
No matter how realistic a movie is, majority of them ought to have song sequences and it makes full sense to us 🙂
Say for example , in BB2 conclusion movie , the flying ship song, yes, it has that WOW effect , but also by the end of the song we get a message that Prabhas and Devasena are deep in love and they both can do anything for each other, perhaps the message is equivalent to say 2 or 3 smooching and/or making out scenes in a Hollywood movie.
Most of the western audience i heard treat this song and dance as superficial and treat them as just for fun but do not take any serious message from it.
Again in BB2 movie, “dandalayya” song conveys so much information about the proceedings of the story and helps us in taking us through a emotional ride.
My point is all it takes is a song in the movie to convince us Indians about a situation or establish a character in a movie.
Where as in a Hollywood movie, director has to conceive so many scenes to give the same emotional impact to the viewer
So at last my question now :-), I was just wondering how do you perceive this song and dance in Indian movies?
Do you take it as serious as we do? or treat it as some amusement ?
Say in my examples stated above, did you get the message and feel the impact it was intended to at the end of the songs?
Musicals are not common in Western cinema and more which is why I love Indian Cinema. I was also a huge fan of La La Land.
Fortunately the song sequences in Baahubali 2 were subtitled. Especially the song on the swan ship tells so much about their relationship. Some movies do not subtitle the songs and that’s a big handicap for me. I then seek out sites like Bollymeaning to get a translation of the lyrics.
I do not treat the songs as just for fun — I am serious about them as well. And it’s because of that expression of emotion that I do love them so much. I listen to the songs often, and it brings me back to that feeling I had while I watched the film. Western cinema can feel detached and cynical – it doesn’t give me the emotions I get watching Indian cinema.
I know some Indian viewers don’t like the songs. At my screenings, the men around me pulled out their phones or left the theater for a bathroom break during the songs. They’re my favorite part!
This film was particularly effective with the soundtrack score apart from the song sequences. Really a master work score!
I’m still learning even after seeing over 300 Indian films. The song Devasena sings — the lullaby one after Prabhas “breaks” his arm. It probably was like other devotional songs or used melodies from older songs that went over my head. I just reveled in the exquisite female harmonies, and the references to Radha.
Thanks for answering it. I had this same question for years.
I always feel by the end of the song the kind of familiarity director wants to convey. For a family drama, one background song with a few funny scenes will put me into their family than any number of dialogues or scenes. Let music do the ‘feel’ bit is usually my argument.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Shalom Maven mam,
You are truly wise as your Yiddish name suggests.
I am really happy at long last our Indian soft power (a gentle handshake through movies) is reaching all over the world.
At the core of our heart we all are kids craving for love and care and reciprocity from another human being.
If you want to know a bit more about our ancient culture and background, please visit our website http://www.dharmakshetra.info/
By the way I have a curiosity – how non-hindus respond to our use of images and idols of gods and goddesses in our movies?
Siva, thank you for commenting and your compliment!
I am really ignorant of Indian gods and stories, but I am trying to learn more. My neighbor let me borrow her children’s copy of the Mahabharata in the comic book form.
As I watch more Indian films, I’m getting more and more of the symbolism, but things that would just be obvious to people in India still go over my head. I’ll give you an example. Prabhas in Baahubali 1 is called Shiva. I had seen the film many times, but finally looked up Shiva and saw all the imagery that is usually associated with Shiva — the Ganges flowing from his hair, the snake around his neck, the trident. Rajamouli has woven all these elements in to Shivudu’s and Baahubali’s story, but I didn’t realize it. I was glad I had read some about Shiva before I saw Baahubali 2, as when Prabhas comes out with the Ganesha statue, and later strides upon the bulls in that battle I understood more what Rajamouli was showing. You don’t need to know that to watch the movies, but it adds layers of meaning and enjoyment to the films.
Good observation of symbolism. And thanks for taking time to explain.
LikeLiked by 1 person