Baahubali…….resting on the very able shoulders of Prabhas & SSR

I love a good entertainer….I love movies that give you great value for the $12 ticket …..AND I love it when a movie makes you forget your unwashed dishes and all the things you have to do for 3 hours….

Baahubali managed to tick all these boxes & had the added bonus of some very well toned bodies!

The things it has going for it:

– The mounting of the film, cinematography, production quality are just stupendous! Rajamouli has to be commended for putting together a product that has high quality production values of films like the Lord of the rings, Harry Potter or 300. The scale and grandeur are huge and the scope for slipping many, but he has kept it real for the period of the film.

The set design of Mahishmati. the fortress and battlements are all very well done, weaponry are fearsome. The omni present waterfall in the 1st half of the movie was perhaps overdone, but SSR’s shooting of the waterfall climbing sequences are just tremendous, esp liked the still of Prabhas on a rock face contemplating.

The last 45 min battle scenes have been shot phenomenally, the planning scene, the sequences of attacks were all edited tightly and kept the audience gripped, unlike sequences where arrows fly aimlessly.

Showing the 2 protagonists fighting was also done well, they were shown to make mistakes. The depiction of smart warfare was also well done, importantly he did not show as the good guys always winning or losing in the beginning and then suddenly coming up trumps.

–  The Looks: Prabhas & Rana look amazing! They have obviously trained for their roles, but they look majestic, royal and carry themselves perfectly. After seeing SRK, Salman & Hrithik with 6, 8 and 10 packs and managing to look silly, because their roles don’t call for it, these 2 guys look like warriors. The sequences where they train in war craft and the war scenes where they are using the weaponry are done just right. In the way SSR has directed them, their buffed up bodies don’t look out of place (if you’ve seen Bang Bang & HNY, you know exactly how out of place a great body can look). Nasser’s look is perfect & even better is Sathyaraj as Kattappa- what a fantastic transformation, you forget all the films he has done!
Ramya Krishnan takes the cake with her presence & look. The evil Kalakeya, looks perfect for the evil kings of that period.

– Putting it together: SSR manages to keep the audience in his grip for most of the movie, the opening sequence was great, but slipped a bit when the boy is growing up and the sequence with the seer was pointless. The pace of the movie was spoilt by the 2 needless songs with Tamannah, but once he gets to Mahishmati, the screenplay is just gripping and does not slip. The different threads come together. One of the best stills is Prabhas killing his cousin Bhadra & Kattappa comes racing to kill him, realises who he is and then throws his sword and is on his knees- the whole sequence in the rain is pictured stunningly well. A 120 second moving shot on digital, only 2 toned colors & the water- mind boggling!

.The note at which the movie ends- Deliciously painful! I want to see part 2 now, if SSR keeps the 2nd one as tight as this, it will be an absolute masterpiece.

What was a bit lacking: There was no need for the 2 songs and pretty maiden sequences, 15 wasted minutes!
The initial back story was vague, it took a while to understand why the queen was  mother to both boys. Shivu’s mother, need not have been so shrill.

Overall: Rate it a 4.5/5
Totally kicked that an Indian movie, a regional language one at that is of such stunning quality and effects.
Bollywood has long ruled the roost of mega budget spectacles, but this one demonstrates that when money is spent on production, the product is far far superior.  More importantly similar larger than life productions are often thin on story and while the star gets his due, the producer/distributors lose big time. In this one, the story held its own and the true hero of the film is Rajamouli! Even the title character did not hog the screen space like a Salman in Kick or SRK in HNY- the other characters all had a defined role.

I watched 300 before going to this one, and $ for $ this one was a match! When you compare the budgets of Avataar or Troy or 300 wi
th this one, Hollywood has a lesson to learn!