Bahubali Movie Review

Bahubali Movie Review

Making a film is no easy task and making one that boasts of being India’s costliest and grandest film till date on both budget and scale, definitely is a humongous challenge. But director S.S. Rajamouli attempts just that with his film BAHUBALI – THE BEGINNING, which is the first of a two part series that promises to be a saga that will most definitely go down the annals of history.

Starting off, the story of BAHUBALI follows the life of Sivudu (Prabhas) who lives a rather solitary life all but cut off from the rest of civilization. Smuggled from his kingdom and raised by Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan) in a different tribe, Sivudu fills his days scaling mountains and their likes, unaware of his noble lineage. One fateful day Sivudu encounters Avanthika (Tamannaah Bhatia) who is a master assassin from a rebel group that intends on crushing King Bhallala Deva (Rana Daggubatti) of Mahishpati and rescuing Devasana (Anushka Shetty). However despite Shivudu understanding nothing of it, he decides to assist the rebels in their cause since he is smitten by the stunning Avantika who tells him that she is sworn to protect Devasana, who is none other than late King Amarendra Bahubali’s wife, Sivudu’s mother and also Bhallala Deva’s sister-in-law. Setting off on his journey to fulfill Avantika’s duty, Sivudu moves towards fulfilling his own destiny as BAHUBALI and in process setting in motion a series of events that lead to the second chapter. But will BAHUBALI live up to expectation of being India’s grandest films… Lets analyze.

The first half of the film commences detailing Sivudu’s life away from the clutches of royalty, along with detailing the characters of Avanthika, King Bhallala Deva, Devasana and Sivagami. While the first 30 or so minutes of the film go in detailing each character, the viewer is left agape at the expanse of the visual effects used. Despite being a bit slow, the story of BAHUBALI soon begins to pick up pace as it progresses to show Sivudu pulled towards his great destiny by an inexplicable urge. However, its post the interval that the film shines with riveting sequences and awe-inspiring action coupled with stunning and by far some of the most advanced visual effects. Director S. S. Rajamouli seems to have quite literally developed a definitive masterpiece, with BAHUBALI seeming to be a thoroughly Indian film with its roots firmly planted in mythology, and yet progressive enough to refrain from the age old cliché of show good is more powerful than evil. In fact here a special mention needs to be added as Rajamouli has focused on developing the antagonist as a much more powerful personality who ultimately is defeated.

Talking about the CGI used in the film, BAHUBALI is easily comparable to the Hollywood greats like THE LORD OF THE RINGS series and even the HARRY POTTER series that featured entire towns, cities and regions artificially developed to look realistic. Compared to the usual Indian standard of CGI work in films, the effort and detail that went into making BAHUBALI is visibly evident in the stunning waterfalls, the spectacular city of Mahishmati, and the sheer cliffs.

However, the high point of BAHUBALI comes in the form of the snowstorm that is seamlessly executed and the 30 minute long battle sequence that will leave the viewer stunned. This fantastically choreographed battle that unfurls when a murderous army lands up at Mahismati’s borders sees the two brothers Sivudu and King Bhallala Deva joining forces to defeat a common enemy. Unquestionably the battle sequence that resides as the jewel in Rajamouli’s crown is elaborately shot with breathtaking moments. However, the biggest surprise lies in the end when Rajamouli gives the viewers a sneak peek into what to expect from the sequel.

Coming to the performances in the film, the casting of BAHUBALI is just perfect with every actor doing a brilliant job in their respective roles. Here a special mention goes to both Prabhas and Rana, for some outstanding work, especially for Rana who excels in portraying the angry smouldering eyed King Bhallala. Ramaya Krishnan, despite being in a supporting role manages to leave an impact. The other two supporting cast members Nasser and Satyaraj as Bijjaladeva and Kattappa are impressive as well. No Indian storyteller comes close to what S.S. Rajamouli envisions and executes on screen. Writers Madhan Karky, Rahul Koda, Vijayendra Prasad and S.S. Rajamouli have truly written and developed a masterpiece. Every sequence of BAHUBALI is a marvel that can easily be compared to the best of Hollywood. The grandiose sets, VFX, sound, edit, cinematography and most importantly, the screenplay of BAHUBALI is beyond fantastic.

Though after watching the dubbed Hindi version of BAHUBALI one would say that filmmakers should avoid dubbing films in different languages, and rather release the original film with subtitles. While the film does have its share of plot holes with the dubbed dialects going wrong being one of them, BAHUBALI does manage to entertain despite a lengthy run time.

On the whole, despite having a first half that is rather slow, and a ballistic second half, a film like BAHUBALI makes you proud that an Indian filmmaker dared to dream big and accomplished it. BAHUBALI is definitely not to be missed. Call it a box-office blockbuster today, but tomorrow, it will be remembered as a classic.

The Rating
3.5 out of 5
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