Friday, 10 July 2015

Bahubali :: Movie Review

                                            Image result for 4 stars out of 5
Bahubali is a monumental epic saga which has been served with grandeur, peppered with magnificent C.G.I & V.F.X., mind blowing action sequences, stunning visuals that boast of being wallpaper material ably backed up by some power packed performances making it a big screen watch. Touted as the biggest motion picture of India, Bahubali has been made in two parts at a whopping cost of 250 crores. Director S.S.Rajamouli deserves salutations for not only believing in this project but also leaving no stone unturned to portray this tale on-screen in the best possible manner. He has given a perfect silver lining to the epic tale that has been penned down by Vijayendra Prasad. Conceiving a fantasy story itself is a very practical creativity but more challenging is to get in the shoes of the writer, understand his dreamed visuals and to than project it powerfully on the screen with utmost justice to the subject & imagination is something which has been very geekly achieved by S.S.Rajamouli. Besides, to convince Indian audience who normally avoid watching epic sagas of such kind has been more challengingly dealt by the director. After watching 300, Immortals and several other such Hollywood flicks, there was a rising hunger in Indian audience to watch such kind of technically, digitally advanced, visually breathtaking epic sagas featuring Indian legends.  India, surprisingly has this time and for the first time has showcased a screen to the same audience quenching their need with equal brilliance to that of Hollywood. Indian Film Industry,  perhaps the largest producers of films in the world, has been cowardly scared of producing well made epic sagas. Reasons are many and intentions are remotely genuine. After this movie, it will grow up hopefully. But, one thing is sure that with Bahubali, Rajamouli has raised the bar. With able assistance from his technical crew, he has created spectacular visuals like the magnificent Mahishmati Kingdom, captivating waterfalls and spellbinding war sequence. He has ably created a beautifully imagined fantasy landscape with intricate detailing which is visual treat for eyeballs. Rajamouli has ended the movie on a very clever note giving a glimpse into what lies in store for the audience in the movie's sequel that will hit theaters next year.  

STORY & SCREENPLAY (SPOILERS AHEAD)                      ::           The story of the movie has been penned down by Vijayendra Prasad where as the screenplay of the movie has been penned down by S.S.Rajamouli. The writers have ably conjured up a tale of bravery, romance, betrayal and revenge driven vendetta. The best part about the writing is its imaginative plot which comes across as original epic and not borrowed or inspired from our favorite Hindu epics. The writers have created new Heroes or Princes who have no resemblance to our mythological heroes. They have concocted a fantastic tale which is not only novel, interesting but has got several layers attached to it which keep on unfolding as the movie progresses. The film begins with some soldiers chasing Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan) who is carrying a child in her lap. She is badly injured and falls into a river but the child is saved by some tribals who are unaware about his identity. The child grows up as Shiva (Prabhas) who has a penchant for climbing up rough terrains surrounding the waterfall as he is curious about the world on the other side of waterfall. One fine day, face mask of a beautiful girl, Avantika (Tamannah Bhatia) falls down the waterfall and Shiva catches hold of it. The lure of catching up with Avantika makes him pass to the other side of waterfall. He secretly chases her and comes to know that she is a part of a rebel group who are on a mission to free Devasena (Anushka Shetty) from the clutches of Bhallala Deva (Rana Daggubati) who is the present ruler of Mahishmati kingdom. Soon, chemistry develops between Shiva & Avantika and they fall in love. When Avantika is assigned the mission of going to Mahishmati for freeing Devasena, Shiva decides to help her. Shiva, on his own goes to Mahishmati and is able to bring Devasena back from there after fighting a battle with soldiers there. He is followed by Kattappa (Satyaraj) who is an old guard & loyal soldier of the royal family. As soon as Kattappa comes face to face with shiva, he falls on his feet and calls him Bahubali. This bewilders Shiva as he is unknown about his past. Flashback ensues and Kattappa starts narrating the tale about his family background which involves Royal family of Mahishmati. What is the real identity of Shiva, What is his relationship with the Royal family, Why is he being called Bahubali and what were the reasons that led him to land up in hands of tribals who raised him is what forms the rest of the story.   

STARCAST                                                                               ::                The actors, in keeping with the no holds barred ambience that the film exudes, take recourse to grandly expansive gestures for expressing the minutest of emotions. Prabahas with his on-screen antics proves why he was chosen to play the main lead character of Bahubali. He ably imbibes the qualities of the character that he is portraying so much so that it becomes difficult for you to differentiate him from the character that he is portraying on-screen. With his brawny physique, when he lifts the Shivalinga it comes out as a very natural scene. Whether be it his flirtatious scenes with Tamannah, constant nagging with his mother for trying to climb up the waterfall....Prabhas seem to be in his elements in all the scenes. But, Prabhas is at his best when he leads the army of soldiers tearing up his opponents with a wrath of fury. Watch out for him in the scene where he boosts up the morale of his army by delivering them a pep talk when opposite army has outweighed them. Rana Daggubati looks every inch the mean and menacing ruler that he is supposed to portray on-screen. Rana gets ample scope to flex his muscles and showcase his well chiseled body. Rana has delivered a commendable performance with his inherent effortlessness. Tamannah Bhatia has proven her acting prowess by playing the character of Avantika to the hilt. It's not a mean task to play the character of a rebel soldier who's operating from a hideout but to her credit, Tamannah Bhatia fits into the shoes of her character with effortless ease. She has not only looked gorgeous but has also come out good in action sequences. Anushka Shetty as Devasena has got limited screen time but she has made the most out of it by giving an apt performance. Rather than dialogues, her red eyes filled with anger for betrayal and vendetta do most of the talking which speaks volumes about her acting finesse. Another actor who deserves a mention is Satyaraj for his brilliant performance as Kattappa. He has performed the character with a certain degree of subtlety. Not to forget, Nasser who shines with his apt portrayal of Bijjaladeva, a disabled member of Royal family who is always plotting to ensure his son sits on the throne. His face expressions, body language are a treat to watch. Ramya Krishnan who has appeared on-screen after a long hiatus looks dignified, powerful as Sivamani and has done full justice to her character.      

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                                  ::         Undoubtedly, Bahubali is a technical marvel with effective contributions from each & every department in their respective fields. The musical soundtrack as well as background music of the movie has been composed by M. M. Keeravani which is in sync with the movie and provides a further impetus to the on-screen visuals. Plenty of credit for the tonal correctness of the movie must go the cinematographer of the movie i.e. Senthil Kumar who has captured stunning visuals with the roving eye of his lens. His camera has not only captured the scenic locales, grandeur of the sets and the battlefield shots with utmost finesse but his usage of color palettes as per the requirement of the shots is praiseworthy. A special mention of Sabu Cyril (Art direction), Rama Rajamouli (Costume designer) & Peter Hein (Fight director) for their effective contribution in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Venkateswara Rao Kotagiri who has kept the run-time of the movie to 159 minutes. The editing is taut and precise as all through the movie your yearning for it never fades away. As a director, S.S.Rajamouli has done an outstanding job and helmed a masterpiece to such an extent that every frame of the movie is enriched.  It's not an easy job to helm an epic saga as you need to be precise in detailing with respect to every department and this is where Rajamouli has hit the bulls eye. With his directorial finesse and able assistance from his technical crew, Rajamouli has crafted a cult epic saga with a mix of myriad emotions that will invoke a range of sentiments in your heart while watching this movie. S.S.Rajamouli has once again proved that he is one of the finest storytellers having a knack for envisioning something novel and than further executing it on-screen with precision.

CONCLUSION                                                                           ::           Bahubali is a 159 minutes epical saga with its inescapable gritty tone. The film delivers on its promise and takes you an fantasy ride with its gargantuous scale, stupendous action, mesmeric visuals and superlative performances.  It's a must watch for movie connoisseurs.
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