SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, comes alive in its colossal and ambitious imagination to complete the unfinished story of Baahubali. It lives and loves in mythical cities that touch the cloud created with awe-inspiring finesse. Becoming the first movie to reach. The imaginary city of Mahishmati now comes across richer and more fantastic with a new waterside view. There is a lot more in this fairytale world: A new city where Baahubali meets his future wife Devsena (Anushka Shetty), splendid views of a moonlit war there where cattle with fire in their horns fight the enemy, eagles carry messages and Disneyesque palatial ships that fly. There is an anthem for Mahishmati as well.
A powerful story and Rajamouli’s vision to build this magnum opus is laudable. This is a visual spectacle! The story takes off exactly from where it ended in the first part. Shiva (Prabhas) has learnt about his heritage and now we are learning the back story of Amarendra Baahubali (Prabhas).
Amarendra has been chosen by Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan) to become the next King of Mahishmati Kingdom. Before his swearing in ceremony, he is asked to take a tour of the regions under his leadership as a commoner, just to learn in depth about his people. On his tour, Amarendra meets Devasena (Anushka Shetty). She is a fiery princess who knows well when to use her sword. Impressed by her beauty and valour, Baahubali falls in love with her. While he is still in disguise as a commoner, Devasena too starts to harbour feelings for him.
When a proposal is sent by Sivagami for Devsena, the princess who has her head held high refuses to get wooed by the gold and gifts sent to her. While Baahubali misunderstands the proposal to be for his marriage it actually turns out to be for his brother Bhallaladeva (Rana Daggubati).
Sivagami doesn’t have a liking for Devasena after her arrogant refusal and asks her to be captured and brought to Mahishmati. Baahubali accompanies Devasena and eventually the truth about their love is disclosed in court. In order to honour the vow that Sivagami gave Bhallaladeva for his marriage to Devasena, Baahubali steps down as King and Bhalladeva takes the throne. After a mythological twist, there’s the biggest mystery of all time to be solved.
The first half of Baahubali takes its own sweet time to establish the history. There’s the love angle between Baahubali and Devasena that takes off in an interesting manner. There’s comic relief in these portions and it’s amazing how the writers have moulded Katappa’s otherwise tough and dutiful character to funny antics here.
Devasena’s character from her younger days clearly justifies her tough status from the first part where she stands tall against Bhallaladeva in spite of his power. Certain scenes make a solid impact, like the one where Baahubali slashed Sethupathi’s neck in the midst of a court session. Also, it’s impressive how the writer’s give Devasena’s character the confidence to question and back answer Rajmata Sivagami when she is being served with injustice, such as getting hitched for marriage without her approval.
There are some twists in the first half, that derive inspiration from mythology. But, what everyone is waiting to watch, ‘Why Katappa Killed Baahubali’, is revealed obviously in the second half. Post-interval, we are back to the present day situation, where Devasena has finally met her son. The second half is gripping with its mix of action and emotion. Drama being its mainstay, one cannot complain about the tedious nature of its script that shapes up to the whole mystery.
Prabhas is exceptional in this film. Thanks to his amazing screen presence, you rarely look away from him. His transformation from being an assertive leader to a lovestruck Baahubali, to an emotionally hurt one, is simply stunning. His layered performance shows how dedicated he has been to this project. Clearly, a career-defining role here. Anushka Shetty as Devasena looks luminous in her princess avatar. She pulls off the action scenes equally well and has a likeable chemistry with Prabhas on-screen. Sathyaraj does a great job of playing Katappa, the prime character in this film. His comic act in the first half is quite a good break from the drama otherwise. Rana Daggubati doesn’t get much limelight in this film. Of course, he pulls off his evil act superbly but doesn’t make a lasting impact like Prabhas. In the finale sequence, his action is classic and who can take their eyes off of his chiselled body. Ramya Krishnan is a stunner as Sivagami. She had impressed us in the first part too and I can’t picture anyone else playing the stern leader. Tamannah Bhatia is seen in the second half only in a handful of scenes.
Baahubali 2 is one of the few movies that can be referred as better than its prequel, this edition is grander, more opulent and VFX is even more spectacular. A thoroughly entertaining action drama with beautiful and powerful moments. Whether you watch this opulent piece of celluloid in Hindi or Tamil, Baahubali 2 will go down in the history of Indian cinema to be the first movie to make 1000 crores in 2 weeks. A 4.5/5 for this magnum opus!