Baahubali 2: The Conclusion -- Spectacular!

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is a sort of prequel as well as the sequel to the earlier film, Baahubali: The Beginning, the epic fiction fantasy. In that, this film lets the viewer into some of the unrevealed parts of the earlier saga including the general curiosity about, why did Katappa kill Baahubali!

The film begins with the character of Ramya Krishnan, playing the guardian of the kingdom till the character of Prabhas, the Baahubali, grows up to inherit the crown of his kingdom. Prabhas is now an accomplished heir to the crown as he is trained in all aspects of protecting his kingdom as well its people. His strength and endurance are of superhuman levels.

Ramya announces the date of Prabhas’s coronation but asks him to go around his kingdom so as to check on his people and their wellbeing. Prabhas is accompanied by his trusted aide, Katappa played by Sathyaraj. While on his recce of his kingdom, Prabhas comes across, Anushka Shetty, who plays the princess of another smaller kingdom. A group of bandits are attacking her and she single-handedly fights them, excelling in art of combat.

For Prabhas, it is love at first sight. He and Sathyaraj decide to tag along with Anushka, seeking a job for Prabhas and also asking her help to train him in warfare. She is told that Prabhas is a dimwit and some training may make him worthy for an employment at her palace. Prabhas tries his best to hide his virtues from Anushka.

It is not long before Anushka realises that Prabhas is not a twit he is pretending to be. On the contrary, he is an accomplished warrior. Prabhas’s love is not one-sided anymore. Anushka too has grown to love him. Prabhas thinks it is time to fulfil Ramya’s desire to get for her a daughter in law matching her expectations though Ramya is not aware of the choice made by Prabhas yet.

The family politics now sets in. The character of Rana Daggubati, who has always been bypassed in getting Ramya’s attention despite he being her son, and who has also been bypassed as the choice to inherit the crown, sees a chance to upset Prabhas. He has learned through his spies that Prabhas has fallen for this princess and devices a plan to make Ramya commit to him that she will fix his match with Anushka.

The film, which was all about romance now goes head-on into family politics, the palace intrigues as father and son, Rana and Nassar, plot ways to displace Prabhas. They manage to turn Ramya, who loved Prabhas more than her own son, against Prabhas. His ascendency to the throne is withdrawn and Rana made the king instead.

Prabhas turns a commoner from being the king in waiting. He joins the common people in their settlements and help their better their lives. This makes Rana and Nassar uncomfortable for they can see that for people, Prabhas was still their king. They feel that only if Prabhas is eliminated can they have a full control over the kingdom.

The film drops pace as it moves from romance and verbal duels between Prabhas and Rana on one side and Anushka and Ramya on the other, to treachery and manipulations and, finally, to backdoor plotting. The action and romance are replaced by some gore; claptrap dialogue goes missing. The parts about Rana and Nassar’s ploys are not interesting enough. The finale, the fights in the climax are stretched.

Excelling in direction, SS Rajamouli, has also mastered the use of special effects with which he makes parts of the film into fantasy which has been a part of every growing child. Cinematography is top-rated. As for the songs, they are not to the taste of the Hindi audience, the background score goes with the need of the narration.

The performances are generally good. However, Prabhas, Anushka, Ramya and Sathyaraj excel on their author backed roles. Rana and Nassar are apt.

Baahubali2: The Conclusion has the advantage of the ground created by its predecessor, Baahubali: The Beginning, a trailblazer for a regional film dubbed in Hindi. While the predecessor had the advantage of being a surprise packet for the audience, Baahubali2 has the burden of high expectations. This has afforded the film an outlandish opening response on its extensive release (reportedly 4000 screens). It come as a great relief to the cinema halls starving of a film with staying power, at least for next couple of weeks.

Producers: Shobu Yarlagadda, Prasad Devineni.

Direction: SS Rajamouli.

Cast: Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Ramya Krishnan, Tamannah, Sathyaraj, Nassar.

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