Movie Review – Baahubali The Beginning

Posted: September 5, 2015 in Movie Reviews
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The first reaction after watching the film was, “nala vela indha padatha tamil la dub panitanga, ilena namma thala naan nadikiraentu moonu varsham exercise pana poirparu.” (Good that the film was dubbed into Tamil, if not Vikram would have wanted to remake the film and would have gone on to exercise for three years) You can’t stop but draw comparison between Prabhas and Vikram. Physique is something and looking menacing with it is something else. Vikram is the one who could be that. Compare the Ravanan scene in front of the idol and the Shiva lifting Shiva idol here. Bad music spoils it in the latter one, accepted but where is the screen presence. Six packs, eight packs or whatever it may be. It’s finally occupying the frame by screen presence that matters and not physical mass. There is a difference when Vikram twists his neck in I Gym fight and twists his shoulder in Anniyan climax fight. It’s the same act he does but he looks like two different person. Rangan was correct in pointing that out. Surya when he stands with open arms as Bodhidharman, for a child to come near him he just resides in the frame and doesn’t occupy the frame. When Vikram does the same in Ravanan he occupies the frame, the 100 feet idol looks small in front of the five foot man. Prabhas is an example of how to use physique to look menacing. See his opening scene.

Baahubali

But being so harsh on this film isn’t correct, a film which is big but with purpose. The same budget if given to Shankar would have been wasted on erecting sets for songs which would come at absolutely absurd sequence. Here the magnanimity was used with a purpose. When Paalvalathevan’s (Rana Daggubati) golden statue was raised and Baahubali’s (Prabhas) statue gets raised behind that it was an epic scene. It was humungous but with purpose. Yes it did remind us of Trojan horse scene in Troy but it was okay. These influences could be forgiven.

If influences are to be taken into account, the final war sequence with Kalakeyan’s (Prabhakar) troops looks to be taken right out of The Lord of the Rings Orcs sequence. There was a debate as to why evil should always be black and a fitting reply citing that may be it was that way because the story was told by Katapa (a brilliant Sathyaraj), who is like a grandfather to Baahubali. But the film wins our heart much before the war sequence, the war sequence and the CGI could be appreciated but doesn’t stand as a point to judge the film. It happened, it happened for good and that’s it.

Talking about performances, except for the mediocre Prabhas and pathetic Tamanna everyone scores. Highlight was the performance of Sathyaraj and Ramya Krishnan. There is a scene where she walks into the court, breast feeds her child after uttering a heroic (heroinic) dialogue. Once her sister’s child cries she breast feeds both the children together. It is not easy to act in such a scene. It would have been easily made cheesy. It requires the caliber of Ramya Krishnan and the artistry of S. S. Rajamouli to make such a brilliant scene or such a scene, brilliant.

For a film like Baahubali, a heroic film, the focus should be wholly on the hero but sadly like the superhero films which are coming these days, the villains and the sidekicks score more than the hero. When Shiva tries to get to the top of falls, there is hardly any surprise, we would be as disinterested as his friends who’d be turning opposite to the falls, being sure that he’d fall. But for a change we are so sure that he’d go.

But the way the song was used as a motivation for him to climb and the tattoo romance between him and Avanthika (Tamannaah) were great ideas but poorly executed. Instead of Tamannaah I’d have preferred a hazy figure in the first song and would have loved to avoid being in the sets even after the second song gets over. These were the inconsistencies among an otherwise consistent film.

Names too I’m not sure how much of a research was made, few names looked contemporary, few looked mythological. It’d have been better if they had used proper mythological type of names instead of this mix.

But for a big budget first part of an epic film, Baahubali was brilliant. Hope the second one too gets to be high on content and less on graphics.

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