Bahubali 2 : The Conclusion review

I loved this movie. What a magnificent end to this made-up tale from India that enthralled cinema-goers in 2015.

Director SS.Rajamouli should be sleeping well at nights now that his magna opus is pleasing people as seen through the box-office receipts, at the very least! The Telugu movie has been dubbed in Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam, reaching a vast audience.

There is a Japanese manga quality in the cinematography that helps make all the killing action – of digitilised animals and mankind – easier to bear.

The first half of this movie is a bit tedious because of the song-and-dance segments to show romance. Ah, but what is love without music and dance, eh?

The story in this two-part conclusion is about an adopted Amarendra Baahubali (played by a well-toned Prabhas) who was named the heir of the Mahishmati kingdom, by his mother, Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan), the queen. She saw his kingly virtues against that of her real son, Bhalla Deva (Rana Daggubati), a manipulative concoction whose appearance oddly reminded me of a character called Thade in the 2001 Planet of The Apes. The hair, the evil intent, hmmm.

Amarendra goes on a royal tour to meet his new people. But he disguises himself as a peasant along with his companion, the faithful slave-soldier Katappa (the marvellous Kollywood star Satyaraj, last remembered before this franchise in the 2013 Chennai Express).

You soon realise this is a prequel to Bahubali, for the protagonist falls for a comely, warrior lass called Devasena (the Mangalore beauty Anuska Shetty) of the Kunthala kingdom.

It is a fine love affair, but evil rears its head soon as Bhalla wants this princess for himself. But Amarendra Bahubali is such a loyal son that he is willing to give up a kingdom all because his mother orders him to do so.

The second half of the movie ties the loose ends, with lots of action, courtesy of Peter Hein.

Thus, we learn how Amarendra died, how Devasena was caged for 20 years (perhaps), and how the child (immortalised on screen as being uplifted by one woman’s hand in a raging river) is now Mahendra Bahubali (played by Prabhas as well).

Good triumphs in the end, which is always satisfying. The good is really good while the bad is so, so bad.

Simplistic characterisations but the awesome grandeur of the Mahishmati kingdom, its army, the tribal people especially the unforgettable Kalkeyas – they of black-painted faces – and the innovative fight scenes plump-up a movie that will remain indelible as a modern-day fable. I mean, think about palm trees turned into catapults and stampeding bulls with their horns afire as a ruse to buy the good side time to defend the kingdom – creative warfare without guns.

I believe that’s the director’s imaginative licence put to full effect. Kudos to cinematographer K.K. Senthil Kumar, for the visuals are amazing.

The end credits reveal that there might be a Bahubali 3. While Rajamouli twittered that it will not be a sequel, it is still an “Oh my!” moment – one of many in Bahubali 1 and now The Conclusion.

Cover pic from YouTube

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