Director: S.S. Rajamouli │ Cast: Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Rana Daggubati and Tamannaah │ Genre: Action │ Running time: 175 min │ Language: Telugu/Hindi/Tamil/Malayalam │ Subtitle: Arabic, English │
Movie rating: 15+ │
Gulf News Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Synopsis: When Shiva, the son of Bahubali, learns about his heritage, he begins to look for answers. His story is juxtaposed with past events that unfolded in the Mahishmati Kingdom.
Here's our review:
Facebook Live coverage of debut screening in Dubai.
IT was oddly cathartic to find out why Katappa, a loyal aide, killed his valiant master Baahubali.
The second installment of the highly-anticipated fantasy fiction adventure by director S.S Rajamouli went all out to de-mystify that brutal betrayal.
But was the mystery life-altering? No. It was painfully predictable and you saw it coming just like the arrows that seemed to fly from the bows of the fighting troops in Baahubali series.
But don’t give up on this special effects-laden visual extravaganza. This is a sweeping visual spectacle filled with epic battle scenes, clashes between warring troops from Indian mythology and elephants on a rampage.
Prabhas, who plays a dual role in this hit franchis, does the heavy lifting.
Baahubali — which mean a man with strong arms — lives up to the meaning behind his name. He is magnetic enough to pull this mammoth film to the finish line.
Anushka Shetty, who plays a fearless princess Devasena, is graceful and complements Prabhas. But be warned, the film is 175 minutes long and precious time is lost setting up the scene of the crime.
The vanilla romance between Devasena and Baahubali Sr. is tedious and the technical crew seems to have gone overboard with the colours.
The psychedelic gardens and the bright landscapes make you yearn for a pair of sunglasses.
Web of deception, conspiracy
But the pace picks up considerably in the second half and the colours are not as bright. The deception, the web of conspiracy to mislead queen Shivagami (played ably by Remya Krishnan) by her evil son Bhallaldeva (a perennially-snarling Rana Daggubati) and the epic battle scene towards the end makes this film engaging.
The climax featuring the blood, visceral clash between the good vs the evil troops, is perhaps, one of the most elaborate ones in Indian cinema. Think galloping horses, a woman holding severed heads, hero leaping from the horse to the castle and arrows flying in all directions and swords being plunged into torsos.
While the battlefield scenes were long and detailed, it wasn’t exhausting. What was tiring was the hamming by the actors who played the subjects and the commoners in that fictional Indian kingdom.
The 175-minute visual feast is long and some trimming of the comic scene in the first half would have helped. The scene in which the hero pretends to stammer for comic relief wasn’t particularly tasteful.
If the first installment had a giant waterfall and a shirtless hero emerging from the water holding a mammoth stone deity, then the second part had several of those visually extravagant scenes.
Baahubali taming a wild elephant on a bloody rampage, wild boars being shot down by arrows and him leaping from trees and flying across the sky are some of the grand examples.
But large doesn’t always mean better. While the scale of the second part is bigger, the soul seemed stronger in the first instalment.
There were times in the second half where you felt the computer-generated graphics took over the story. But all this is new and exotic for Indian cinema.
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is a colorful amalgamation of hit serials like Game Of Thrones and those archaic Indian mythological series such as Mahabharata or the Ramayna. It’s bloody, gory and has an indefatigable hero who know how to slay his opponents.
Watch this if you are a fan of fantasy fiction and love tales of warrior kings and fierce queens.
In the UAE, advance cinema bookings have clocked 120,000 admissions on the opening day.
“This is historical and we have never witnessed something so big. Usually films starring Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan or Salman Khan get around 50,000 or 60,000 admissions and this is double,” said Ahmad Golchin from Phars Film, the local distributor. It’s also the first time that they are releasing a film simultaneously in four languages in over 180 screens.