With titles like the “highest grossing Indian film of all time and the “highest grossing film in India”, “Baahubali 2” provides a great conclusion to the epic franchise and a truly magnificent experience.
The story continues where the first ended, with Kattappa concluding the story of how he ended up killing Baahubali’s father, Amarendra, in a tale that involves love and romance between Amarendra and Devasena, the continuous treacheries of Bhallaladeva and Bijjaladeva, and Avanthika showing her terrifying side, even against her most beloved son. As soon as the story ends, Baahubali begins his expedition against Bhallaladeva and the kingdom that should be rightly his.
S.S. Rajamouli implements the same, quite successful tactics of the first film, creating a movie where impressive action, music and dance, and a very fitting hyperbole in comic style, are the norm. One could say he even went a step further this time, as the movie includes flying ships, oxen on fire used as weapons, and team-jumping with the help of palm trees, as reality seems to have taken a nap in front of the power of a truly spectacular imagination. A number of humorous scenes also exist, particularly deriving from the fact that the Kattapa cannot understand Baahubali’s feelings for Devasena.
In that fashion, the cinematography by K. K. Senthil Kumar is masterful, in complete resonance with the film’s aesthetics, where even the scenes that look kind of fake seem to fit in the general setting. Apart from that, the dramatic zoom-ins, the action scenes in slow motion and all the “tricks” of the contemporary action scenes are here, implemented by the extensive use of green screens and the VFX by R. C. Kamalakannan. Hyperbole is the rule here, and Sabu Cyril’s set design, Kotagiri Venkateshwara Rao editing and Peter Hein choreographies all move towards this direction, while M. M. Keeravani’s music provides a great background for all that is happening on screen. The technical aspect finds its apogee in the finale with the city’s siege and the overwhelming and unavoidable duel between Bhaahubali and Bhallaladeva providing a more than worthy ending in a truly impressive production.
The acting could not but fit the aforementioned style, with all the actors portraying their roles with excessiveness. Prabhas continues to emit his charisma, with Rajamouli taking advantage of it any chance he gets. Anushka Shetty in the role of Devasena has taken the place of Tamannaah as the main female lead, providing the anchor for the romantic aspect of the movie. However, her role includes another level, with her clash with Sivagami being one of the highlights of the film. Regarding the latter, Ramya Krishnan gives an imposing performance, particularly in the scenes where she is enraged, with her eyes and facade appearing truly horrifying in chaotic-just style. Sathyaraj as Kattapa gives the more restrained performance, assuming the role of the mentor and tormented man elaborately, while Nassar’s theatrics as Bijjaladeva provide a great villain as the exact opposite of Kattapa, in the third focal feud of the film.
“Baahubali 2” brings the concept of film to its basics, providing pure entertainment and visual pleasure in full-of-nonsense fashion, in a tactic that allows the spectator to enjoy the film purely, without any need for thought, or anything else for that matter. The result is invigorating as it is delightful.