Bahubali 2 – Full of Sound & Fury Signifying Nothing!

Last week I saw this film in Chennai . It’s a blockbuster no doubt considering that the theaters are running houseful even after more than two weeks of release. How does one classify this film? Is it a fiction based on history or a thriller spiced with romance or a film with special effects or about moral and ethical dilemmas or simply an entertainer? To me it’s none of these although it attempts or rather pretends to present all the above. Of course one thing it has common with all special effect movies is the high decibel noise. I’m always suspicious of the so-called special effect movies. They try to make up with big sets and big sound what they lack in content or a story line. This film is no exception to this rule.

We reached the theater well in time and even as we were searching for our seats, national anthem started suddenly without any notice. We instinctively stopped walking and stood like statues awkwardly in  the dark walkway. One wonders whether a cinema theater is the right place for our show of patriotism. The ambience is just not right for playing our national anthem.

After this ritual, we eventually found our seats and almost settled down before the movie began. But then will the movie allow us to settle down? No way – it starts literally with a big bang and there is no respite either for your ears or eyes as the banging continues all the way till the end. OMG, what an experience it was! May be I’m a little outdated in my views.  The noise was so unbearable that I had to run out of the hall for shelter towards the end of the film. I must have missed the last half hour of the movie – not that I missed anything worthwhile! I often wonder why people pay to get tortured like this. Well, it’s a philosophical question with no satisfactory answer. To each his own, I suppose.

Let me now turn to the plot of the film. In Bahubali 1, I’m told the heroin Ramyakrishna (who played the role of Rajmata) was portrayed as a strong personality with high moral standards. In striking contrast, in Bahubali 2, the same Rajmata was shown in a very poor light in ethical & moral conduct. While she commanded respect in Bahubali 1 for her strength of character, in Bahubali 2 she fell from grace as she failed to take morally correct decisions. Her decisions were clouded by her bias in favour of her biological son. To me this inconsistency in characterisation of the heroin is not convincing.

Two episodes in the movie stood out – one in line with women’s lib movement and the other completely out of line. In a commendable episode, Amarendra bahubali takes law into his hands as he hands out summary justice  by chopping off the head of a guy who molested several women in a public place. This scene was shown with much fanfare and melodrama. However the message is quite forceful in our present times when molestation and rape are everyday happenings.

If Bahubali showed courage of conviction in handing severe punishment to a sexual offender,  the powerful queen did everything to give just the opposite  message. The Rajmata orders the capture of a young princess on whom her biological son develops a crush. As it turns out, one wrong doing leads to another and yet another untill she finally gets Amarendra Bahubali killed. What a fall – a queen shown as a strong character in Bahubali1 is now shown in a completely different light and it’s not convincing.

If the movie shows any resemblance to a famous English film Lion King, be rest assured it’s only a coincidence! Don’t jump to the conclusion that the story writer or the director is guilty of plagiarism. The first coincidence is that in both the films there is an evil uncle who tries to outmonoevre and even kill the nephview.

The second coincidence is when Ramyakrishna, in the penultimate scene, lifts the baby bahubali(Mahendra bahubali)and announces to the public that the little fellow would be their future king. Here again, the close resemblance to a similar scene in Lion King is unmistakable. I will point out one more parallel and rest my case. The scenes where Mahendra Bahubali was brainwashed to fight back and win the kingdom is similar to Simba, the little lion being inspired by an old friend to take revenge for his father’s murder by his uncle.

Here’s my bottom line on the film: Overall, the film is full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

 

Published in: on May 21, 2017 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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