The dubbed Hindi version of Bahubali - The Beginning, originally shot in Telugu, is nothing short of impressive in scale, inventiveness, CGI (one of the main stars) and impressive war scenes (where most of the budget went, we presume).
Familiar Story, Grand Treatment
Shiva (Prabhas, aptly cast) heir to the kingdom of Mahismati, yet unaware of his royalty is raised by forest dwellers, amidst a gigantic waterfall. Through a course of events, inclusive of underwater tattoo-making, layered undressing and suggested deflowering of his lady love, assassin by profession, Avantika (Tamannaah, good act ), Shiva learns about his blue-blood status. This leads us to director S.S. Rajmouli's favourite part, a flashback studded with mega battle possibilities. It tells of two brothers, the wicked Bhallala Deva (Rana Daggubati, good foil) and Bahubali (Prabhas again), a looming enemy, the throne at stake and two powerful women (Ramya Krishnan, Anushka Shetty, both intense, in command) at the center of it.
The numerous inspirations (not plagiarism) will take another article. Bahubali - The Beginning is not just about big budget luxuries. The supporting characters are as prominent, especially parts played by Nassar (Great acting, in a short, clipped role) and Satyaraj (Quite a steal as a loyal soldier). But it is the battle sequences that the film carries like a medal at its heart. It is the director and the cast's redeeming point, the audience lure to the 70mm screen. Even the cynics at the audience, looking to guffaw at every chink, cannot take away the effort and execution here.
Bahubali - The Beginning is also an all-out commercial film with two diluting song situations, some risque navel-gazing love theme and heavy on thunderous melodramatic dialogue.But most of it is convincing and high quality entertainment. The 160-minute running time breezes away, seldom a dull moment here.You have heard the story before, but not seen it magnified to this level. For sheer entertainment, Bahubali is your ticket to the cinema this week.
MM Keeravani (Known to the Hindi audience as MM Kreem) deserves special mention for his aptly epic background score and at least a couple of songs. The setup to the sequel is tantalizing enough in its premise, apart from a hundred other reasons to expect the 2017 release of Bahubali 2- The Conclusion.