Bahubali 2 is a beautifully crafted, elegant work of art, for the most part with great writing serving as the backbone. It is one of those rare Indian movies, where the women effortlessly dominate the screen with who and what they are. Probably the main reason I loved the movie so much. Warning - I am assuming whoever is reading this has watched the movie and I am trying really hard, not to reveal the story and just create a list.
To me, this movie was not so much about why Kattappa killed Bahubali, but more about how emotions and logic can sway us whichever way.
Let me try listing the reasons I loved the movie and just a couple of things which could have been better:
1. Devasena : Wow! What a brilliantly crafted character. Anushka commands the screen in all the scenes that she comes in. Whether it is as the warrior princess, the pregnant queen, the coy lover, the mother, the desolate prisoner - how does she even do it? Kudos to the director and the heroine for pulling this off.
2. Sivakami: You cannot watch this movie and not have an emotion about Sivakami. Whether you love her as the rajamatha or you get mad at her for being so blind to the follies of her son, you just cannot ignore her. From her Neelambari, Ramya Krishnan has been a woman I have admired tremendously and this is another effortless feather in her elaborately crafted cap.
3. The sets : Stunning, Stunning, Stunning. I know that such a pristine place cannot really exist. But you know what, the sets transport you somewhere far far away and you are spellbound throughout the movie. Whether it is the battle scene, or the simple hut, or the raja durbar, it is done with so much care and detail that it is obvious in every scene
4. The romance - Prabhas and Anushka set the screen on fire. I am listening to Hamsa Naava on a loop as i type this and I feel like I am flying, though I am sitting in my bed and typing away. They don't even have to be near each other for the magic to happen. Someone once told me it was about the quality of the romance and not the quantity. Am buying that after watching this movie. Such intensity, one has to be truly lucky to experience it and the director has beautifully understood that and captured it on the screen.
5. Direction & Sentiment - Both go hand in hand. Sentiment might not be the right word for it, but the way the movie expresses interactions and emotions, is a study by itself. The Mother in Law, Daughter in Law dynamic is brought in very subtly. Bahubali's interactions with his mom, Kattappa, his subjects, their interactions with each other, everything is captured artfully.
6. Bahubali - Of course, Prabhas. I fell in love with Mahendra Bahubali, though his son had got me whistling in the previous movie. I think the father has my heart. Prabhas has brought out the difference between the two characters. While watching the movie, you cannot mistake one character for another and thats not easy to pull off when both are supposed to be kings and warriors.
7. Raana, Nasser & Satyaraj - their dynamics and their characterization. It is always the side characters who can make or break a movie and these giants do a fantabulous job with the roles they play
What I did not really like:
1. The blood in the second half. Not my style, though a friend of mine told me unequivocally that such scenes are essential for a movie of this scale and this setting
2. The fight scene where they fly in from the sky through a palm tree - this is really too much. That part if different could have really made this movie almost flawless
3. Making Sivakami so silly in places - I mean, why would someone usually just become so blind? Or can the fact that her son is interested in someone else completely change her? Possible. Though I wish it was not the case. (On another note, where is Ballaladeva's wife?)