Baahubali 2 is a movie written and produced in India, where the first movie Baahubali – The beginning, I know not the most imaginative movie titling, made a big splash. Its cliff hanger ending, instated many debates across social media, as to why the devoted and faithful warrior Kattappa would kill Baahubali, and brought people flocking to the cinema on the sequel’s release to find out. Here in the UK this film would be labelled a cult international classic, but still opened in a number of multiplexes around the country.
The character of this movie franchise was established in the first movie and the second is a true continuation. Both parts have their story to tell and aren’t particularly subtle about it, and this can grate with some people which has led so some rather patchy, love/hate reviews. This is true as well of my personal experience as I went with a friend. I loved it and he hated it, so let’s look at some of the reasons. The films are both set in the fantasy kingdom of Mahishmati and follow the story of cousins, and polar opposites, Amarendra Baahubali and Bhalla Deva. Good and bad is left in no way ambiguous in these movies with the two very much painted as a saint versus the devil incarnate. They are both in line for the throne of the kingdom but the queen mother who raised them both as her sons chooses Baahubali over Bhalla, due to his compassion and devotion to his subjects. This sets off a series of fairly predictable conspiracy plots devised by Bhalla and his father to overthrow Baahubali.
The story may be simple and direct but it also has a fairytale charm to it which is matched by a lot of the cinematography, it’s bright, artistic and there are some truly epic fight scenes, if not particularly grounded in terms of real world physics. This, I think, marks the reason for a lot of the varying opinions on this film. This is not a film that reveals in grounding itself in reality and really needs to be viewed in a fairytale or myth context. It’s a simple tale of good versus evil with a strong romantic undertone. Another review, I think, summed up the attitude needed to enjoy this film which is “Don’t judge Baahubali, just savour it.” If you’re looking for a dark, gritty, intellectual film then this one is not for you, but if you like fast passed action, emotional rollercoaster, romance and films with a strong artistic flare then will be a great film to watch.