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Bahubali - Movie Review

Finally got to see Bahubali and was smitten by the grandeur(and Rana).

Disclaimer: This review is NOT going to be about how alluring Anushka was or how this movie, despite its Tollywood home, became a box office hit.

Sans the grandeur, this is yet another masala story but instead of going about having some unnecessary romantic duets, the sequel tries to answer the questions that we had at the end of Part I. My only hiccup with the movie was that the climax fight was a tad bit lengthy.

Apart from Rana, there were two prime reasons/questions to why I was looking forward to this movie:

  • Can an Indian director do justice in picturizing comic/novel level fantasy stories?
  • Are there any deja-vu moments in the movie?

Visualizing comics/novels

Superman, batman, etc., were all comics that became movies. Harry potter, Lord of the Rings, etc., were some famous novel series that became movies. Apart from Mahabharata/Ramayana, none of the classic stuff has been turned into a movie/television series. Ponniyin selvan is a classic example. Indian film industry is so inclined towards a commercially successful, masala movie and that makes history and classics take the back seat. Leave alone history, take Chennai floods for example. Is the film industry equipped enough to recreate what happened in the Chennai floods(including political and humanitarian mayhem)?

Apart from being a form of entertainment, the film industry has the responsibility or at least the power to educate the larger audience about the history of the nation. I see Bahubali as an answer to all those directors/actors who are reluctant to think beyond a love story and five songs.

Bahubali is an answer to all those who asked:

  • Why cannot the first 15 mins of Dasavatharam be made as a full movie?
  • Why cannot we make a movie about chera, chozha, and Pandya kingdoms?
  • Why is marudhanayagam still not revived?

Despite my concerns with tampered history in Jodha Akbar and Chandra Nandini like television series, it is high time that south Indian television series makers think about history and kingdom (No! Not Mahabharata or Ramayana or Jai Hanuman!) instead of Vani rani and Saravanan Meenakshi!

Deja-Vu moments

(Un)Fortunately, there were plenty of Deja-Vu moments(in terms of VFX and art direction) for me in Bahubali.


All scenes that show the various angles of this ship and the way it is sailed made me exclaim, ah this is the Durmstrang ship scenes in Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire and the resemblance to the Viking ships.

Durmstrang ships are depicted as underwater ships and when they raise up, they take a form similar to the Viking ships with multiple row arms. These multiple rowing arms are focused a few times in the ship sailing sequence.

Most Indian symmetrical bird for this kind of a ship is the peacock and hence the blue green theme.

Next in this list is the most famous chariot in Bahubali, which got a neat makeover in the sequel.

This is a no brainer to Ben Hur Fans. The most famous chariot race introduces these Persian scythed chariots.

And scythed chariots are common in ancient history, so much so the most famous Da Vinci has a depiction of the same

King Ajatashatru was the first person(in Indian history) to use these scythed chariots

So this idea and its creative execution were Wow!!

Next in line is the scene where the cow’s horn are set ablaze and this looked immediately similar to the Spanish tradition where the bull’s horn are tied with a burning ball and the participants try to dodge the bull.

This as a war strategy was a brilliant thought process.

Next was the uncanny resemblance of release of the river scene in Lord of the rings to the dam water release while saving Devasena’s kingdom.

And yeah for the most obvious Deja Vu’s:

The sword’s similarity(except for the horse head) with Jon Snow’s sword:

or Narnia’s sword:

I always thought most of the Indian swords had a bit of curve in them. Maybe cause of Aslam Khan(Sudeep in Part 1), this again had a Persian/Roman influence.

Somehow this sword looks more Indian, may be due to the handle:

Now to the poster scene:

Gladiator did show some similar scene but the design of the bow was totally different from that above.

Another famous movie that depicts a similar fantasy is Dracula:

This is called Robin Hood trick shot in the western world. There has been a lot of interest and experimentation on this kind of shots.

For more details:

Looks like the VFX had a lot of influence and this post is filled with a lot of multimedia.

To me, Bahubali wins the moment we see these deja-vu moments. Recreating these under Indian movie banner is a big success factor!

Bahubali - Rajamouli - Team