You've been there. A wonderful first date. An experience you want to relive again and again. You think it can't get better and the date ends with the line, let's meet again. Soon. And then the wait begins. Waiting for Bahubali 2 has been like waiting for that date.
As I waited, I relived the film many times. My eyes sparkled every time I remembered the larger than life waterfall, the breathtaking visuals, the sheer opulence. Will the second film be just as great? Will it have the same level of music, action and drama? Will it make me want to whistle, woot and scream, "Jai Mahishmati!"
The second film, much like the second date, in my opinion, was weighed down by the greatness of the first one. Yes, in a single word, this is no comparison to the first film. So unlike the first date, I haven't come back feeling I've found something special. And in a way, I'm glad there's no part 3.
Don't get me wrong! Let's call a spade a spade: the graphics, production and quality in most departments easily surpasses the average Indian commercial cinema benchmark. And of course, it's not a waste of your money. The tragedy however, is that it was meant to continue a rather brilliant franchise.
While, the first film was not a flawless outing, it was almost there and clearly a new benchmark for everyone in the Indian commercial movie market. There was a sense of daring drraminess in the vision, a clever plot line and a screenplay that built up to an amazing climatic pause : why did katappa kill bahubali.
In doing so, not only did the director build expectations, but he also built memorable characters - the righteous Bahubali, and his ambitious replica of son, the almost-winner-but-loser Bhallaldev, the strong and loyal Kattappa, the tactful, staunch and strong figurehead Shivgami- to name a few.
So when you went for B2, you expected not only the movie, but also these characters. And oh, the disappointment! The story telling which was the strength of the first one, takes somewhat of a backseat as the plot wants you to see the tale of Bahubali falling in love with Devsena. It's borderline cute alright, but Katappa who I had loved and respected is almost jarring in his second fiddle first half that sees the actor ham and overact. Katappa, shut-up pa!
The plot of a cunning, sore lose trying to vindicate is clever and hinges on one thing alone : Shivgami's dumbness. She's not dumb! At least in the first part, she wasn't. In this one, she's almost a reactive woman, waiting to be manipulated. The sharpness and astute thinking she had has jumped off the CGI waterfall and she's all but an angry aunty to say the most. Devsana, emerges as the firebrand female character in this one whose beauty is matched by her bravery. Her sharp tongue compliments her royal arrogance and she is a treat! But here's the thing: nothing is even brand new here. Oh, yes, there is a ship/space-ship song, (but ain't no blue butterflies from the dheevara song.) Sigh. But all that does lead to kahani mein twist interval moment.
The second half builds up to a war and it doesn't disappoint. Visually of course, it's a lot of wow moments. We learn about the twists that made Katappa do what he did and then see the rise of the new bahubali. But something about both the bahubali: what the director owes to CGI, the warrior hero owes to the flexibility of Pine trees. Ok pine, sorry! :P
But back to calling a spade a spade, it's not a bad film. Watch it for its amusement, grandeur and wow moments. You won't be disappointed.
The problem you see, the first date was awesome. Have you ever wondered that if the second date was in fact the first time you met, you wouldn't feel so bad. But thank god, this wasn't actually a date. I can still watch Bahubali: the beginning. Again.
3 Stars. Sorry.