SS Rajamouli's Baahubali: The Conclusion (Bahubali 2), which hit the screens on April 28, deals with a routine revenge drama, but what makes the movie spectacular is the grand treatment.
We saw Shivagami (Ramya Krishna) declaring Baahubali (Prabhas) as the king of Mahishmati in Baahubali: The Beginning. Before coronation, Baahubali sets on a visit to the countryside to know the problems of locals as part of the tradition of the kingdom. He falls in love with Devasena (Anushka), the princess of a kingdom called Kuntala.
After learning his love affair, Ballaladeva (Rana Daggubati) tricks his mother Sivagami. She then snatches the crown from Baahubali and also gets him killed. How Baahubali's son Sivudu aka Mahendra Baahubali (Prabhas) avenges the murder forms the crux of the story.
In terms of story, Baahubali: The Conclusion has nothing great to offer to audience and its screenplay is predictable in parts. The first few minutes in to the movie are slow and dragging. The comedy scenes featuring Subbaraju are forced and boring. Story picks up speed with the war sequence in which Prabhas saves Anushka's kingdom. The VFX and set designs will leave you spellbound.
The song featuring Prabhas taking Anushka to his kingdom is just amazing. Words are not enough to describe the design of the ship and VFX used give it a fantasy touch. The family drama keeps the show going great in the next few minutes. The first half of Baahubali: The Conclusion ends with an interesting twist.
After 30 minutes into the second half, the mystery behind why Kattappa killed Baahubali is revealed and the revelation is not so exciting and the rest of the story becomes clear and predictable. What keep you on tenterhook are some twists and the battle between the brothers.
The war sequence in the climax has amazing VFX and well-designed weapons, which will even stun Hollywood filmmakers and viewers.
SS Rajamouli has been very economical in detailing certain events like Prabhas and Anushka's romance, marriage and pregnancy, which happen within no time. But he lacks logic in the scene featuring Anushka visiting Maheshmati Kingdom with her new-born baby, soon after delivery. However, he seems to have ignored the character of Avanthika (Tamannaa), who has very little screen presence.
Prabhas has delivered top notch performance and is the showman in Baahubali: The Conclusion. His beastly side featured in battle sequences will astonish you.
Rana has also done justice to his role and his hulky body and facial expression in battle scenes will stun you. Anushka Shetty has good scope for performance and has done it well. Ramya Krishna and Sathyaraj and others have also done good jobs, which are the assets of the film.
Unlike Baahubali: The Beginning, the MM Keeravani-composed songs are very much in sync with the narration and help the director offer more details in a shorter time. The visuals, lyrics, voice and music of Dandaalayyaa are mesmerizing and the song keeps reeling in your mind for hours even after you walk out of the theatre. His background score plays an important role in elevating the intensity of every scene especially in the second half, which is very high on emotional quotient.
Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni, who have bankrolled Baahubali: The Conclusion, have made sure that the film has top notch production values. Senthil Kumar's cinematography, Peter Hein's action choreography, dialogues, art direction and weapon and costume designs are brilliant. VFX works are not up to the standards of Hollywood, but considering its minimal budget (in comparison to Hollywood films), they are just thrilling and spectacular.
Verdict: SS Rajamouli may not have chosen a unique story, but he definitely stuns you with the amazing treatment of the subject. You will be bowled over by the performances of the lead actors and brilliant production elements. If you are inquisitive over the mystery of Kattappa, you should watch it in theatres. Watching a pirated version will not give the actual experience, as sound and screen size matters a lot.