Baahubali – The Beginning

Baahubali - The Beginning

It is touted to be the most expensive movie made in India, an epic film more than 2 years in the making, the expectations are high, and above all, it’s a Rajamouli film. The result? A half-baked biscuit!

Rajamouli is definitely one of the best directors in the Telugu industry. He is a visionary, Eega was an example of that. With Baahubali, he tries to go one notch higher. He does it successfully as well in terms if grandeur, but unfortunately not on storytelling or direction.

Baahubali – The Beginning showcases the story of a young lad who discovers his lineage as we progress through the film. It starts off like most others, where the macho protagonist character is established, we then have a show-off of muscles and strength, there is a damsel whom he falls head over heels for, the damsel is in distress, he comes to her rescue, and finally there is an intertwined flashback which ends with an action packed war sequence. Rajamouli ensures that there is everything the audience wants, from muscles and the navel, to the beautifully crafted and picturized war sequence. But unfortunately, while there is creativity and novelty in probably every other sense, there is none in the storyline or storytelling. The screenplay is absolutely mediocre. Yes, I understand that it’s a two-part film, but even then, the movie is extremely patchy with no flow. The direction too isn’t really up to the mark for the characters seemed to lack emotions and are too loud at times (it actually felt like watching a TV serial on a couple of occasions). One expects better from Rajamouli.

Prabhas has put in a lot of effort and tried really hard to do justice to both the characters he plays. While he is pretty good as Baahubali, he looks miserable as Sivudu. His dialogue delivery is also not up to the mark. Rana looks menacing as the antagonist, and comes up with a good performance. Anushka does well in her brief presence, but her make-up could have been better. Tamannaah looks beautiful on-screen, and I wish the same could have been said about her acting. Ramya Krishna is great, but I think the subtlety was amiss. Sathyaraj has a meaty role and he does well. Rest of the cast is alright.

Music by Keeravani is average, with almost all songs forcefully inserted into the movie. Background score and sound mixing however are exceptionally good. While cinematography by Senthil Kumar is spectacular, the colour grading is terrible, and the visuals aren’t consistent on-screen. The graphics too are erratic. Production design and sets are very good. Editing by K V Rao could have been better; though a little over 150 minutes, the film seemed tediously long.

Bottom line, I have to agree that Baahubali is an example that we are making substantial progress in our film making processes and techniques. But what it doesn’t do is showcase our storytelling ability; while we’ve aimed to go global, our mindset still wants to cater to the mass audience. How will the mass audience scale up and appreciate good cinema if we don’t let them? It’s disheartening to see a director who took this path falling back and taking the easy road.

Is it worth your time and money?: Yes, it is worth a watch, not for the storyline or the storytelling but for the grandeur. It is a bold attempt in Telugu cinema; I only wish it had more to offer in terms of story and direction rather than being old wine in a new shiny bottle.

If only the efforts were channelled in the right direction, Baahubali would have truly been epic.

Worth mention: The visuals and production values.

Acting: 7/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 6/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 6.5/10

24 comments

  1. Oh come on. People like you love transformers and then go on to say this movie lacks story. I mean isn’t this the height of hypocrisy? Give the guy a break. It’s an effort that spanned over 3 years and with the resources he’s got, Rajamouli made the best picture which every Indian can boast about.

    • Ramya says:

      @Tarun: There is a perfection which the movie lacked. We all know what Rajamouli is capable of.. And I am not satisfied with the movie bcoz I know it could have been a lot better.

      Coming to the review, most of the things discussed by the reviewer are apt. If a hardcore fan is reading the review, he would not be happy at all..
      When you look at it as just another movie, I don’t think this is a WOW movie.. It’s a good watch which could have been amazingly picturized.

    • Ha ha..and hes has given terminator genesis 7.5

  2. Johnny says:

    The story for baahubali isn’t an everyday movie script. Its something that reminds me of dawn of the planet of the apes, or gladiator in the sense that It’s more of an epic than a story. This reviewer says its “old wine in a new shiny bottle”, but I want to ask him/her to name one other indian movie that has a story similar to this. Honestly, you can’t even tell what the story is from this movie, as it’s a two part film and much of the real narrative meat is left for the second part. The first part is used to establish the characters and the setting, and it does so marvelously.

    I agree that prabhas as shivudu looked perfect but his dialogue was a little unconvincing at the start. Aside from that, the acting in this movie (including from shivudu after the first 15 minutes) is absolutely amazing. Again the reviewer says “looks miserable as shivudu”, and doesn’t give any reasoning. He looks amazing as shivudu and no other actor would have worked in that role better.

    The direction is top notch. If anything, the movie drags a little in the first half, carried more by its visuals than the narrative; this is an editting problem, they should have cut it down a bit.

    A more fair review is a 9-9.5/10, and that’s only because it drags a little in the first half. Taking off stars for occasional vfx issues is not fair, as they had a budget limitation and provided amazing visuals for a 25 million dollar war movie, when war movies generally take 75-100 million dollars to make.

    • Sasikanth says:

      Well firstly, thanks for the detailed comment..

      You say first part was used to established the characters, agreed.. I just don’t think he did a good job with it.. Rajamouli is a capable director, and one expects better from him..

      Prabhas looked miserable cos he looked so, that’s my opinion 🙂

      Technically, the movie was good.. the aspects I have qualms with has nothing to do with the budget.. colour grading is something every film has to go through, and that could have been better..

      Overall, this is my opinion of the movie.. You might have loved it, and am glad you did.. As of me, I feel it could have been a lot better…

  3. Bahubali Fan says:

    Bull shit review!

  4. Prince says:

    Well said..we all know Rajamouli’s capability as a director but in baahubali, its lacking perfection.It could have been depicted in a better way so that it can spar up with hollywood movies..but he showed us how far an Indian movie can reach in global entertainment.

  5. Just go and watch the movie :\ :\ :\
    People are trying to find faults in an awesome movie , just so that they can highlight themselves , as if they were only watching flawless movies always. If you feel that making that epic movie is so easy then go and direct it.. instead of writing a big review like this guy

    These useless critics try to highlight the few -ve points so that they can prove that they are critics

    • Sasikanth says:

      Well, as a critique, it is my job to write an unbiased review. And at no point did I ask anyone not to watch the movie, I in fact said everyone should watch it..

      But what is the point of praising something just for the heck of praising it? If you don’t point out that someone can be better, they will never achieve excellence.. As a critique, and more importantly a movie lover, I want our films to scale higher rather than just be satisfied with whatever is offered 🙂

  6. Krathi says:

    Guys,
    Understand one thing first, In Indian cinema you got to cater to the mass audience first and foremost, as they are the guys who go to watch cinemas multiple times. If you only cater to multiplex audience movie will never be a commercial hit.
    I understand the critics view in this article but, let me ask a question to the critic will you invest $40 million on a film which only caters to multiplex audience?
    In order to cater to all sectors of audience you got to add some commercial elements, you got to add songs, you got to add some hot chemistry between the lead characters. This is all part of our Indian cinema. Come on guys if you want to pick negativity in any cinema Hollywood, Bollywood or any other wood out there I am sure we can. We go GA GA over Transformers for crying out loud and then criticize the story telling abilities of our own directors.
    You got to give kudos to the director and his team for the effort and story telling ability which caters to all audience. Name one film in any “Wood” which leaves you breathless and longing for the next part.
    Have you not felt at the end of the movie that no matter what even if it is 5 hours long the director should have finished the remaining story?

    THIS MOVIE IS DEFINITELY A REDEFINING MOMENT FOR INDIAN CINEMA.

    Thank you for reading.

    • Sasikanth says:

      Thanks for penning your thoughts 🙂

      Well I do agree that it is a good attempt, and it’s definitely worth a watch.. but only if Rajamouli paid little more attention to the script and storytelling, if only he paid enough attention to detail like he did for his previous films..

      • suri says:

        if the entire story is revealed in 1st part then there will be nothing to be mentioned in the 2nd part… and yes it is true 1st half is too draggy… it should be trimmed… but its ok… every one had done their marvellous job.. 9.5/10

  7. srinivas vishnu says:

    You guys seem to appreciate only your martian characters but there is also something in this movie for VENUS, especially when the characters have to be established at a slow pace without confusion or boredom. If you appeciate both, then the movie is supurb.

  8. srinivas d says:

    When you spent 200bucks for the first part why should we worry about 2nd part. Review is perfect but don’t understand the logic of trolling if someone doesn’t like baahubali.
    Rajamouli followed Raghavendra Rao style in first half which is disappointing.

  9. Well i watched it 2 times..and going tomm again..i dont see any movie like this awesone in any indian cinema ever…and u seems very negative person…

  10. DGS says:

    I know the movie is not up to the mark for Hollywood movie fans.But it got imbd rating 9.2 greater than 300,which good start for our indian cinema.One recognize the effort that the director has given for his film.Even transformers 4 did not had a good storyline.I would like to say Bahubali show off the integrity of an india and how rich our culture is.

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