Bahubali (Hindi, Telugu) - Review

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?) - But if you do, you may want to go to the cinema halls.
quick review:

One epic war sequence at the end of a story that is not only half-hearted, but also half-told.

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Wogma Review

Bahubali is appealing to the eye. The sets look exotic, the cinematography is breathtaking. The entire set-up is extravagant. There is one long, awesomely choreographed war sequence. And that's it. It is a 2 hour 40 minute long film. It has unnecessary songs that in fact, seemed cheesy to me - and this I felt after a long time. The story has some thing going about it, but it runs out of steam and/or money by the time the climax approaches. Given this list of pros and cons, it finally boils down to whether or not you can watch and like a film mostly for its scale and visuals.

Bahubali might have still been worth recommending if it were not for major plot points left hanging before “the conclusion” was declared. There were at least two sub-plots that were dwelt on through out the film, but weren't explained at all, let alone satisfactorily.

I also wonder, if the film would've worked better if it avoided the flashback and pasted the “history” before the current times instead of moving back and forth. A chronological telling of the story might have worked better in building the story.

But, from the way it has ended up, looks like the story didn't feature in the top ten priorities. It was more like the idea of shooting a great war scene came about and a story was conceptualised to justify the big war. A story that makes you feel it was reverse engineered, isn't what I like in my films. The rest is secondary.

~ ~ ~

ps: I watched the version dubbed in Hindi.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads of war scenes and scenes of torture – and gruesome too.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of songs with some physical intimacy shown, though nothing graphic. One scene which implies sex.
  • Concept: A war is brimming and then it happens.
  • General Look and Feel: Visually very appealing.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2
  • Story: 2
  • Lead Actors: 2
  • Character Artists: 1.5
  • Dialogues: 1.5
  • Screenplay: 1
  • Music Director: 1
  • Lyrics: 1

Bahubali - Movie Details

Bahubali - Trailer

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Comments (29)

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Suman Chakraborty:

Direction: 2.5
Story: 1
Lead Actors: 2
Character Artists: 2

Dialogues: 0.5
Screenplay: 0.5
Music Director: 0.5
Lyrics: 0.5

Anuj:

Watch if u have nothing better to do?? Meeta Kabra, sorry to say but u do need a break. Baahubali is an Indian cinematic masterpiece. A mythological war film of epic proportions that every indian can be proud of. The 30 minutes battle sequence is something I've never witnessed in any Bollywood film before despite the high production value and higher global reach of Hindi films. Baahubali deserves every bit of accolades that its receiving and more. Can;t wait for the conclusion now!

Munish :

Agree with Anuj. I'd always come to WOGMA... the likes of Shubhra Gupta and Rajeev Masand, who seldom rate movies highly, have given it a 4/5.

Ananya Kiran:

Nice review.. all my friends loved this movie..i am waiting to watch it

5 looks with Same Dress

Pragya:

@meetu,i have not seen the movie but I must say that u have some way judging a movie. And I feel that u r too hung up on "story" all the time. Unless it is bachpan se lekar budhape ki kahani, it's not a story :)

sidheart:

what a pathetic review!!

Raju:

abosolutly right on the money with the review.guys wake up you want call this movie as pride of our country cinema,then what about movies made by satyajit ray,movies like Mother India,Lagaan,Lunch box which have raised the bar of movie making in our country.I come from Andhra pradesh and I know the values of tollywood cinema which produced national award winners like urvashi sharada,directors like bapu,Jyandyala many others.I feel Erra mandaram is the pride of our telugu cinema.I have no problems with Ss Rajamouli and his mentor k raghavender rao vision of movie making because on the end it takes lot of pain to canvas a movie.but that should not judge a movie calibre.it should be it sheer ability to lose ourself in it and enjoying its fragnance at its core.

Prabhakar:

Your site - your prerogative, meetuji. But I couldn’t help breaking it down to you, since in my opinion you are kind of missing the point by several zip codes at the very least.

The movie is about war, but epics are not made on rom coms, pedantic monologues by aamir khan or two joggers conversing in a park. If an ambitious movies has to be mounted, war – which has been the running theme of humanity since the human-spine straightened couple of millennia ago, has to be a part of it. So sorry it did not appeal to your feministic virtues. Epics need war. To condense patriotism, love, deceit basically the length and breadth of human emotions into 3 hours. And I know you might giggle but the effort was to make an epic.
Cheesy Vs Pseudo-intellectual: I am aware of the general rules , scantily clad women in south Indian movies = cheesy and any movie made within a budget of Rs. 3 lakhs or has aamir khan in it = intellectual peaks of indian cinema.

Lets try being open minded for a second for a change;
1) A woman inspires a man to surpass and achieve an insurmountable challenge which he had been trying all his life (quite literally a mountain coz maybe the director was aware our intellectual peaks) 2) A man pursues and woos his woman (that is natural in the nature-southies don’t hold any copyrights on it) 3) The pair find completeness and fill a void that haunts them all life 4) And after they consummate (Baba re baba, they were not married no!!!! – now that we are absolutely indian for a miniscule second), the man accepts her completely and takes on her challenges as his own. Hmm how cheesy!!! I mean seriously, its like do we have to symbolize and condense the very journey of a man-woman into few short minutes so that an average Indian may catch a glimpse of his life on the big screen and be inspired for it-How middle class right, Mrs Sarabhai.
Now the “ISI mark”+ISO 9001 benchmark for an intellectual film:
AK (Aamir khan) pedants about :
1)TZP-How to raise your child-Pride of your DVD shelf.
2)PK-How to pray to god-Add to must watch list.
3)3 Idiots-How to study!!!!!!!!!!!-Buy the DVD already.
4)Dhobi Ghat - How to……. waste money while high on pseudointellectual crystal meth sold only in South Mumbai?? (): Add to must watch list.

Sorry for the long post. Have been and will be a strong visitor to the site. Posted only because after completely missing the rating on “Namaste London” (Yes I go that back with your site) This might be your next “epic” miss…..Happy posting Meetuji.

Anuj:

Bahubali-The Beginning is a cinematic masterpiece by a visionary craftsman named SS Rajamouli. I'm eagerly awaiting the conclusion and so are the millions who've adored and appreciated this epic across the globe.

Read my complete review at

http://thesimplemoviereviewer.blogspot.in/

Anuj:

@Prabhakar : Completely agree with you. But instead of targetting Aamir Khan whose movies cater to all strata of the audience right from urban cappachino pseudo intellectuals to single screen front benchers, you should have taken examples of film-makers like Vishal Bharadwaj, Rajat Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap among others who've been boring, snoring and bugging the audiences for decades together with their so called "intelligent" brand of cinema.
@Raju : Lunchbox is no masterpiece. Its a boring, sleep inducing piece of art made for arm chair critics and kitty party aunts to awe at. There is nothing special or entertaining about that movie that would make a common,normal and sane cinematic viewer willing to spend 2 hours of his/her life for the sake of a bit of entertainment go gaga about. If you wanna talk of low budget, small scale cinematic classics you'd rather stick to the Wednesday's and Kahaani's of Bollywood.

Arijit Singh:

Now Reviews time over. With all The Ratings its high Budget movie .. Time to Go to Watch it. :D

meetu:

@Suman finally we agree :D And what a film to agree on :D

@Munish for some reason, I take that as a compliment :P

@Ananya Thank you.

@Pragya Yep, for me story and/or how the story is told comes first. It could be a one line story, but if it is told well, I am smitten. Everything else is _almost_ always secondary. Now what comprises "told well" would be different for different people.

@sidheart :D

@Raju Yeah, I thought someone needs to call a spade a spade.

@Prabhakar I agree with you. A war movie has to be a war movie and be about battle strategies and counter-strategies. I have seen quite a few war movies - not only kingdoms, but also families and gangs - and have appreciated them. If by "feministic virtues" you mean - wanting romance; to the contrary, I thought Bahubali should have lost the song and dance and romance and focussed on the war.

My problem with the romantic track wasn't that it existed but because it existed for the sake of introducing those two songs and the sex. Take the lady out of the film and it doesn't change one bit. Bahubali was drawn towards the mountain from when he was little - because of his internal connect. The romance wasn't an indispensable element, it was a prop.

The problem I had with the story was to do with the reasons behind the war which the film chose to emphasize on - Devsena's story (which was only alluded to) and the actual "how" of Bahubali's ouster?

I don't see why the comparison with Aamir Khan films? And interesting how you didn't pick Aamir Khan films that I didn't rate well - Dhoom 3 and Ghajini - which film/content-wise are more comparable to Bahubali than the preachy one's you've picked.

Also, while I might have rated those Aamir Khan films well, my views of him and his preaching are better expressed in this blog post - https://heartranjan.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/why-is-aamir-khan-such-a-pretentious-prick/

Overall I liked the films and I try to rate films as a whole rather than rating the film as per my like or dislike towards the star.

Thank you for your patronage! I really appreciate it. Hope to keep you coming back.

Fan:

@Prabhakar: what an article. I could feel that it has come from the bottom of your heart. BTW pk original rating on wogma was even the keen .... The ratiywas upgraded later.

meetu:

@Fan and for all readers actually, wogma follows a system where once the movie moves out of theaters it goes into a different system of rating because the ratings like "Watch for sure, preferably on theater" or "The keen must watch on screen; else DVD" wouldn't make sense after the movie is out of theaters, especially for a person new to wogma.

So, PK was rated "The keen must watch on screen; else DVD" which basically means, watch the film for sure even if it is on TV/DVD. This rating, after the movie is out of theaters, translates to "Add to "must watch" list".

Points being:
- The ratings should make sense after the movie is out of theater.
- I do not update ratings! That would be a disservice to my readers, make me a cheat and be just wrong.

Fan:

@Meetu: now there's something that I learn about wogma.

Divya:

...off late I have realized that there are intellectuals (say Aamir fans ), pseudo intellectuals (say Aamir fans but proclaiming Irffan/Rajkumar Rao as their favorite ) and a totally new breed pseudo pseudo intellectuals ( thali ke baigans but like hating Aamir just because they think they are above intellectuals and pseudo intellectuals... They have convinced themselves that they are better/knowledgeable/opiniated than others whereas in all probability they are just more opiated than others....
Anyways ...I liked bahubali...despite a flawed screenplay ....the feminist in me was overjoyed with 2 strong female characters...nope...not included tamannah in 2....and cinematography/CGI ...despite most characters being black/white...was happy go see a couple of Gray ones...regarding the chronological order...I think I will prefer the back and forth approach...very harry potteresque....enjoyed being part of audience who is learning with the protagonist as to ....he is special and ...why is he specia . ...anyways ...to each his/her own

Moviebuff:

Sorry to say this but in a long time I felt like your review was all over the place. I think you completely missed the point of the movie. Perhaps you did not know there was going to be a second part of the movie, hence the suspense and enigma of some bits?

I think movies made at this scale and proportion should be encouraged not nitpicked. I actually liked the back and forth narrative because it helped build the importance of the protagonist's persona... Yes, the song and dance was out of place but we have to allow some cinematic liberties in the interest of the overall narrative...

Agree to disagree!

meetu:

@Fan :D

@Divya @Moviebuff Yep! To each his own and agree to disagree :)

Krish:

Just done watching the Epic - ' Baahubali ' - It is Scintillating Spectacular Sensational Movie.

~ Prabhas & Rana Daggubati as Baahu and Bhalla have given career best performances. They really gave it all they had in them. Prabhas is lucky to have a national and country wide and all popular vernacular language speaking simultaneous audience to his movie and this is a privilege no star hero from telugu film industry had so far including Mahesh Babu and Pawan Kalyan. In some instances - When Raana as Bhalladeva tells his dialogues - they sounded just like Venkatesh. I am not kidding.

~ Ramya Krishnan as Sivagaami - the raajamaatha in this movie. Ammoru, Narasimha and Baahubali - that's how ramya krishna will be remembered in that order from now.

~ Satyaraj - Kattappa - the Senaadhipathi - really lived in that role. Nasser as Bijjaladeva was like Shakuni of Mahabharatha and he has given convincing performance too.

~Tamanna in a new kind of a role for her was good and our jejemma 'Anushka' in a short role was alright and surely she is going to rock in the second last part in 2016.

~ Prabhakar as Kalakeya the war lord - his character has lot of shades and influence of Khal Drogo - the Dothraki King of Game of Thrones where in he speaks a new language and has a huge army at his service and as seemingly very violent and fearsome.

~ M.M.keeraavaani is our very own Hans Zimmer of Telugu Film Industry. Music is just heavenly and really gave all the scenes and songs - life. BGM in the war sequence will take you to a different world of Maahishmathi.

~Senthil is our James Cameron .. err ..i mean james cameraman :) Jokes apart. He has given us some great never before seen visuals.

~Sets and Locations are great. Dialogues could have been much better and more impactful.

~Visual Effects is the other star in this movie which is already a multi-starrer. Yes. We can create and recreate some mind-bending and pretty cool visual effects in our own Hyderabad, India. we can proudly say that this movie is total ' MAKE IN INDIA' and pakka 'MADE in INDIA' and definitely World-Class.

~ lastly our own Jakkanna - SS Rajamouli - What a world-class product and a movie he has made. Just played with visual effects, CGI to enhance his narration and story telling. I can definitely see the 2 years of Making behind this movie. Maahishmathi Kingdome bird's view is something you have never seen before or may be a glimpses in little in Udaygarh Kingdom in Magadheera movie. He has given us a feast to our eyes and our senses and pretty much fires up our imagination too with his excellent directorial abilities.

~ He dedicates one song 'Paccha Bottesina' song to his guru 'Raghavendra Rao' :D :D who has in the past given us some mother of all 'fantasy songs' in Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari. One 'Item song' was for the mass audiience and the quintessential B and C centers. Dheevara song is my personal favorite - both visually and audio too - it has been on the loop since last 1 month.

~The war sequence in the movie is the heart of the movie and it literally is edge of seat entertainment.

~ I am sure he must had spent a lot of time on the designing of the weapons of which I found Rana's Mace and his chariot were really cool and creative. Mahabharatha and Ramayana - Our Original Indian Epics - they have huge influence on this movie. There is a reason he has decided to make this movie in two parts and so he can elaborately show his skills and talents to a national and possibly international audience too.

with some breath-taking visuals and sequences.

~ Some of hair-raising and fantastic scenes - Shivudu lifting Shiva Lingam, Introduction of Kattappa, Introduction of Bhallaladeva, adivi shesh beheading and the next scene when everyone realise that Shivudu is their Mahendra Baahubhali (which was similar to Chatrapathi interval scene)

~For commercial reasons and to engage all sort and all kinds of audience he had to keep them. That 35 min war sequence should make up for all glitches and flaws.

Lastly - guys and girls - I have always believed 'Glass- Half Empty, Half Full' philosophy. There might be some flaws, weak links and some stuff which might have not appealed us as much in this movie but 80% of the movie is truly incredible and showcases our telugu cinema stamina to our country - India. I am very happy to see this movie. In the theater today - a huge chunk of Gujarathi speaking audience have watched this movie in telugu which had subtitles for them to understand. Now that's the RajaMouli - the maestro's magic. BenHur, 300, Troy, Gladiator, Alexander, Hercules - we all have enjoyed and loved these hollywood period war epics and i am really chuffed to see a war fantasy epic on the very gigantic class but with our native telugu and indian emotions and culture showcasing.

~This is one of the successfully marketed movies and brand in the recent times. The audience has been prepped and primed with all sort of making videos, trivia, time and effort spent on this movie much much before the release of the movie it self for the last 1 year. So, there will be a natural and unnatural hype and great expectations from the audience. May be that was all needed for a movie touted to be the india's biggest motion picture aimed for a country wide release in 4 major language to attain maximum attention and visibility and to get back their investment as well.

~Encourage and Enjoy these kind of new content, imaginative movies that are made with so much passion, dedication, persistence and imagination or else we would forever be treated to garbage and junk like Aagadu, Evadu, Shadow, Rabhasa and same old forumalic and archaic movies.

Maniratnam, Shankar, & next....is our Rajamouli. Thats the impact he would generate after this movie and he would strengthen his already soaring brand value all around. One thing is for sure he would not direct a single telugu only movie at all in the future and all will be bi-linguals and infact tri-linguals too. ( tamil and hindi).

My rating is 4.5 / 5 - Just watch it and live the epic just like i lived the epic that is Baahubhali.

He ends the movie with a powerful punching twist and invites us to see his movie's conclusion next year 2016. I found this too as a very bold and experimental zeal to give something new to our movie-crazy audience by the producers duo - ARKA media and rajamouli. Knowing rajamouli - he would cover up all the glitches, flaws with a better taut screenplay and reveal the complete story in the BB-the conclusion 2016. But this BB-the beginning is on its way to an industry hit breaking all records.

Jai Maahishmathi. Jai Baahubhali Jai Rajamouli !!

meetu:

@Krish Thank you for your review. Very detailed and very well articulated.

As you would notice, I barely talk about the acting in my review and you have spent quite some time on describing the actors. In contrast, you haven't spoken about the story and I have expressed my disappointment about the gaping gap in the writing department. It just goes to show how different people look for different things in films. And after reading a review, the reader can decide if the things that worked for the reviewer will work for them or not and same goes for things that didn't work for the writer.

Thank you again for writing at length.

Fan:

Going to Wogma page

http://wogma.com/cast-crew/v-vijayendra-prasad/basic/

we will notice that the gentleman has only 2 films to his credit at the time of posting this remark. But what 2 films!!! Man with the golden pen?

meetu:

@Fan Unfortunately, wogma database doesn't have films that haven't been reviewed here. :(

Fan:

@Meetu: True, he has given many more in Telugu and other South Indian regional languages. In Hindi though, Wikipedia and imdb list one more than what is on wogma - Rowdy Rathore. Even though I did not like RR it still cannot be disputed that commercially it was a successful film too. Thus the guy does have an enviable record, at least when it comes to Hindi films.

meetu:

@Fan Unfortunately, wogma database doesn't have films that haven't been reviewed here. :(

Shekhar:

Review speaks mind. Another overhyped movie.

ehinome okojie:

In a jovial mode, considering this films incredible run at the ticket window, i hereby declare Prabhas a bigger star than Aamir, Salman and Shahrukh.

ehinome okojie:

When will Hindi film producers stop remaking Force, Drishyam, Billu, Kick and start remaking Robot and Baahubali?

Fan:

Catch-up time. After Piku, it was time to catch up on Bahubaali.

Did I enjoy watching the film: I would say YES. Usually films that have already built up a hype before I watch them end of falling a dud - but Bahubali did keep me engaged. All throughout I kept regretting that I was unable to catch it on large screen - I could feel the spellbinding effect some of the scenes would have had on me.

It is a war film made on a gigantic budget and with a skilled production team. Throughout history (Hollywood or Bollywood) epic war films mounted on a huge budget have always been successful. Benhur in Hollywood, and Mughal-e-azam in Bollywood for instance.

Bahubali thus was destined to be a major hit, story or no story. It is an epic war film. Although I must say that there is a story, and the intermission (end of beginning) has the right amount of suspense value to make people throng for the Conclusion. Although it would not take a genius to guess the reason for the twist in the ending.

It is a visually breathtaking film. The waterfall scene splashed in every promo video is awesome. I would have loved to watch it on big screen - it is filmed for the big screen. However the shot that stood out for me was the magnificient conclusion of the fight sequence [comment partially deleted because gives away a scene in the movie]. Wow moment.

The film worked for me because it was able to connect. I could feel for the characters - the villains have so very well been established, the down trodden have so very well been portrayed - that when right fights the evil you end up shouting "Don't leave the b******". You really pine for the villain to die the most cruel death possible - and that is a plus point for the team. To make your heart tug with the characters is no mean affair.

War sequences of course are memorable. Agree with Meetu that probably songs were not required, or at least not well timed. An item number found its way nevertheless in a war epic - how market economics dictate film making :-)

Finally a few words on the real winner - special effects or CGI. Extreme fluctuations in quality - some scenes are of the best quality every seen, and some scenes are so horrible that you feel the mediocre quality animated TV shows on Indian mythological characters should be given national awards. It is difficult for me to understand how come there was such a difference in the quality of the scenes. Good part is that the scenes with topnotch effects are really topnotch and take your breath away.

Final words: totally agree with one part of Meetu's assessment, if this film has to be watched then it must be watched on a big screen - probably a bit late now for those who haven't yet watched it.

baljinder:

Bahubali is one of the best movie in the world. They beats hollywood.

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