10 Reasons Why Bahubali is an Entertainment Blockbuster and India's Entry to Oscars
July 2015, cine goers in India witnessed- what could be easily coined as “a spectacular cinematic feast” and also, “a milestone in India Cinema”. The film that was based on an Indian Legend and a mythological king, not just received critical acclaim but was a huge commercial success too.
I loved the film from the shot one and, loved it throughout. For me it is the stuff that blockbusters are made of and the stuff that India should be showcasing to world. To me, this movie indeed deserve to sweep all the awards [across the languages] including the Oscars.
Here’s my top 10 reason as why Bahubali the film deserves an Oscar
1) Blend of History, Mythology and Fantasy- The movie sets in the mythological land of Mahismati that is looking for a suitable heir for the throne. The story draws inspiration from Mahabharat and looks like straight out of glorious Amar Chitra Katha’s colorful pages. The kingdom is not just majestic or gigantic but has set up like fantasy. A lot of reviewers compared it to LOTR and 300 though. However, I beg to differ and feel that it has more similarities to Amar Chitra Katha and Chandamama series.
2) Special effects and Larger than life landscape: From the first scene, the film is a visual feast with larger than life landscape, kingdom and expanses. The brilliant and picturesque cinematography makes it a visual delight and aids in story-telling. If I am not mistaken, the film shared the same special effects team as Juraasic World. The film looked straight out from the colorful story books with breathtaking locales [The waterfall], well placed VFX, mesmerizing landscapes, thrilling in-camera shots, magnificent sets including those of romantic backdrop between lead pair. The movie marks the comeuppance of Indian film making and technology used.
3) Powerful Star cast with superlative performance- The actors looked like their characters and did full justice to their respective roles. Whether it was the valorous king Bahubali [check out the muscles] or Shivudu charaismatically played by Telgu actor Prabhas or the stone cold gazed ballaldev aka Rana Dugubatti or Sathyraj who played Katappa, each one suited to their role and exhibited great screen presence even in the dubbed versions. My favorite was Ramya Krishnan who stole the show in her role as Shivagami, a woman with softness, strength and absolute stealth.
4) Powerful Narrative- The film though was longer than usual Indian movies but given the skillful story telling that remained consistent and powerful throughout including post interval ensured not a single dull moment in the film. The screenplay was crisp, linear and self-redeeming. I , in particular loved the first scene when you see a Royal lady who emerges out of a cave, carrying an infant in hand, with an arrow pinned at her back, walks towards the towering waterfall, passing through the waves with baby up in arms [and not basket], praying to God for child’s well-being and ultimately disappearing in river before handing the baby to safe hands. That one scene gave away so much of story without saying much and that is what I call powerful narrative.
5) Attention to Important Details: From the beautiful carvings of Mahismati kingdom and the palace, to the beautiful costumes [esp the one donned by Tamannah], to the specialized weapons, the chariots, the accessories, the styling, the movie had all substance that any period drama deserves.
6) Eternal Romance between Lead characters- Criticism notwithstanding, the beautifully pictured scenes between Shivudu and Avantika where indeed a romance that “fantasies” are made of. The song sequence wherein an image of Avantika lures Shivudu to successfully climb the Waterfall or the scene where he skillfully paints a lovely tattoo on Avantika’ hand or the scene where he helps Avantika discover the beautiful women in her [much against her protest but towards her in stem desire], every moment is picture perfect, scenic and ethereal.
7) Entertainment beyond controversies- One thing I liked a lot about the film is that it did not try to evoke sensitive issues for the gain of commercialism. There have been certain films where you would not see much of “content” but rather a “sensationalizing” approach to cash in on a sensitive topic. But a lot of those films fail to evoke constructive creativity nor do they entertain. Bahubali has not dwelled in any controversial subject in name of art but is a beautiful artistic expression that is high on entertainment. While you infer few scenes but the movie did manage to provide you on the edge entertainment through the war, the fight against crown, the uprising and more.
8) Skill full direction: The Film is directed by Rajamouli who has directed another breakthrough movie called “eega”. When I first heard “Eega” [the fly] story, I found it amusing. However, the quirky and silly the movie sounded, it was worth its salt and was indeed a good production. So when Rajamouli directed Bahubali, it was the movie that audiences saw. The story was stronger and screenplay was just rather than giving any additional footage to a star. The Story was the star here and stars emerged as strong characters.
9) Ability to hold attention and create suspense- Speculations rife about the second part and the mystery that it created at the end of first part. Now almost every cine-goers would have found the reason as to “why Katappa Killed King Bahubali”, still you would not find many viewers who would have seen part 1 and would not for second part. In spite of being a usual “palace politics” film, the screenplay was powerful enough to hold attention and create enough suspense for 2 part.
10) Hugely Entertaining beyond being Dumb- Bahubali proves that a sensible and riveted story telling can successfully gauge audience across genres rather than the dumb and mindless films that promises to entertain but leaves you with sore feeling of being over the top dumb. While Bahubali was chivalrous and quite incredible at many scenes. But that is how the genre “fantasy” is. And Bahubali was entertaining and interesting.
And if those reasons are not enough, Bahubali was dubbed in 7 languages and had a Pan India appeal to it. If you have not seen the movie yet, I recommend that you must see it once. I would love to hear your opinion here.