Monday, May 8, 2017

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion [2017]

MPAA (UR would be PG-13)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing listing

Hindustan Times (D. Sinha) review
The Hindu (S.D. Dundoo) review
Indian Express (S. Gupta) review
Times of India (M. Iyer) review

The Guardian (M. McCahill) review (M. Javali) review

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion [2017] [IMDb] [FiBt] (screenplay and directed by S.S. Rajamouli [IMDb] [FiBt], story by Vijayendra Prasad, [IMDb], Malayalam dialogue by Mankombu Gopalakrishnan [IMDb], Tamil dialogue by Madhan Karky [IMDb], Telugu dialogue by C.H. Vijay Kumar [IMDb] and Hindi dialogue by Manoj Muntashir [IMDb]) was probably the most anticipated INDIAN BLOCKBUSTER RELEASE in HISTORY and at least in terms of Box Office figures, it certainly did not disappoint.  Two weeks since its release it already has become the most successful Indian film in history, and even in the U.S. it shocked many observers as the weekend that it opened it ranked #3 in American box office sales (beating the Tom Hanks / Emma Watson starring film The Circle [2017]) and even the second week out it still landed #7 in American box office sales.  Wow!

Yet, to be truthful, I found Part 1, Baahubali: The Beginning [2015], an almost "Indian Thor [2011]-like" film (with which I began my 2016 Indian Film Tour last June) to be far more interesting.  The current film, which features EXTENDED (going on and on and on...) if admittedly AWESOME medieval style battle scenes, best resembles the final installment of the three part Hobbit series The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies [2014], or perhaps the Spartan Era 300 [2006].

That said, I suspect that many Western viewers will watch much of the film with jaws dropped, wondering ... HOW THE HECK did such a culturally / technologically advanced country as Silk Road / Medieval era India ever fall under the boot of the British (or otherwise European) colonization?  (There's obviously a complicated history there involving the reality that India was not a single country but rather a civilization / cultural unit comprised of many competing states who the Brits / other European states played against each other).

So while perhaps not even the best of these epic Indian films -- I liked Bajirao Mastani [2015] (available on various mainstream streaming platforms at a reasonable price) to be the best of the current Indian films of this genre -- I really do believe that seeing a film like this could change one's life.  A non-Indian would never be able to look at India the same way again.  In that regard, a simply AWESOME film!  

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