Baahubali: The Conclusion released on this day four years ago and an entire nation went to the cinemas to find out why Kattappa killed Baahubali. The two-film franchise not only delivered India’s biggest box office success, it also changed the way we look at the monolith that we call ‘Indian cinema’. An audiences brought up on a staple diet of Hindi films rarely stepped out to watch Tamil or Telugu films in theatres across back then. There were successes that were not originally Hindi films, but they were just that — exceptions.
Baahubali, two dubbed Telugu films, changed all that. A pan-India hit that was epic in proportions remains the highest grossing Hindi film till date. It also had an impact the way Indian filmmakers made their films — from frames to larger-than-life vision. Many even tried to recreate the success of SS Rajamouli film but in vain.
As the film turns four, we look back at the film which gave us memorable moments, stars in Prabhas, Rana Daggubatti, Ramya and Anushka Shetty and more pop influences then we can count. Now, who doesn’t remember when Ramya Krishna as Sivagami Devi introduced baby Amarendra Baahubali as the next king of Mahishmati?
While Rajamouli mounted the film at an epic scale with grandeur to spare, he also put a human story at the heart of it which was relatable. What inspires Prabhas’ Mahendra and Amarendra or Rana Daggubati’s Bhallaladeva is as old as our myths and stories Indians have heard when they were children. To add to it, SS Rajamouli gave us strong women characters who came in all shades. If Sivagami was a mix of a mother’s blind faith and the indomitable will of a fearless queen, Anushka Shetty’s Devasena was the epitome of strength and valour.
But like millions out there, I fell in love with the character of Amarendra Baahubali, whose story of greatness takes over the screen in Baahubali The Conclusion. From the very first frame of the film when he makes his entry as Amarendra Baahubali with “Saaho” song on the vocals of Daler Mehendi, Prabhas wins over our hearts. He exudes respect for people, especially for women, which makes a connect with us.
In the scene where he speaks against his mother Sivagami for trying to get Devasena married to Bhallaladeva, Prabhas’ Amarendra Baahubali had set an example about how it is important to be true to your dharma. He doesn’t disrespect his mother but chooses to side with what’s right. Does this mean he valued Sivagami any less? Of course, not. He, without a question, lets go of the right to be Mahishmati’s king. And even leaves the kingdom on Sivagami’s command. He was the perfect son, a perfect friend and a supportive brother.
But even after he loses everything, he lives a life of a king as he finds love, respect and his honour in the people of his kingdom. The scene where Amarendra Baahubali beheads Sethupathi for inappropriate behavior with women found connect with the audience. Even after the release of the film, the clip of this particular scene did the rounds on the social media.
Yes, Amrendra is too good to be true/real but Rajamouli makes you believe in him. You hope he exists. You hope to find his goodness in people around you. That is the magic of cinema.