Just got home, haven’t really replayed it over in my head yet, still trying to shake out everything I saw and how it all fit together. But I think I can at least give you some things to think about while you are watching it for the first time.
This is not a perfect movie. There are moments that go on too long, and other ones that are over too fast. Some characters are severely shortchanged. The ending is abrupt, almost like they ran out of film. Some of the songs are a bit repetitive. Occasionally the CGI looks jerky and cartoonish.
I have seen what I would consider perfect movies, Sholay, Singin’ in the Rain, Casablanca, Awara, Pyaasa, Infernal Affairs, District B13, Angamaly Diaries. They exist, but they are very very rare. But just as rare is what this film is, a film which, in spots and moments, achieves something so breathtaking that it surpasses perfection.
If it was just those moments of more-than-perfect, this would be an interesting movie. But what makes it a Great movie is that those moments are tied together with big simple themes. Stuff which on the one hand is so basic that a child can grasp it, but so big that even an adult might still struggle over it.
Before you go in to watch it, here are some big concepts and themes to keep in mind:
- Natural versus Manmade power
- Dharma (the higher justice and rightness) versus Law
- Balancing the Masculine with the Feminine
- Ruling by Giving Service, not by Taking Service
- Motherhood as Weakness and Strength
The feminine is what I find so fascinating in this film. Anushka is the hero of the film as much as anyone. And the conflict is as much between the two lead women as it is between the two lead men.
And in this film, there is not one step wrong in how the female characters are treated. They have minds and bodies of their own, and both their minds and bodies are respected by the men around them. Heck, it is those minds and the capabilities of those bodies which makes the men love them.
And the “strong” kingdoms we see in this film balance that feminine power with the masculine. It’s not a Queen ruling alone, or a King ruling alone, but the two forces in concert. We see both those options and they are both bad, in their own way. Our ending may be hurried, but I am sure that the last shot of our characters was planned, and it displays exactly how the two forces of genders come together to rule.
The other big thing to keep in mind while watching this movie is EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST ONE. We see the origins of so many things! You can tell that these two movies were written as one, all these little bits that tie together. Well, and then other bits that don’t tie in at all, which must have been added late in the process. But so many of them do tie up! Heck, we even see the origin of the waterfall!
All of these big themes, and the amazing narrative dovetailing, that’s all very impressive framework. But what is nestled inside that frame are those same amazing moments that we all saw in the original. The times when the film just takes off and soars until you feel like just sitting there and worshiping it.