Welcome to the end of our first all Bahubali week! But not our last, I am only about an hour into the film, so these posts will be continuing for a while. But I hope to manage to watch something else over the weekend, so I can give us a little bit of variety! Even the most delicious meal can pale, if it is all you eat. (detailed summary part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, and fanfic scenes I want to add here)
I kind of ended in the middle of a section on the last post. Prabhas is traveling around the kingdom before his coronation, and ends up in the idyllic Kuntala kingdom, where he falls in love with princess Anushka, who is not only a beautiful princess, but also a great warrior. He and Kattappa are living in the kitchen of the palace and pretending to be a simple couple of peasants who the royal family has taken in to train as warriors. Anushka sees through his charade and is trying to challenge him in order to prove that he is the skilled fighter she thinks he is. Her latest challenge, hand to hand combat with a bull, goes wrong when Prabhas lets himself be hit, injuring his shoulder. Now he is using the shoulder injury to gain sympathy from Anushka. She still doesn’t trust him, but she is enjoying the game.
Kattappa has just managed to knock Prabhas so that he can fall over on his sick bed onto Anushka. Anushka caught him, and held him a moment too long and let her face brush his hair. And then caught herself and settled him back on the bed with a brusk order that his cushions be re-arranged so he wouldn’t fall over again. But Prabhas hides a smile, because he knows she has revealed her feelings. Kattappa immediately goes into a new act, saying that his poor injured nephew, injured by the cruel princess’ orders, now cannot even sleep, if only someone would sing him a lullaby? Anushka doesn’t respond, so Kattappa begins singing a terrible lullaby, in a cracked voice, while drumming on a pot, and Prabhas just lays on the bed and smiles.
Anushka leaves the room and is immediately caught up by her sister-in-law who reminds her that it is time for the “full moon ceremony”, and that she has to change out of her hunting clothes. And we cut right to the actual ceremony, women singing to Ram. Such tight construction! This song only makes sense if we know it is happening right after the last scene. But Rajamouli was worried we wouldn’t know that since Anushka is in a different outfit, so he put in a tiny line of dialogue to bridge the two scenes.
This is such a pretty song! I don’t think there is another song in either of the two films that is quite like it. I mean, you could say that about a lot of the songs. But they do fall into rough categories. Love songs, fantasy songs, “Bahubali is awesome” songs. This is the only full on elaborate dance song we get, with the swirling skirts and multiple women’s voices and so on. It has a meta-meaning as well. This is a “traditional” style film song, the kind we are used to from hundreds of films over the past several decades. Because this moment of falling in love is removed from the epic storyline and the battle scenes and all the rest of it. It is just a woman in love singing and dancing about her man, like Kareena in “Bole Chudiyan” or Madhubala in “Mohe Phanghat Pe” or dozens of other examples that come out every year. Prabhas and Anushka’s love story, and how she feels about him, it’s just the same as any other couple in love. Which is what makes it magical, because any couple just realizing they are in love is magic.
(This is not the kind of song I am talking about. I want it for the lyrics, “But of all these miracles, a girl in love is bigger”)
Oh, and this is also the part that I really saw what Moimeme pointed out in the comments of Rajamouli’s affection for Prabhas shining through in the eye of his camera. While Anushka is singing, we cut back to Prabhas listening, and he is framed like a classical painting, graceful still postures, perfectly placed to create pleasing lines with the objects surrounding him. It’s not sexual, it’s more kind of worshipful, although not quite that either. It’s just love, I guess, pure love.
Oh, and it also calls to mind images of Krishna and other gods, the crossed legs and crooked arms. Which is the explicit message of the song, Anushka singing to Ram, who is really Prabhas. She throws flowers on his statue, and flowers fall on Prabhas listening in the distance. She blows smoke, and fire flies towards Prabhas. And in the middle of the song, she loses track for a moment and sings a few lines of apology for letting him be injured by a bull, a moment when her sister-in-law and attendants clearly sense what she really means. And laugh at her a little. And Prabhas, listening, understands too and smiles.
(This kind of pose. Not this exactly, and I know this is Krishna not Ram, but the same kind of grace and poise)
Again, all the “magic” of these scene does not feel like it is because Prabhas is the super-king or anything like that. To me, it seems like it comes from Anushka’s pure love and pure heart. And not her “super princess purity” either. Just because she is a young girl in love, and any young girl in the first flush of love, singing to her lover and to her God, would cause these same magical moments of flowers falling and so on. It’s important that we have this song in this way, so we can fully appreciate what comes after. That Prabhas and Anushka’s relationship, once all the games and the amazing arrow skills and all the rest of it has been taken away, it’s not “epic”, it’s just too innocent young people in love. Something precious and fragile that is also the most important thing in the world. And not something that all the amazing sword skills or kingly power in the world can make happen, it has to come about naturally and from the heart, like it is for Anushka here.
Oh, and her attendants and sister-in-law are treating it that way as well. They now know she is in love, and in love with a simple peasant boy. Or one who is to all appearances a simple peasant boy. And their response is to smile in appreciation and happiness at her love. Because it doesn’t matter who it is, the fact of her heart waking up is a wonderful thing that should be appreciated and respected.
All of this is so important before we get into the next section, so that we can feel how “wrong” it is. In all kinds of ways.
Back in Mahishmati, Rana and his gang are hanging out on that same pavilion. Even before the dialogue starts, it feels wrong, because they are high up, away from the city, with tones of yellow and red and brown and nothing else. While back in Kuntala where we have spent so much time, it is all blue and green and pink. Oh, and also male and female, where as Rana and his group are all male. Before the scene even starts, we have already had a shock of “wait, this doesn’t feel so good!”
Okay, we went back and forth in the comments as to whether Rana fell in love with Anushka for herself, or just because he learned Prabhas already loved her. So I was watching closely this time, and it is definitely a combination. His spy is reciting his report, that Prabhas and Kattappa are in the Kuntala kingdom, and Prabhas has fallen in love with their princess. And then, as a kind of visual aid, he offers one of those incredibly accurate portraits of Anushka. Rana takes the portrait, just for background info, but when he opens it, the music goes “Boom boom, ba-da-da-da” and there is a slow zoom in on his face. So he clearly is having a reaction to it.
But it’s not a good reaction. The music isn’t going “be-de-de-diddle-diddle”, all romantic and stuff. It’s heavier, almost angrier. Yes, he is immediately captivated by Anushka, but the flavor of his love (or would we even call it love?) is more possessive and obsessive than anything else. And this is extra terrifying, because we just saw the delicate beginning of Anushka’s feelings for Prabhas, the magic of that, and now Rana is coming in all “boom boom” to smash it.
(It’s not this song, I don’t think, but his “love theme” has the same angry aggressive sound to it)
What I found really fascinating on a second watch is how Anushka inspires Rana. This is a clear dividing line in his character. Before, he was jealous of Prabhas and angry at his mother. But he wasn’t willing or able to do anything about it. He just let it go and let it go and let it go, and didn’t act. But now, with the sudden shock of seeing Anushka’s face, he is jolted into gear. From now on, we see a different Rana, no longer sitting back and waiting, but making things happen, going after what he wants, actively rebelling. Anushka is the catalyst not just for Prabhas, but for Rana too.
And then the next scene is really really interesting! Rana arranges for his friends to speak for him, while he stays modestly silent. Word comes to Ramya that something might be wrong, she goes to see him. His friend says that he is “unbalanced” in one corner, and then points to a curtain. Ramya orders the curtain pulled, revealing a massive blow up portrait of Anushka based on the smaller portrait Rana was shown in the previous scene (I am thinking there is some kind of grid system that would let them work so fast? If you broke the smaller portrait down to a grid, and then used a larger grid on the full size portrait, and put the exact same things inside each square, and had unlimited portrait painters at your command, you could totally make a massive oil painting over night!). At which point one of his friends reveals that Rana has fallen in love. Ramya asks him directly if this is true, and he admits it. And then she offers to get this woman for him, and one of his friends speaks up saying that “A woman is not a toy you can simply buy for your son”. At which point Ramya proudly declares that her son can have anything he desires, and offers her hand in promise that Anushka will be Rana’s bride.
Okay, in my last section I kept telling you “remember! Remember!” all the time when Prabhas was kind of standing back and letting Kattappa take the lead. Prabhas is clearly enjoying this, being able to control events without being the center of them. And he is skilled in manipulating those around him to make things happen without needing to say it himself.
And Rana is doing the same thing!!! But, EVIL. Rana is manipulating people because he wants them to be complicit in what he wants, to make them feel like they are at fault, like they are committed. Prabhas is manipulating things because he wants them to feel like they are NOT at fault. Kattappa is such a figure of fun, it is easy to ignore and laugh at him, if you so choose. So is Subbaraju. Prabhas is trying to avoid speaking for himself, because that would put too much pressure on people. He wants them to be free. While Rana is trapping them.
They are such yin and yang characters! Both fall in love with Anushka, both feel that their best chance of winning her is to hide behind others, both kind of enjoy the experience of pretending, and letting others take the lead. But Rana does it because of his “doom-doom-doom” music kind of obsession and attitude, while Prabhas does it because of his “tinkle tinkle” music kind of love. And that carries through to how the rest of the courtship plays out, Rana with manipulation and control and power, Prabhas with light-hearted trickery and freedom.
(Every time I write “tinkle tinkle”, this song starts in my head. Also, it is a kind of good example of that lighter sort of love theme)
The general message of this sequence is Rana standing back and manipulating. As he will do through out the film, there are only a few very significant moments where he truly reveals what he is thinking. But it also tells us a bit about Ramya, and a bit about what is and is not acceptable in society.
Rana knows that the best way to get Ramya to commit is not by asking her directly, but rather by telling her she CAN’T do it. She is so used to fighting and dominating, that she immediately gets excited by the idea of overcoming yet another obstacle. And so he expertly manipulates her through her resistance to manipulation.
And finally one small thing, notice part of the way Ramya is being manipulated is that one of Rama’s chamchas says “A woman is not a toy you can simply give to your son.” Which is true, and which will be Anushka’s point many times in the future. And the fact that he is freely speaking out about it, and that Rama no doubt directed him to say this, indicates that there is a social acceptance, even in the less free world of Mahishmati compared to Kuntala, that a woman should have free choice and the ability to pick her own husband. What Ramya is about to do with Anushka is just not acceptable, by any standard. And she would not do it unless she had be carefully herded there, they knew the objection had to be addressed before Ramya would agree. If someone else hadn’t said it, they ran the risk that she would say it herself. That, in fact, she would agree with Anushka’s future argument, a woman has a right to say “no”.
In the ceremony the women were singing around Krishna’s image who is associated with romance and playfulness. Such songs are never used with Ram’s image who is serious, committed to dharma, even ordering his wife to undergo test of fire and then also banish her into forest.
Oh good! It felt like a Krishna song, but I think the subtitles messed up and said Ram. Thank you!
On Fri, May 5, 2017 at 11:54 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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I got to see it again! In Hindi, though, and I’ve got a few minor quibbles (for example, stuff like the fact that Prabhas line when he leaves Kuntala is changed from “Anushka will be as precious to me as my eye” [paraphrased] to a more stereotypical and kinda sexist, “Don’t worry about her, she is my responsibility now” in Hindi) with the dub, but overall didn’t mind it as much as I thought I would. So I was super excited to come back and see this!
– I’m going to start by being contrary and questioning if it really even is a love triangle? (I know, I’m one of those who falls hard on the “Rana never loved Anushka, he never knew her” side of the love/lust question, but it’s true! He hardly ever interacts with her that I can remember before the climax, and while he is definitely obsessed with her in the present day, I see that as more because she is the only real link to Prabhas that Rana has left. In a sad, sick way, the only way Rana can have hope of feeling as though he one-upped Prabhas is by keeping Anushka imprisoned, more than anything else.) And part of that too is because Rana just never lands on Anushka’s romantic radar at all – in the first movie, Rana sets up as “you chose him over me” but we clearly see that she would have rejected his proposal no matter what and by the time she comes to Mahishmati, she hates Rana as the one who robbed Prabhas of his throne, not because of his advances towards her or anything like that.
– Oh, no, it’s definitely a Krishna song, not a Ram song! It makes sense, because Kuntala is a land of herders and more laid back royalty, like Krishna himself, and also because Krishna is famous for advocating breaking the law/tradition if it goes against a higher good, so establishing Anushka as a Krishna devotee sets up her characterization more than the standard cliche of young women in Indian film always sing to/worship Krishna.
And also, the association of the full moon, and the final shot of Anushka looking at the moon, puja thali in hand, and then at Prabhas, echoes Karva Chauth to me too. Just in case anyone in the audience needed an extra hint that they were going to end up married.
– And yes, this too, about what a happy, loving environment it is! I harp on this so much, but Kunthala is my favorite too, because not only is Anushka accepted by the men as a fellow warrior, she is also embraced and entirely at home with her female relatives/friends too. Also they are so on board with her falling in love with a random poor simpleton! They were amused, yes, but mostly they all trusted her judgment and presumably would have even if she announced she wanted to marry him without Prabhas getting his big hero scene. (Which begs the question of what Prabhas’ long term plan was, before the Pindari attack and Ramya’s message forced his hand. Was he planning on just hanging out in Kuntala indefinitely until his coronation? Was he planning on asking for Anushka’s hand in marriage, and then, assuming they said yes, going, “Oh yeah, by the way?”)
– I find the parallels between Prabhas and Rana really fascinating, because I hadn’t thought of them, but you are right! Prabhas can be just as manipulative as Rana is, we just don’t mind it because of course he is acting for “good” reasons instead of bad. And Rana has, on the flip side, a lot of the positive characteristics that Prabhas has, too, but instead of bring them out, his anger and jealousy destroy them. And Anushka as the motivator, and thus the whole driver of the entire story – oh, that’s perfect! But I wonder if it’s as much because of Rana’s feelings for her as it is the fact that Prabhas finally has a weakness. Honestly, before this the only way to get to him was to take away Ramya’s or Kattappa’s love for him, which was the only thing I think he really cared about, and that was not going to happen (at that point). He’d already shown that he didn’t really care if he lost the throne, because he sincerely is happy for Rana at the end of the first movie when he thinks Rana is going to be king. But now, Rana sees something that Prabhas genuinely wants, and like a six-year-old, he’s going to do his best to snatch it away from him (and also because Anushka is beautiful in her own right.)
– I am a little horrified that Ramya apparently knows her son so little that he could have supposedly been pining away from some random girl for months (to the point of having a creepy stalker portrait up in his room!) and she would have no idea. Rana really is the unfavorite, isn’t he?
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-Well, it’s a love triangle in that Anushka has two suitors vying for her. Prabhas definitely wants her because he loves her, whether Rana loves her or just wants to one up his brother is unclear, but he is certainly proposing to marry her. So I guess it is a love two way line, with a possession/unhealthy obsession line coming over towards each end of the love line from the Rana corner. But I completely agree with you that he never even landed on Anushka’s radar, and never would have. I like that about Anushka as a character, especially a female character. There are so many things, and opinions, and so on, that she just doesn’t bother with. No concern over her being pretty, no concern over making people like her, she is always big picture focused. And Rana’s place in that picture is very small. She hates him, but her kingdom and her family are much mroe important.
-Glad to hear it’s a Krishna song, I thought it was too, not because I was smart enough to think of the Dharma and trickery and cowherd connections, but because of how Prabhas kept taking Krishna poses, all graceful and dancer like.
-Well, as I am realizing while writing this, everything is happening very quickly at this point. Anushka has just confessed her love in song, and right after that the proposal arrives from Rana, and then while Prabhas is being told of it, he hears the sound of the attackers. So maybe Prabhas just wanted to have her reciprocate his love, him having won her over entirely by himself, and then he would have gently explained that the family which through him out to wonder, it was part of his training, he has a high position and a lot of responsibilities, and eased his way up to telling her exactly who he is. And then they could have gone to her family together.
-I saw it as Anushka’s strength being a challenge to both Prabhas and Rana, inspiring them to do better and work harder. It’s just a portrait, but it does tell Rana something of her personality. She is holding a sword, not the standard Princess stuff like flowers or a religious icon. And she is staring straight out of the portrait, not giving a simpering smile. I could see him combining this image of her, with knowing that she is the kind of woman that can win Prabhas over, and having a strong reaction right away. Including suddenly realizing that this is something Prabhas would actually feel hurt to lose.
-Poor Rana! His mother never loved him, Anushka never loved him, and the people never loved him. Come to think of it, the only people who truly loved him are the ones he hates/despises the most, Prabhas and Nassar. Like you said, Prabhas seemed sincerely happy for him when he was made king, and always treated him as a friend adn brother. Sure, they were rivals, but Prabhas saw it as a friendly rivalry. Actually, come to think of it, Prabhas treated Rana kind of like he treated Anushka later. A worthy adversary, who he challenged for fun, but would happily help as needed, and give credit to when deserved. But anushka could take it in good spirit, knowing her own worth and not letting him shake it.
I actually think it was a bit longer than that? The boar hunt is pretty clearly on the first, maybe second full day that Prabhas is in Kuntala, and the lullaby is that same night. Plus we know from Hamsa Naava that it takes at least a day and night to get from Kuntala to Mahishmati (I’m assuming that’s the shortest route.) So it would take Rana’s spy at least one full day to see Prabhas and then come back, (in assuming boar hunt and Rana finding out about Anushka are happening back to back, so we will say that’s Day 0), then it probably takes at least a night to have the Huge Portait done and hung up, then Ramya finds out the next day(Day 1), maybe takes another day to get those treasures together(Day 2), then her messengers have to go to Kuntala (Day 3), then come all the way back with Anushka’s response (Day 4) and assuming the falcon doesn’t take that long to find Prabhas, we can say she sent it out on the same night as the Pindari attack. So that’s a 3-4 day break there that isn’t accounted for, unless there’s a hint that there are other simultaneous events going on that I’m missing?
– I thought Anushka’s portrait was fairly generic except for the sword, but I really like the detail you point out about her gaze being direct as opposed to the other brides’ portraits we see! And also that Rana knows Prabhas and would know he wouldn’t fall for just anyone, and so I guess that is one thing Rana knows about her other than her beauty, even if it’s not much.
– I think we all assumed Prabhas 1 was going to be all boring and serious, but he actually tends to be more playfully challenging with his loved ones, like Kattappa and Anushka and even Rana. Everyone except Ramya, really. And that too plays into how badly he misinterprets her reaction when he does finally challenge her.
(I thought I’d replied to this, but maybe not! But if I did, and it was a website glitch/will end up being a duplicate, I’m sorry in advance! But this one might make more sense, actually)
– Skipping down to your third point about everything happening fast, that’s just it, it actually can’t be happening as quickly as it’s shown. Hamsa Naava shows us that it takes a day and a night to get from Kuntala to Mahishmati (and I’m assuming that (a) it was the quickest way to travel given Ramya’s orders and (b) that really, they have to be kind of far apart, because if the two capitals were only a few hours away from each other, then Prabhas and Anushka would have probably met earlier and Ramya/Rana would be more likely to have gone to see Anushka in person with their proposal). The log chopping has to happen at most one day after Prabhas and Anushka meet because Subbaraju is still showing Kattappa and Prabhas around the palace, and the boar hunt is the next day (Day 2), with the lullaby that night.
On the other hand, Rana’s spy has to see Prabhas entering Kuntala’s service and pretend to be an idiot, but we’ll assume that he leaves immediately and reaches Mahishmati with his report on Day 1. Then Rana would at least need say, a night to produce the huge copy of the portrait and get it up on his wall, so Ramya finds out on Day 2. I’m going to assume that it takes her a day to get together the huge amount of treasures and stuff she sends to Kuntala, so that’s Day 3. Then the envoys from Mahishmati would arrive on Day 4, and then even assuming that they immediately get sent back without being offered a chance to rest (which seems unsporting of the Kuntala royal family), they will only arrive on Day 5, with Ramya then sending out the falcon on the same day/night, which is when the Pindari attack. Which leaves 2-3 days that we don’t see! (And begs the question of why Kattappa didn’t tell Prabhas anything sooner, but Kattappa seems to assume that Prabhas will be upset at hearing of Anushka’s refusal, so maybe he held off for a day or two until he worked the nerve?)
That logic/math might absolutely be off, so feel free to point out if it!
– Oh, and I remembered another thing I really found clever about the lullaby that I hadn’t mentioned earlier! Anushka’s solo about the bull, where she really plays her hand in revealing that she’s singing to Prabhas, actually picks up from later in the song than the beginning of the verse (essentially it mixes two verses together), and that, along with the way that the background music gets blocked out, make it just discordant enough to someone who’s listened to the released soundtrack that you pay attention to the most plot-significant part of the song, even if you’re one of the sort to block out dance numbers. It’s just interesting, and not something that I think would have worked in a Hollywood movie, where there isn’t really a culture of soundtracks being released early, and of audiences coming in already knowing the songs by heart, and where audiences already expect the numbers on the OST to be shortened/remixed instead of played in full as they usually are in Indian cinema.
-I think it is possible that you spent more time working out the timeline than the script did 🙂 But yes, I get your point. I wonder if there are some cut scenes of Prabhas and Anushka being all lovey-dovey after her declaration? Or maybe it is just that, as a kitchen worker, Prabhas didn’t have a chance to see her in the days between the injury and the Pindari battle? Maybe he was waiting for her to make the next move and come to him? going back to the “what was he going to do if the Pindaris hadn’t attacked?” question, maybe he had a timeline in his head, and was giving it another week or so for Anushka to come to him and for them to resolve things naturally. And if she hadn’t, then he would have sought her out and explained who exactly he was and what he was doing and propose.
-that is fascinating! They do that same thing all the time, like you said, usually just a matter of slightly tweaking the song so that the visuals build better. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you are right that they did it purposefully here, to take us out of the flow of the song.
Originally I had thought this would be a standard jealousy story where Anushka would spurn Rana’s advances and he in turn would torture and humiliate her for so long. What I found interesting was that Rana never appears to have any romantic/ sexual/ lustful feelings towards Anushka. At least not the way Telugu movies get too specific with villains’ lust towards heroines. Like Magadheera, for example. In contrast Rana never leers at or behaves inappropriately with her. His plan to steal Prabhas’s love interest appears to be to mess with him. He did masterfully engineer Prabhas’s love story to cause a rift between him and Ramya and gain his kingship. That appears to be the extent of his interest towards Anushka.
I think that only when Prabhas 1 died and Anushka (and her strength) was in his direct view for 25 years, that Rana became obsessed with her and that too not necessarily sexual, but as a challenge to try to break her. Prabhas 1 was long gone, he just heard of Prabhas 2’s existence, but Anushka’s fiery spirit was what he had to deal with every day, even though he was the one who put her there in the first place. (That makes him a better character to me that his decision to punish Anushka caused this obsession. Waaaay better than that dude from Magadheera creepily salivating at Kajal’s curves.)
Anushka not being under his captivity somehow disturbs him more than his son’s death or even the threat of second Bahubali. I thought it was telling that Rana seized Anushka from her protectors instead of attacking Prabhas 2 when he had the chance to.
I was watching closely on my second watch for Rana’s reaction to Anushka’s picture. And there was definitely a reaction, separate from when a moment earlier he just heard that Prabhas was in love with some Princess. But it was, like I said, a “boom boom doom doom” kind of reaction. It may have been love, it may have been excitement at seeing the embodiment of Prabhas’ weakness, it may have been just a sudden desire to possess something that Prabhas wanted. But you are right, it wasn’t just a “ooo, her curves!” desire like in Magadheera. There was something more than that going on.
And I absolutely agree that the 25 years in captivity are driving his obsession with her at the end. I think he saw in Anushka an embodiment of the people of Mahishmati. If he could just break her and get her to forget Prabhas and love him, or care about him at all, then he would finally win over Mahishmati, and his dead mother, and all the other people in his life that he needed to care for him in order to be happy.
Somewhere else I had commented about the parallels between the arc of Sivagami and Mahishmati are presented to the audience. I like the idea of Anushka being a representation of Mahishmati rejecting Rana in favour of Prabhas.
Yes! I think that thought from you is part of what gave me this idea that Anushka is now the spirit of the city, I got confused between comments. It also picks up again on the over-arching theme of that daughter-in-law ceremony, the daughter-in-law of the royal house is the soul of the people.
I was going to conclude my previous post saying something about how the spirit of Mahishmati passing from Sivagami to Devasena was a good thing for them, but didn’t know how to put it.
I rolled my eyes when I first saw the daughter-in-law ceremony, as it seemed to come out of no where just to show off Prabhas 1 and 2’s skills for the umpteenth time. Going deeper into it, yep, the two women truly do represent their people.
Flip side is, since I always considered Avanthika an after thought, I wasn’t too invested in her or wasn’t affected by the story’s indifference towards her. Now I find it frustrating that she wasn’t developed enough for us to speculate about Mahishmati’s future. In what ways Avanthika’s Mahishmati would be different from Devasena’s or how she could have built over her mother-in-law’s vision.
Avantika/Tamannah herself as a character seemed so in flux at the end. I kind of liked the way they started to establish her way back when we first saw her, as part of this fearless warrior band, but secretly going off and looking at herself in the water and clearly beginning to question if this is all there was to life. But then we never got a resolution on that! Has she found a way to have, essentially, work/life balance? In a way it’s the reverse of Prabhas 2, whose life was almost too carefree. And now he has balanced that carefree attitude with a serious purpose.
I suppose if I wanted a big excuse for the film, I could say that Mahishmati itself was in flux in the same way as Tamannah, going from a life of deprivation and depression to hope and happiness. But really it just seems like they forgot to finish her character journey. We just needed on scene in there to show that she was balancing the warrior with the “princess”. Or that she would act as a balance on Prabhas 2, always reminding him of his duty when he got too happy. Something!
On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 10:53 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
This is not related to your post, but I just wanted to share Prabhas’s message on his Facebook page:
2 hrs ·
To All My Fans , a big hug to each one of you for all the love that you’ll have showered on me. I have tried my best to go through a lot of the efforts that you all have put to express your affection for me from different parts of India and even overseas. I am truly overwhelmed with everything. The journey of Baahubali has been a long one but among the few things that I will take away from this, is all of you. Lots of love back to you all. A big thank you to SS Rajamouli sir for believing in me to carry his huge vision to the masses, giving me a once-in-a-lifetime character of Baahubali and making the entire journey so special.
He just seems like such a nice young man! Like the kind of guy that would help you carry in your groceries and then get embarrassed when you thank him.
Um … you mean he’s a “darling?” 🙂
BTW, this “nice young man” is older than you. Just saying.
Here’s a fun fact about Prabhas you may not know. There’s a lot of discussion of Kshatriya dharma in this film. Did you know that Prabhas is a Kshatriya himself? Not only that, but his family is actually a once royal one. 🙂 Of course all those titles have long since been abolished, and they seem to have been a very minor “kingdom”, if that (i.e., they were not one of the 600 odd “princely states” that the government of India had to make treaties with at the time of independence). Remember Rajamouli saying that Prabhas could portray Amarendra so well because that’s the way he himself is in real life? In one of the promotional interviews for BB2, Prabhas was asked how he developed so much patience, and he narrated this anecdote:
So, being “royal” family, they still take responsibility for the people living in that region, and his uncle (the present eldest member of the family) periodically goes down to their family home to meet with the people and find out if they have any problems, need help with anything, etc. So one time he was busy at the regularly scheduled time, so sent Prabhas in his place. Prabhas was around 18-19 at that time. So he went, met with everyone who came, but, not having a clue about what he was actually supposed to do, spent his time smiling and nodding, and, I imagine, saying “I’ll tell my uncle about that,” as needed. Anyway, Prabhas said that that experience was what taught him to be patient, because there was no way he could get out of doing it, even if he didn’t understand anything.When he came back, he supposedly told his uncle to never send him on such an errand again.
Now, as I was thinking of posting this last night, it occurred to me that, when Prabhas was that age, his father was still alive. So, why didn’t his uncle ask his brother to go meet with the people, instead of his nephew? At least his brother would know what to do. My guess is that it was a way of teaching Prabhas about the family’s duties and responsibilities, through practical exposure and experience. Doesn’t it sound an awful lot like Sivagami telling Amarendra to tour the country so he could understand the problems of the ordinary people? 🙂
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I discovered long ago that large elements of my personality are more similar to a spinster aunt than anything else. Thus, I look at some guy a decade older than me holding a door for a lady or whatever and think “Oh what a nice young man!” It will be a relief 30 years from now when I finally age up to what I have felt like all along 🙂
Someone else mentioned that he was Kshatriya, but I was thinking more like the Kapoors or something, where it is their caste, but they haven’t done anything with it for years, it’s just something you kind of know from their last name. Had no idea that it is still a lived experience in the real “royal” kind of way for him! That adds so much to the film, thank you!
On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 4:32 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Thanks for explaining about your spinster aunt tendencies. I won’t snark about that again. 🙂
Not all Kshatriyas are of royal descent (however far back in the past). In fact, most aren’t. Their ancestors would have been members of the various royal armies.
When Rajamouli said Prabhas was like Amarendra, I think he meant in terms or personality or character, not anything to do with being royal.
I’ve always felt like there is a strong connection between the nobles/aristocracy/rulers in the ideal version, and the way the best Indian movie stars interact with their fans. Things like paying for hospital bills and other charitable endeavors, but also general attitude, always courteous and respectful to any of the, for lack of a better term, “common people” who talk to them. With a kind of “I am sincerely interested in your life and problems and I owe it to you to be that way” sort of attitude.
Not all stars of course, but a fair number of them, when you hear stories about interactions with fans, it is less the spoiled rude behavior you would expect from a movie star, but more kind of what Bahubali is like, interested in people and grateful to them for being fans.
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One thing that stood out to me is that even though Mahishmati is under Ramya’s control, Rana still has a lot of power. He has spies that report to him and guards/soldiers that will speak in his favor.
Good point. I assume that is a network that Nassar started and Rana has grown in the years since. Probably goes all the way back to those nobles that were ready to rebel back when Prabhas 1’s father died. But the fact that Rana has maintained them, and controls them so easily, again shows how his family has underestimated him. And the audience as well, since we never would have thought that the spoiled little boy seeming Rana from the first film has an elaborate system of supporters in place with whom he stays in constant touch.
It also explains some things about Ramya, she probably knows on some level that there is still a large group of opponents she has to fight against in the kingdom, and it just makes her firmer and less willing to listen to arguments.
On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 8:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Yes, having those connections makes sense. Maybe young Rana was making friendships with these nobles and their children while young Prabhas was spending time with Kattappa and other common people.
I’m sure that this opposition has lead to Ramya keeping a tighter grip on her power.
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