Bahubali 2 Scene by Scene Part 9: Flying Swan Boat! And the Kiss That Was Cut

Welcome back!  A lot to dig into in this section, and then we get into the bit that depresses me terribly.  But this is the bit that makes is talk about whether the character developments are contrived or inevitable.  SPOILER: I land on the inevitable side of things. (last section is here, you can crawl backwards from there)

Prabhas is the crown prince of Mahishmati, but has been sent to go walkabout until his coronation.  He falls in love on his travels with a princess of a minor protectorate, Anushka.  His evil brother Rana finds out about his romance and arranges for their mother, Ramya, to promise to marry Rana to Anushka.  Anushka insultingly rejects the proposal, arguing that no man would have his mother send his proposal on his own behalf instead of coming himself.  In fury at the response, Ramya orders Prabhas (who she thinks is traveling nearby) to arrest Anushka and bring her to Mahishmati as prisoner.  Prabhas, just having saved the kingdom from roving bandits and professed his love for Anushka, gets the notice and uncomfortably has to ask the woman he loves to agree to be his prisoner.  Anushka naturally refuses, Prabhas argues that his mother wouldn’t do something wrong and there must be a greater reason behind it all.  And he is so confident, that he promises Anushka that he will not let any harm or disrespect come to her.  More than that, he also essentially makes a marriage vow, that he will dedicate his life to her and follow her lead until his dying breath.

 

 

Phew!  So romantic!  But also, so honorable!  What we were talking about in the comments of the last section is how Prabhas could easily have made almost the same promise to anyone.  He believes that his mother always has a deeper reason and always does the right thing.  And so if any Innocent had asked his guarantee for their safety, an old woman or a small child or even his new friend Subbaraju, he would have easily assured them that nothing would go wrong and he promise them that on his honor.  And he wouldn’t have thought twice about it, assuming that he would never have to actually do anything, his mother and his kingdom are always just and kind and this obvious Innocent will never come to harm.

The second bit, where he swears to follow her all the days of his life, that’s just because it’s Anushka.  Not just because he is in love with her, but because of the kind of woman she is.  Which, come to think of it, is why he is in love with her, so it’s all tied up together.  Anushka sees things clearly.  She saw through his pretense, she saw through her own feelings, and she speaks honestly and makes clear judgements based on what she sees.

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(Remember the big deal when her eyes were revealed for the first time in B1?  Because she has such powerful eyes.)

Prabhas has always trusted other’s judgments along with his own.  Ramya, Kattappa, even his evil brother Rana, he likes getting input as it were.  And he is wise enough to know when he needs the input, and when another’s opinion is better than his own.  It might make him appear weak, in fact that is what some of his enemies at court probably think.  But it is the special wisdom of knowing who to follow, and when to lead himself.  He’s mostly been a follower up to now, following Ramya.  And now he is making the biggest decision of his life, picking a new person to be his guide.  And he is making it in full consciousness of what he is doing, this isn’t a vow of love, or a vow that’s just about getting her to agree to go to Mahishmati.  This is a big big vow, that says how he wants to use his energies and spend the rest of his life.

And then after this big big vow, we get a cute cute scene.  Anushka and Prabhas have to take a small boat to a big boat to Mahishmati.  Prabhas walks across a plank between the landing to the boat.  Anushka starts to step on it, but gets distracted looking at Prabhas, and knocks the plank off.  Prabhas smiles and says “Princess, was your mind elsewhere?”  Anushka looks a little embarrassed, but not really.  And then Prabhas leaps down into the water and holds the boat in one hand and the landing in the over and smiles up at Anushka, and she smiles back and lifts her skirts and walks across his arms in her bare feet into the boat. And on the bank, Kattappa and Subbaraju exchange what my friend Dina described as “Oh yeah, that’s what’s up” smirks.

I didn’t notice until the 3rd watch, but this scene is echoed in the finale.  The bridge is burned, just as Anushka is about to fall in the water, or be burned by the fire, the head of Rana’s giant statue falls onto the burning bridge, and she calmly walks across the face with her bare feet.

We all know that bare feet, and feet in general, are super insulting in Indian culture, right?  Really they are super insulting in most cultures, it’s just common sense, feet touch the ground and get all yuchy.  And they are the opposite of the head, where the eyes and mouth are, all the good things.

Prabhas and Anushka here, her walking on him with bare feet, it’s foreplay.  He loves to serve her, and he finds the feel of her bare feet as a bonus.  And Anushka loves to be served, and trusts his body to hold her.  But for Rana, at the end, seeing Anushka walk across the statue representing his face, it gets under his skin.  He has been trying to dominate her for 25 years, and here she is dominating him.  And, of course, it is Prabhas 2 picking up where his father left off, toppling the statue which leads to Anushka being able to safely cross the water again.

This is the essential difference between Rana and Prabhas 1.  Both of them see Anushka as a Grand person.  For Prabhas 1, that makes him want to serve her, to get off a little bit on serving her.  And everyone in happy Kuntala can see that and understand it.  But for Rana, it makes her someone that he must dominate, that he has to prove himself by forcing her below him, not by having the honor of supporting her.

And then there’s a love song!  I think we can all agree this is a fantasy, yes?  Prabhas and Anushka are traveling together to Mahishmati.  This is kind of their happy engagement song.  They are in love and in that magical moment between confessing their feelings and being married.  What I love is that it is all about Anushka, how she is feeling different, she is enjoying this new sensation, she is making Prabhas obsessed.  It’s not the usual love song, about how her eyes drive him crazy and blah blah blah.  And in the middle of it, we go to total fantasy when they both through sparkly light from their palms and the boat takes off into the sky.  And then they kiss.  The actors, not necessarily the characters.  Moimeme in the comments reported that the kiss might have been cut from the non-Telugu versions.  Which is really not fair, because it is a great kiss!  Not all sucking and grinding and spitting.  They lipsynch lyrics with their mouths right by each other, brushing against each other.  And then gently let their lips meet.  And then the camera pulls back, and that’s it.

At the end of the song, we come back to earth, the boat sails on beautiful clear water, and the music suddenly shifts to “doom doom doom” and the mast goes underneath the trunk of the huge elephant marking the entrance to Mahishmati, and Anushka’s swan emblem flag breaks off and falls into the water.

Okay, firstly, we had a debate in the comments over whether the waterfall Prabhas creates at the end of his battle with the Pindaris in Anushka’s kingdom is THE waterfall, the “Dhivara” waterfall.  I thought it was, but others pointed out that that waterfall would have to be connected to the Mahishmati capital for the other parts of the film to work.  But, HA!  They traveled by boat all the way to the capital moat.  So it is the same waterfall!  It goes from the palace grounds, out of the city, into the moat, out of the moat, through the kingdom, past Kuntala, and then down the side of the mountain to where Prabhas grew up.  Which also works with Prabhas 2 climbing the waterfall and ending up in Kuntala rebels’ territory first thing.  Oh!  And during Prabhas 1’s wandering song, we saw him riding a horse through a beautiful green Ghat-like region.  I bet that’s the snowy mountains that Prabhas 2 and Tamannah sledded down.  And then ended up near the city.

It’s confusing because the distances and sizes are all messed up.  For instance, in this shot with the boat the elephants are big enough to knock of the mast, but in the next film Prabhas 2 is going to leap from the top of the wall they brace up in one jump, which doesn’t really fit with the 100 story tall size they are supposed to have.  And it’s the same with distances of things, Kuntala is supposed to be on the far outskirts of the kingdom, but in B1 Prabhas gets to it from Kuntala in like a day’s travel.  On land too, not by ship like they do it here.

But we are going to ignore all those things and just enjoy the film.  And enjoy the things they did right, like I am pretty sure that “green mountains” scene that matches with the avalanche geography in the original was not a coincidence.  Pretty sure Rajamouli really studied that map from the B1 opening credits and made sure that everything kind of matched up.

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Okay, enough procrastinating, we are at the bad part!  Prabhas and Anushka come into the throne room with a low angle and slow motion and everything.  They look very cool and very noble.  They are also super dressed up, fancy clothes and lots of jewelry and all that.  But most importantly, while Prabhas is in front, something about his posture is telling you that he is in front in order to break a path for and protect Anushka, not because she is his prisoner.  And Anushka certainly doesn’t act like a prisoner, head up, looking around, not even glancing at Prabhas because she knows he will be there to her left, protecting her weak side.

Prabhas on the other hand isn’t worried at all about leaving Anushka behind in the judgement space while he trots up and greets his mother by touching her feet and getting a pat on the head in return.  He then casually takes up his position next to her chair.  It’s a student’s position, or an apprentice.  And that’s what he has been, Ramya’s apprentice who watches her give judgements and then has them explained to him later.  He was so confident that she would have a “hidden reason” for ordering Anushka to be brought as prisoner, because he must have had many such “hidden reasons” explained to him, judgements that initial looked cruel or arbitrary or just plain wrong.  And then Ramya would explain that she had to do this, or else that worse thing would happen.  And no doubt her judgements were correct, and wise, and her hidden reasons justified them completely.  But what Prabhas has never done is to demand those reasons in open court, to challenge a decision.  Because that’s not his place, his place is to stand and watch.  And he is sure that Anushka will be fine, that his mother will make the right judgement and it will all work out.  So he leaves her alone, undefended.

And Anushka does a beautiful job.  She apologizes for the hasty words in her response to the engagement.  Ramya also does a beautiful job, indicating that she enjoys such behavior, her daughter-in-law should be strong like that.  Both women smile, problem solved!  Until Ramya tells Anushka to go stand next to her husband and Anushka starts to move towards Prabhas.  And Ramya asks why she is doing that.  Anushka plays this part so well, honestly confused.  No one watching her could possibly think this was anything but an honest mistake.  There is no calculation on her face, and she has a definite “wait, what do you mean?” reaction when Ramya corrects her.

And that’s when things go wrong.  Ramya reacts with slightly too much horror and anger in correcting that it is Rana she is supposed to marry.  But Anushka is the one who puts the frosting on the cake, when she bluntly replies that she is not going to marry Rana, because she has the right to choose her own husband, and Ramya should know that if she knows anything.  It is not respectful, it is not apologetic.  It’s not angry either, it’s confident and definite.  Anushka knows she is in the right and is not going to prevaricate about it.  Because, why should she?  She’s right!

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(Frosting on the cake)

And that is what bothers Ramya.  To have someone tell her, to her face, that she is wrong.  And that is why she immediately orders Anushka to be chained and pulled away.

Let’s back up to the first time we saw Ramya in this throne room.  The king had died, the only potential heirs were tiny babies, and the nobles were ready to revolt and break the kingdom into pieces.  Ramya stopped it with her personality and nothing else.  She said that Prabhas and Rana were equal heirs and she would rule until they were ready, and it was so.  Because everyone was too scared to go against her.

This is how she has ruled for 25 years.  She says something, and no one dares to go against her.  But it’s all a bit of a house of cards.  If anyone ever stops to think and realizes that she is just a woman who married into the family and has been scaring them into obeying her all these years, then the kingdom would fall apart.  That’s why Nassar and Rana can’t stand her, because they can see through her.  She’s a woman, a flawed human woman, to them.  And there is no reason she should be ruling them, but no one seems to see that.  And Kattappa only sees the other side of things, the bravery and noble decisions and ability to keep and hold the peace for 25 years.  He doesn’t see the “woman” side of her at all.

Prabhas can see both.  Mostly he sees the nobility and perfection.  But I think he has also always been aware that she is human too.  He just doesn’t acknowledge that when he is being her noble prince-in-training, only when he is being a son with his mother.

So now here is Ramya, on the home stretch.  She just has to keep her empty rule in place for another few weeks and then she can hand it over to someone who actually has a right to it.  And the closer the time comes, the firmer she gets.  And here is Anushka, presenting a threat, stating that she is not a proper ruler or behaving honorably.

I think this is the moment when Nassar starts to rise, and Rana puts his hand on his shoulder and shakes his head.  Because Rana is the only one who can see how this will all play out.  He knows these people, even Anushka.  Because he really really knows Prabhas and therefore knows the kind of person Prabhas would love.  And that kind of person is not going to back down or get scared off.  And he knows that Ramya is not going to accept being insulted in her throne room, especially over an issue that touches on her whole maternal guilt for loving Prabhas more than Rana.  And he knows that Prabhas will never abandon the woman he loves, even if it means going against Ramya.  Not because he loves her, but because for Prabhas love and respect would go hand in hand, and he respects her.

And it all plays out as Rana hoped.  Ramya orders Anushka chained, and suddenly Prabhas is standing in front of her with an unsheathed sword declaring “To lay one hand on her is the same as touching my sword”.  Not, like, “I will cut you if you touch her”, but like “she is so close to me, that to touch her is as insulting as to take my sword without permission.”  Also, there is totally a phallic metaphor way of reading this whole thing, but with all the Shiva lingaas around, I have overdosed on phallic metaphors in these films so I am not getting into that.

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Ramya was kind of in the right sort of up until now.  Anushka had sent a very insulting response, Ramya ordered her brought before her.  And after Anushka’s pretty apology, Ramya immediately let her off the hook.  But it’s that moment when Anushka’s face clearly shows confusion over which brother she is supposed to marry, that is when Ramya should have backed the heck up.  This is clearly a victim of an innocent miss-communication.  She is not picking Prabhas in the throne room to embarrass Ramya in some calculated manner, she thought that’s what was supposed to happen all along.  But Ramya’s reaction is as though she is purposefully doing something.

Anushka’s response, yes, that was on purpose.  But she was only reacting to what Ramya had already done.  As I see it, Ramya crossed the line first.  If not in her initial proposal that was more of a demand, than by ordering Prabhas to act as a minion of Mahishmati in response to a personal issue.  Or if not there, than just now, when she ignores Anushka’s obvious innocence and reacts as though it is a cold-blooded crime.  Each time, both Ramya and Anushka were a little wrong.  Anushka was quite rude in her response to the proposal, and she was quick to pull a sword in response to being asked to come to Mahishmati as a prisoner.  I think Ramya was more wrong, to offer such a demanding proposal and try to have her arrested for turning it down, but Anushka was a little wrong as well.  However, just now, when Ramya told her to go stand by her future husband and Anushka walked in the wrong direction, that was absolutely totally not wrong on the part of Anushka.  And you just need to look at her face to see it.  Ignoring the evidence right in front of her, the evidence that clearly showed Anushka’s honest error, that is when Ramya crosses the line.  And that’s why Prabhas, for the first time in his life, had to go against his mother.

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55 thoughts on “Bahubali 2 Scene by Scene Part 9: Flying Swan Boat! And the Kiss That Was Cut

  1. I meant to say this a lot earlier, but now I can’t remember the appropriate post, so I’ll say it here. That whole angsting between you and Avani on “Why doesn’t Ramya name the son she is proposing marriage for?” was to me the weakest link of the whole movie, and there were several such weak links. It is nothing but lazy writing, which in a film like this, is mind-boggling. In the two years they had between films, they couldn’t come up with a better idea from their first draft? No, they couldn’t, because they spent those two years firming of all kinds of foreign distribution deals, the tie-ins with the games and books and products and the new VR trailer and animated series and the World of Bahubali exhibit, and,…. well, you see what kept Rajamouli busy. And then Karan Johar butts in. There were several places where I distinctly felt the KJo influence. So, all in all, they took the lamest, hoariest, stalest of Indian/Telugu movie cliches, the proposal to the girl without telling her which brother is being proposed for her! Result, misunderstanding, great happiness on her side when she thinks it’s the brother she’s in love with, only to find it’s some unknown or undesired person. You wondered where you saw this device before? Well, you saw it in HAHK for one, and about two thousand other movies. I was literally groaning during the proposal scene, thinking, “please, please, don’t tell me they’re going to pull the old chestnut about assuming it’s the wrong brother,” and sure enough, there it was. Bleah!

    Aside from that detail, I still maintain that Anushka was much more insulting in her reply than Ramya was in her original message. I’ll explain why if anyone is interested.

    In your summary above, you forgot to mention or didn’t think it was important that Kattappa steps in when the confusion is revealed, to take responsibility for the fact that it was he who assumed that the proposal was about Prabhas, and told the same to both Prabhas and Anushka (another hoary — and clumsy — old chestnut). But even this confession doesn’t mollify Ramya’s anger toward Anushka, and that is again wrong.

    BTW, I’m not convinced that he waterfall is related to the bursting of the dam in Kuntala. 🙂

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    • Oh, I’ll be going into Kattappa’s involvement in the next section. There are so many moving parts in that scene! I focused mostly on Anushka and Ramya here, but there’s also Nassar, Kattappa, Rana, and of course Prabhas, all of whom have their own goals that are interfering with each other.

      You’re right, the not naming the brother trick is so shocking in this movie because everything else is so well done! The way this scene plays out is perfect, from what we know of each character, their reaction is inevitable, and there is just no way for the disaster to be averted. It has that Shakespearean/Greek Tragedy feeling. But the not naming the brother is just some cheap trick in comparison.

      On Thu, May 11, 2017 at 8:47 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Absolutely amazing site here, such hard work and enthusiasm about Indian cinema and I look forward to weeks and weeks of reading all your beautiful posts 🙂
        Coming to this specific point… well… I really don’t get the confusion around this! Bhalla and Bahu are not brothers. They are cousins. Bahu is NOT Sivakami’s son. Bhalla is. So she was perfectly correct in sending a note asking for Devasena’s hand for *her son*. She literally means it – her son, Bhalla. If she had intended the proposal for Bahu, she would have said crown prince. Just my perspective 🙂

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        • So the mistake is, essentially, Kattappa’s, for jumping the gun and assuming everything wrongly. Boy! This Kattappa sure has a lot to answer for, does’t he!

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        • Welcome! So glad you are here, and commenting!

          Coming to your comment, I just read the Bahubali comic book (not great), but one thing I noticed is that Sivagami tends to say “my sons” plural. So, here’s what I think, when she is using plural she has gotten in the habit of calling them the same thing, instead of “my son and my nephew”. It feels kind of like she is saying “my boys”, just sort of a general term for the two young men she has raised. However, when she is being singular and strictly accurate, she would call Rana her son, and not Prabhas.

          Anyway, I think maybe that’s where it gets confusing because I could easily have seen the messenger saying “Sivagami wants brides from Kuntala for her sons”, and we all would have assumed it was both Prabhas and Rana. But with the singular, Kattappa should have known it was Rana, but he got confused because of how she calls Prabhas her son in the plural all the time. If that makes sense.

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          • But would anything have changed if Kattappa did not make a mistake and did infer correctly that the proposal was for Bhalla and not for Baahu?

            To me it seemed like the answer would be a no. Kattappa would have told Baahu that Rajmatha is thinking of a Bhalla-Devasena alliance. But Baahu would still have focused on the part that Devasena had already and clearly indicated her love for him (the end of Kanna song which happens before Sivagami sends her high handed proposal) and likely would have gone ahead.

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          • Yes! this goes back to the larger debates we have been having where we sometimes land on a personality conflict coming all along between Prabhas 1 and Ramya. He has been quiet and respectful and learning all along, but now, on the edge of being crowned king, now is when he would naturally start thinking and speaking for himself. If it hadn’t been Devasena and the marriage, it would have been something else where he is in ever so slight disagreement with Ramya, and Rana leaps in to exacerbate it.

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        • Probably. Because till the end of the Kanna song no official vows have been exchanged. No word given, none need be broken!

          Had Kattappa no made the mistake, Amarendra wouldn’t misinterpret Devasena’s refusal of the proposal as an indicator of her love for him.

          Kattappa also makes the mistake of misrepresenting the entire episode to Amarendra. He was so smitten with the idea of Sivagami having sent a proposal for Amarendra for the girl he liked as an indicator of the deep bond between mother and adoptive son. A more faithful account, even with Kattapa thinking the proposal was for Amarenda, would go like, “So your mom sent a proposal of your marriage to Devasena and she refused it flat out and insulted our kingdom a lot and sent a really rude reply to your mom too.”

          Devasena dictates the letter in front of the whole court. So chances of Kattappa not having heard the reply is really slim! We know he’s so close to Amarendra that he can wingman for him. So it cannot be explained as Kattappa thought it was below his station to tell the Crown Prince the rude words his crush just wrote to the QM!

          Also, the proposal was sent along with Bhallala’s rajtalwar. How does Kattappa not recognise that? Amarendra’s rajtalwar is very distinctive.

          Now, had Kattappa been faithful in his account of what happened (that Sivagami sent a proposal for Bhallala’s hand and Devasena refused it with an insult) Amarendra might anticipate his mother’s response. He would be able to pacify her (send a letter with a hawk) before she makes an angry declaration of war. And hopefully he’d be able to say Amartya ruined the deal with his gloating and he should be fired and the angry response is mostly because of that guy.

          With that clarity, maybe Amarendra wouldn’t think “Oh she did it because she loves me” but more like “Oh she’s a proud Princess defending her honour and her right to refuse a proposal”. Who knows, maybe that would prompt Sivagami to find a better match for Bhallala and then the clash of personalities occurs because Amarendra brings the very girl home as a bride and Bhallala is able to poison Sivagami’s mind with something like “Look Ma, he tried to manipulate you with his sweet soft words because he wanted the girl for himself.” Sivagami would be more hurt than insulted and the story might still unfold as Bhallala’s trap for them all.

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    • I got the feeling that this was one of those moments when Ramya separated her real son from her foster one. Somewhere deep down she seemed to be guilty that she was favoring Prabhas1 over Rana which is why she wanted to pacify him with all those extravagant gifts (which I highly doubt she would have done if it was Prabhas1). And when Rana expresses the desire to marry a girl who appeared to be the most fairest of them all (who also is better than the ones Ramya had shortlisted and then rejected for Prabhas1), Ramya seemed thrilled at the idea of being able to make his semingly one-minor-wish come true. Which is why I believe she got way ahead of herself and went the exteavagant way to seek a proposal. So when she says “my son”, she literally does mean “my son”.

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      • Also, the fact that Rana played up to her maternal feelings by appearing all happy for his brother and claiming that she was insulting the decree she has made as Rajamata by offering him gifts seemed to have affected Ramya a lot. She did it out of guilt and he used it against her, beautifully. Another example of how human Ramya is. So yes, when the Minister reads out “the son of Rajamata Sivagami” in the Kuntala court, in Ramya’s mind it was Rana and no one else. And being so caught up in the frenzy of making Rana’s wish come true, she did not think it important to mention him by name.

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        • Another thought just struck me – maybe it was Nasser’s doing. He knew Prabhas1 was in Kuntala – what better way to create a furrore than to send a marriage proposal without an explicit name. He seemed pretty pleased at the idea of asking Prabhas1 to bring Anushka as a prisoner which makes me think he might have had a hand in the whole ‘wrong son message’ fiasco. Rana just seemed angry and humiliated which makes me think that he wasn’t involved.

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      • I’m sorry, I’m jumping into the conversation here, but that actually makes perfect sense. From a strictly factual perspective, Ramya does have only one biological son, and so of course she intended that everyone would know she meant Rana. Yes, we know that she considers Prabhas her son, because we have seen the family dynamics in Mahishmati, but a foreign court necessarily wouldn’t and would only have access to the official family tree – to them, if she meant Prabhas, that is when she would have to clarify with, “the future king, my adopted son/nephew, etc.”

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        • Precisely. Queen Reagent Sivagami has only one known son. For Bahubali, she would need to have added titles “Son of King Vikramadeva, Crown Prince, Heir Presumptive, King in waiting, blah blah”. Basically the introduction that Kattappa gives after Amarendra saves Kuntala.

          I rewatched the scene and when the evil priest is reeling Sivagami into Bhallala’s trap, his gaze follows her face. His plan was probably to marry Devasena and taunt Bahubali for the rest of his life. And that was that. The emissary hadn’t said the princess likes Amarendra back so Bhallala had no reason to assume he’d be trapped in a bad marriage either.

          Plus, the foolishness of the guy that takes the proposal to Kuntala (Amartya?) wasn’t Sivagami’s fault. It was that particular boastful idiot being a boastful idiot. That Bhallala would have ordered him to do so also doesn’t make sense. We don’t see Sivagami dictating the letter so perhaps it was drafted by someone else? At any rate, it is the messenger’s fault that Devasena gets pissed. It was his job to elaborate on Bhallala’s merits. That tiny scroll can contain only so much.

          And Kuntala has got to be the most oblivious to the world, secluded kind of place to not know much about current events. How did Devasena NOT KNOW that the dreaded Kalakeya had been defeated by the Mahishmati princes and what kind of guys they were?? That’s the kind of news ANY royal family in the area would have. They have traders from Afghanistan coming to Mahishmati based on the fame of Kattappa and the kingdom in their backyard doesn’t know what TWO princes of Mahishmati are like?

          You’re totally right in calling it the KJo effect!

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          • Just jumping in to agree absolutely with your idea that it is the guy who takes the proposal to Kuntala that caused the issue. I am remembering that Devasena calls him out in the dialogue for it, asks if his kingdom only has men like him who talk and talk and do nothing. Her insult is both to him and to Ramya.

            But it is odd that they didn’t know anything about current events!!! Although, you say they are secluded, and they do appear to be literally secluded. By land, they are hard to reach except over the mountains. They are easy to reach by sea, but why would you? They don’t appear to be on any major trade routes. Perhaps travelers just never come through their kingdom. And perhaps, as a diplomatic move to maintain independence, Anushka’s brother has chosen to be remote from the happenings of the greater empire.

            Of course, if that is their diplomatic policy, to try to be invisible, then it makes it even more stupid for Devasena to send that reply which will definitely make them NOT invisible.

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    • What the lip lock was cut even in Hindi version so sad haha jokes apart, I don’t think the reply of Anushka was wrong because she got the similar one from Ramya before because she not only sends those golds but also says Anushka to tie a knot to Rana s sword which makes her his wife in Kshatriya method I.e even before seeing him isn’t that more insulting who knows he may be diseased or even paralysed like his father who knows so anushka replies that she will take care of him as a child.

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  2. I loved this writeup (but let’s be honest, I love all of them!) Lots of fascinating thoughts that I can’t wait to respond to :)! But first I wanted to mention the very fact that Kuntala’s symbol is the swan. When I first saw it, I groaned because it seemed almost girly and superficial compared to Mahishmati’s much more grand symbolism. But the more I thought about it, it is actually perfect for Anushka! Yes, swans are considered beautiful and romantic, mating for life and all that, but as anyone who has been around an angry swan knows, in real life they are ferocious and deadly when they attack. Plus, in Hindu myth, the hamsa bird/ swan is known for being able to separate milk and water, symbolising the wise soul’s ability to sort truth from lies or dharma from adharma- which, as we’ve discussed, is Anushka’s whole role in the story!

    – I agree your thoughts on the walking on shoulders scene (especially Rana vs Prabhas’ reactions to her walking on them and what that says about their relationship) but given the focus on their looks at each other, I also interpreted it as….not a test, really, but more a chance for Prabhas to prove he meant what he said earlier? By which I mean, Anushka definitely falls on accident, but the magnitude of him literally letting him walk on her to get to the boat is literally another sign, in public, that he is subservient to her. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she is not shown getting on the boat to go to Mahishmati until she does get this sign! And I think, too, that this is them getting back into their previous unspoken communication on a level others around them don’t get, that we saw interrupted in the last scene. Her family is just shaking their heads, like, “Oh, that Devasena, she’ll never change” but to both of them it’s just another confirmation that Prabhas will keep his promise to protect her.

    – Yeah, I definitely figured Hamsa Naava was a fantasy, at least up until the storm (and during that, Anushka is getting dressed up while Prabhas is talking to the captain, but it doesn’t come across as active male, passive female but rather that Anushka can take her leisure while Prabhas is just working to serve her with the other sailors, to emphasize that she comes to Mahishmati as royalty, not a captive.) But I think the kiss actually did happen, because just as the wall scene had the public formalization of their relationship, there needed to be a physical consummation as well, to really bring home Anushka’s outrage: symbolically if not officially she is already married, and it makes Ramya’s decisions in the court even more unbearable.

    – On another message board, someone theorized that Mahishmati intentionally had that statue there, to snap all of the masts/flags of incoming ships and proclaim Mahishmati’s superiority, which is such a brilliant idea I have to believe it’s true!

    – Thank you for that summation of Ramya’s character, which is the most perfect one I have read, and sums up why I still find her intensely sympathetic despite acknowledging her mistakes: that she cannot afford to be wrong (in her own mind or in public), because that is what has kept her in power and the throne safe for her sons for 25 years – and ironically, that very thing is what leads her to actually commit wrong. If you’re familiar with Greek tragedy, it is a perfect example of hamartia or tragic flaw. And again, going back to how you said in your first review that this is a story that really belongs to the women: accordingly, Prabhas is the hero who has a tragedy happen to him, but Ramya is the classical tragic hero, down to following the story arc exactly.

    – Oh, man, the Ramya confrontation actually gets worse than that! After Anushka goes up towards the wrong guy, Kattappa jumps in and explains the mistake and Ramya brushes it aside, saying they should concentrate on the future and turning to Prabhas and starting to say the equivalent of “I’m sorry, honey, but Rana called dibs first….” with Prabhas listening quietly (waiting for her to finish, I’m sure, but it’s not 100% certain. Because even in Indian cinema, we’ve seen that trope where two brothers/friends sacrifice their love for the other, without anyone bothering to get the heroine’s input, like Chaudhvin ka Chand/Sangam/Saajan/even as recently as Kal Ho Na Ho*) and Anushka panics. She looks so tiny in that huge room and all of a sudden, even Prabhas can’t be counted on to defend her. So she does it herself. (And that made it even more of a relief when Prabhas does swoop in, because for a moment there you really wonder.)

    * I love KHNH as the next girl, but I will never be over the fact that Preity doesn’t even get the chance to decide if she might prefer a few months with SRK over a maybe-longer-maybe-not relationship with Saif. Sure, she might have gone with Saif anyway, but she deserved to make an informed decision, darnit!

    – And that is what I love most about the way the movie treats this conflict: it’s not about who is the better man between Rana and Prabhas, whose love is more noble, or who deserves her more, or who she will be happier with. Prabhas doesn’t even use that in his defense because it doesn’t matter. What matters is who Anushka wants, and the defense of that right is what is worth losing a kingdom over.

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    • -Very cool idea with the Swans! When they popped up in the background in the first movie, I saw them as a symbol of all that was lost, birds kept for beauty versus Tamannah’s present world of practicality and duty above all. But that doesn’t work as well with this film, your explanation works much better.

      -Good point about the wordless communication and giving her a sign. He did have other options, after all, he could have just put the plank back or pulled the boat closer. But he chose to do the most subservient possible thing, and she understood immediately what he was doing.

      -Hmm. I’ll have to think about the kiss. They are in their fantasy clothes, and the boat around them is empty. But your argument makes sense too, that there needed to be some kind of consummation of the relationship to make it really really firm before the next scene.

      -Or else they pay off all the captains to swing their boats too close!

      -This whole movie is about inheritance and law, and yet somehow we have forgotten that Ramya has no law and no inheritance to give her a right to the throne! She is hiding that from us through her personality, and using slight of hand with the other laws to defend herself.

      -Thank you! This scene is so complicated, I couldn’t remember all the details. But now that you have reminded me, I am borrowing the order you give for my next post. By the way, have you watched Sangam recently? I finally got around to seeing it a few months back, and I was fascinated by a few scenes Vyjantimala got in the second half. She confronts both men and is like “That’s it! You decided my life for me, and now you are complaining about it?” She may not have been as much a part of the earlier decision as she really needed to be, but boy does she make her presence felt in the second half! But, speaking of this trope, Amitabh in Kabhi Kabhi is the one who really really infuriates me. Not only does he decide for her who she should marry, he does it without even meeting the other guy! And then, later, he gets mad at his wife when he learns she was in the same situation!

      *KHNH really really bothered me the first 5 times I watched it. But I’ve kind of made my peace with it since then. Mostly because Saif is just so so good in the role. Adds on all these layers that aren’t there in the usual love triangle loser character. On my more recent watches, I’ve come around to the idea that Saif and Preity are the made for each other couple. He is such a great guy and loves her so much. And that kind of warm steady support is more what she needs in her life than SRK’s manic happiness. I think if SRK hadn’t been dying, they could have married and had a great life. But they could also have had a romance that fizzled out in a few years. Or maybe she would have decided that it just couldn’t work out, they were too different, and gone with Saif anyway. And if Priety had just married SRK and been with him for a few months and then married Saif, would that second marriage ever have really worked? Better for Saif to conquer SRK and have Priety choose him instead while SRK was still around as a rival, so Saif knows for sure that Priety wanted him and could be happy with him.

      -This is why I love Humpty Sharma too! Totally different kind of movie, but same argument, Alia gets to marry Varun because she wants to marry Varun, and that’s the only argument that matters.

      Liked by 1 person

      • – Ooh, I’d forgotten the swans first show up in Pacha Bottesi (honestly, that is the one part of the first movie that I skip over, because other than the matching-tattoos bit, it really lacks the startlingly innovative imagery you see in the other songs)! But I think you are right, in that they symbolize what Kuntala used to be, symbolized by Anushka, that is missing in the remnants of Kuntala, symbolized by Tamannah, until it’s brought back to them by Anushka’s son. (So really Prabhas 2’s plot arc in the first movie doesn’t just focus on his patriarchal birthright, in a way, he rescues/redeems his mother’s kingdom, too!)

        – I think there’s definitely room for interpretation with the kiss, either way. But with the clothes, I actually thought they could have changed in “real life” – by that point, Prabhas has waded in the water already, they’ve both been out in the storm/water spray, and I figured the boat seeming empty was part of the film shorthand of “only paying attention to each other, despite everyone else around,” but yeah, it could still be part of the fantasy.

        – No problem! There might be another difference in the sequence of events, now that I think about it, but I could be wrong: but Rana, I think, puts his hand on Nasser’s shoulder only when Prabhas draws his sword and lifts it after Prabhas comes out and verbalizes that Ramya was wrong. It makes sense, characterization-wise, to me because I think Anushka really is someone Rana can’t predict/understand, but Prabhas, Prabhas he knows inside out. And he knows that Prabhas, when put into that situation, will tell the truth to Ramya and that it’s important that that happen without interference from Nasser or anyone else.

        – Oh, you’re right about Sangam! I thought, very soon after I posted, that while it has that trope, it’s really a deconstruction of that trope, because like you say, Vyjantimala gives them all hell for it when she finds out and the whole film is about how stupid and painful for everyone concerned the consequences of that decision between the two guys is. So I officially retract that one from the list 😉 But yes, ugh, Amitabh from Kabhi Kabhi is terrible – all the heroes from Kabhi Kabhi are pretty much terrible, except for Shashi. All the women deserve better – except for Rakhee, who lucks out.

        *Oh, I definitely favored Saif/Preity as a stabler, happier relationship, in the long term (they are so cute together in the title song!). But here’s my problem, I feel like it’s the set up in the movie that’s doomed to make Saif feel like he was always the second choice. Because as is, I never feel like Preity chooses him – in the courtship scenes, she’s manipulated and plus, she doesn’t know the full facts about SRK. And then when she does, it honestly seems like she just goes through with the wedding because it was so soon and because SRK would have refused to marry her anyway?

        – I haven’t seen Humpty Sharma yet! (Varun Dhawan unfortunately scared me off with his manic act in Dilwale) But apparently I need to!

        Like

        • -Yes! Prabhas is a combination of both kingdoms, the beauty and feminist attitude of Kuntala, plus the caring for people and power of Mahishmati. And again, I bet we would see that more clearly if we had the missing scenes from B2

          -They definitely arrive in the throne room in different clothes than they were wearing when they left Kuntala. But not the same clothes as the fantasy. It’s all very confusing!

          -Ooo, good point! About Rana waiting for Prabhas to show his hand, as he knows he will, because he knows him so well. They really are brothers, Rana may hate Prabhas, but there is also that kind of understanding you only get from growing up together.

          -Shashi is the greatest. In an odd way, Kabhi Kabhi kind of justifies arranged marriages. If Raakhee had made her own choice, she would have ended up with stupid Amitabh, but because she went with what her parents chose, she lucked out with perfect wonderful awesome Shashi! I do like that Kabhi Kabhi kind of goes with that too, there is some lingering wistfulness in her interactions with Amitabh, but she is clearly very happy in her marriage and with her husband, and that college romance is nothing in comparison. Although, Waheedaji also had an arranged marriage, and she got stuck with judgemental Amitabh, so it’s not all good.

          -I like to think that in the sequel-we-never-saw, Saif and Preity end up like Shashi and Raakhee in Kabhi Kabhi. There is this great romance in the background, but as the years went by, both of them came to see that building a life together and a marriage and all of that was so much more meaningful than a few months of infatuation with the boy next door, and Shahrukh no longer was a barrier between them. Ooo! Possible new fanfic post next Sunday?

          -YOU MUST WATCH HUMPTY SHARMA!!!!!!!!

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          • – Yes, I really loved Kabhi Kabhi’s subversion of arranged v. love marriages (though bleh, the Amitabh/Waheeda marriage mitigates that somewhat), and especially Rakhee’s complete lack of interest in rekindling her romance with Amitabh…because why would she? (Though a point against Shashi is that he raised Rishi, who is also completely awful. It’s another point against love that he treats Neetu and her half-sister so badly.)
            – Yes, yes, that would make a fabulous fanfic post! That was always the most unsatisfying part of the film for me, that if Preity and Saif were so clearly being set up as the steadier long term couple, why do we never get to see their life together? (Instead of that one “I love you” and the fact that they had a daughter)
            – Haha, I will see if I can track down a copy!

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    • In the Hamsa Nava song, Anushka seemed to be seducing (or tempting) Prabhas1. It made me think of his vow to her that he would protect her honour and integrity no matter what (which means even from himself and his desires of the flesh😀). She seems to want to kiss him and he kept pulling back. There is a brief moment when she looks disappointed and then he swoops in and kisses her. Which again shows how much she trusts him to know boundaries and that he wouldn’t do anything without her consent. I thought it was pretty cute. I saw it 3 languages and the kiss is there and I am told its there in the 4th one as well.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Both Avanthika and Devasena took the lead in their relationships to make it full fledged romantic, but poor Avanthika only got grief, while Devasena is being heaped with praises. 🙂

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          • Could you explain this a bit further, please? I am not able to make sense of how you intended this to mean.

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          • If I may butt in… I think this is about the fact that Avantika charactar makes the first move to have sex in the song pache bottesina (BB1) yet it gave rise to the term rape of avantika!

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    • I think that the song was entirely a fantasy – it starts of with Anushka singing in her head and Prabhas1 sort of responding to her thoughts. The whole ‘swirling of the ocean/sea’ thing seemed like a symbolism of both the storm within herself thanks to all the feelings she’s finally let loose and then him responding by saying that he would soar with her and go where she led. I love that idea – that he is willing to take it at her pace. He seemed more sure of himself regarding his feelings for her probably because he had more time to come to terms with it and also because of who he is (the whole comment of her thoughts/sight being elsewhere when she’s going to the boat). For her though, its as if she has put aside her warrior persona and is letting the woman loose. And as if she finally felt safe enough to indulge in her fantasies. The kiss also seems like ‘her’ fantasy as opposed to something that might have actually happened. Like she finally got him to break down and give in. He has given his word that he is hers – I think this is as good an engagement ring as any considering the fact that they follow the ideology of Khatriyas and being bound by their vows.

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      • I love this idea! That it is Anushka’s “stormy sea” inside of her, and Prabhas is riding the waves and following where she leads.

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  3. I rewatched Baahubali-1 yesterday. The map in the title song clearly shows two positions: one is the Kunthala kingdom(destroyed by Bhallala deva) that is closer to Mahishmathi and the other is the snow-capped mountainous hideout of the Kunthala rebels which is closer to the waterfall.

    And in Baabubali-2 during the swearing in of Bhallala Deva, it is clearly mentioned that Mahishmathi is bordered by Kunthalas & Kalakeyas & the mountains.

    So the waterfall must always have been present, I guess.

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  4. I saw Baahubali 2 in Hindi in Mumbai and the kiss was present. However, I think the previews and interval stuff was cut (no Prabhas trailer, and you mentioned something about statues?)

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      • I had the impression there was something before/after intermission about the giant gold statue Rana had made, there was another Prabhas statue or something? Perhaps I misread a reference somewhere and it stuck in my head.

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        • In B1, at intermission, Rana’s statue goes up, but the crowd is chanting for Prabhas because no one ever loves Rana. And then in this movie, Rana is crowned, but the crowd cheers for Prabhas. Because no one loves Rana.

          (because younger siblings are the best)

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          • Hahhahaha younger siblings! I am the older one and I see what you did here!

            I read this interesting tidbit about Prabhas2’s entry into Mahismathi – it shows him as having mastery over the ‘5 elements’ (pancha boothangal). He first conquers earth when he jumps over the mud wall thing, then fire when the tree catches on fire and he jumps over it, water when he jumps into the moat and climbs out, sky(representing ether) when he is seeing climbing up the wall around the kingdom and then, air when his feet touch the ground and there is a huge puff of air that blows up.

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          • Oh, I like that idea! I’ve been thinking about his entry, because it is the only time we really see that kind of “magic” related to Prabhas 1 or 2. The tree bursting on fire, I mean. In this one we have all those signs and coincidences that indicate Prabhas 1 is the true leader, but nothing really outside the realm of the explainable. From a narrative side, I could see the need to make sure the audience really understood that it was a big deal for Prabhas 2 to arrive. And I could also explain it that since Mahishmati had been waiting so long, it was bursting out with fire and other obvious signs.

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  5. I saw Telugu version without English subtitles. I know subtitles don’t convey the exact meaning.

    Sivagami orders soldiers to capture Devasena and make her kneel down, which is very disrespectful (kneeling down before someone). That is the reason Bahubali 1 immediately draws his sword out to stop soldiers.

    By the way…Margaret you beautifully explained the connection between two scenes …… Devasena walking on Bahubali 1’s shoulders and then again on Bhallala Deva’s head. On another website a girl commented that the first scene is the best romantic scene she has ever seen. Another guy commented that the second scene is the best ”**** you ever’ scene he has seen.

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    • I love that Anushka’s actions were the same in both cases, she was just getting from point A to point B by the path before her. Prabhas saw it as romantic, and so it was romantic. Rana saw it as an insult, and so it was an insult. It was all about how they perceived it, not what she was actually doing.

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  6. Pingback: Bahubali 2 Scene By Scene Summary, Part 9! The Queen Mother Makes a Mistake – dontcallitbollywood

  7. – I agree your thoughts on the walking on shoulders scene (especially Rana vs Prabhas’ reactions to her walking on them and what that says about their relationship) but given the focus on their looks at each other, I also interpreted it as….not a test, really, but more a chance for Prabhas to prove he meant what he said earlier? By which I mean, Anushka definitely falls on accident, but the magnitude of him literally letting him walk on her to get to the boat is literally another sign, in public, that he is subservient to her. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she is not shown getting on the boat to go to Mahishmati until she does get this sign! And I think, too, that this is them getting back into their previous unspoken communication on a level others around them don’t get, that we saw interrupted in the last scene. Her family is just shaking their heads, like, “Oh, that Devasena, she’ll never change” but to both of them it’s just another confirmation that Prabhas will keep his promise to protect her.

    In hindu marriage there is one custom that is supposed to be followed. In wedding rites itself, the groom has to touch the bride’s feet and it means “I am going to serve this woman only”. So you may say that amrendra is completing his wedding rites before taking her bride home.

    Also in “Kuchh Kuchh hota hai”, SRK says this, “I will bow to just two women….. (and something else, forgetting it) and bows her head to rani.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I like that! The Kuch Kuch Hota Hai line is “I will bow to 3 women, the Goddess, my mother, and….” He doesn’t finish the sentence, but the implication is to his wife. Which makes sense with the marriage tradition you are mentioning. And then later when he sneaks into her room, Rani is asking why he did it, and he gives a big long explanation that doesn’t make sense, she is yelling at him to go, and finally he reminds her of that saying, and this time when he reaches “and….”, he bows his head to her. At least, that’s how I remember it!

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  8. There is no denying that I loved Hamsa Naava song, but women seem to be obsessing with the song. I saw the YouTube video of it again, which I managed to save offline, where I noticed that all the imaginary sequence happens when Anushka looks at prabhas and open her fingers where a small drop of blue color liquid/stone magic appears. She throws it into the lake and the lake instead of opening into the river that takes them to Mahishmati will produce a giant wave and she proudly looks at prabahs1 with ” Can you face this challenge?” Kind of look. He smiles gently and then spins the wheel which oozes out magic that escapes from spokes of wheel into the sailing boards that bend down and kind of swings the ship up into sky after hitting the giant wave and then he looks to her like ” This challenge is finished. There is no water for the same kind of challenge. What is your new challenge now?”.
    It exactly synchronizes with the lyrics in Telugu which says ” Devsena approves it”.

    Mentioning it just that someone notices these subtleties and appreciates them.

    One more question. In India it is trending currently that most young women are so falling fond of Prabhas1 character they say they want a husband like him. On the other hand men are saying they will name their daughter devsena.
    So, why / what reasons would ladies here give for wanting to have such husband?
    (Hoping these answers would make me a better prospect for husband material).

    Like

    • I would for myself have two reasons:

      1. Prabhas never dismisses her opinion or minimizes her emotions. If she says something, he respects it. He may not agree with it, but he doesn’t say “Be quiet” or “don’t get involved” or “let me handle this”

      2. He is always on her side, even/especially in the face of his family. A wife is expected to always be loyal to her husband, but it doesn’t often go the same way.

      On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 11:57 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not just Indian women that are wishing for a husband like Amarendra though. Reasons for liking him?
      Well,

      1) he’s flirty yet super talented guy who respects his lady enough to share the expertise of his craft with her.
      2)He’s handsome!!! OMG so handsome!!
      3) He saves her home and her people from certain doom without asking what’s he going to get in return.
      4) He doesn’t hold his obviusly higher status over her head or the heads of her family.

      And all of this is before he promises to uphold her honour no matter what.

      Later on, he agrees with her interpretation of justice (I personally don’t agree with Devasena though). What woman doesnt a man who validates her intellect?
      He denounces his crown to honour his promise to her.
      He protects her honour (again, I don’t agree with them in-story but I’m pointing out why he’d be desirable as a husband)
      He does whatever needs to be done to sustain her when they lose their material wealth (including manual labour)

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  9. Pingback: Bahubali Posts Index – dontcallitbollywood

  10. The more I rewatch Devasena in Mahishmati, the more I’m convinced that Devasena is a mirror image of Sivagami.

    Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOOOVE her in this uber-masculine universe. She’s an equal to Bhallala and Sivagami. Amarendra to her is what Kattappa was to Sivagami. Mahendra is a tool she needs to defeat Bhallala. Even at Mahendra’s coronation, it is Bajjala that holds the crown she lays on the new king’s head (why was he there again?). There’s not a single soft emotional scene between Mahendra and Devasena. In a movie that devoted large portions to showing how characters bonded! I think that was by design and possibly setting the stage for a third film.

    I subscribe to the idea that love is not abuse. And the way she yells at and belittles Amarendra at the baby shower, that’s not a spousal ideal. That’s emotional abuse. And unbridled ambition. Her husband is OK with whatever job he gets as long as he’s contributing. But SHE cant stand anything less than the TOP JOB for HER husband!!!! Imagine a male character belittling the submissive wife in front of her family and guests saying things like you’re supposed to be what people expect you to be, NOT THIS MUSHY PUSHOVER!! And yelling at them in public! Is that excusable because she’s a woman? Kinda sexist isn’t it?

    Amarendra has a major mommy complex. Devasena, even though she’s defending her rights as a woman (HER right to choose a partner, HER right to not be in chains when pregnant, HER right to chop off a man’s fingers without making HIM stand trial), is a tactless, undiplomatic brat. Had she carried the same temper and the same mouth to her queenship (in a universe where Amarendra ascends and rules uninterrupted), she’d have ended up doing exactly what Sivagami did when HER proposal of marriage for her son was refused. They’re both ME-ME-ME, BECAUSE I SAID SO kind of women.

    Amarendra loves her because she’s strong. Like mommy. He loves her because she’s good with weapons. Like mommy. He loves her because she speaks her mind. Like mommy. He wants to love, honor and serve her. Like he loves, honors and serves mommy. He only goes against Sivagami because Sivagami herself had taught him that, and i’m quoting from the Hindi version of the film, “for the oath sworn, for truth and justice, for the establishment of dharma, should you need to go against anyone, even if it is god Himself, do not hesitate, for THAT is dharma, THAT is Kshatriya dharma.” Even when he’s defending Devasena, he’s following exactly what mommy said.

    Amarendra is the regal ideal in the film. He’s the beloved orphaned at birth prince who loves everyone and gets loved in return. Devasena gets “Oh that brat, she cant change, how cute because she’s a girl!” from her family and friends. They tolerate her and dismiss her brattiness because she’s a girl. Is she just? Is she patient? Is she Diplomatic? NO!! She’d have made a terrible queen. She’d be the reason why Amarendra dies in battle because she couldn’t respond to a slight in a scroll with grace and diplomacy. And, in a way, that’s what happens. Amarendra dies because he’s caught between two women that are exactly as quick to anger, headstrong and undiplomatic as one another.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I agree too, that Davasena would be a terrible queen. She doesn’t have idea what diplomatic means. Like when she refused to marry Rana. I can understand that proposal was offensive but you can’t respond like that to somebody who can destroy your kingdom in 1 day. She haven’t thought even for a second about consequences for her and most important for her people, and her brother either. He is the worst king ever. I’m sure that if not Rana, somebody else would destroy this kingdom in less than 1 year.

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      • Yes. and that’s what happens. Bhallala destroys the kingdom and they can’t do anything about it. There’s a difference between being a feminist ruler and a pushover.

        And all that sass from Devasena doesn’t translate into actual leadership from her. That too after she’s got the loyalty of Kattappa who’s willing to free her. There’s widespread support for Bahubali even after 25 years. Surely, with a fierce young Devasena at the helm, the public would have supported a rebellion against the tyranny of Bhallala.

        There’s a part of me that wants earlier drafts of this story to be released so we know IF there was a thought of a rebellion with Devasena as the leader.

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        • Yes I agree with both your points. That is a flaw in Devasena’s character – talking without much thought and putting her tiny kingdom/Amarendra in danger. But this movie humanizes every character with 90 % greatness and 10 % weakness. That 10% weakness in everybody meeting at one point is what the biggest tilting point in the course of movie.

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