Bahubali 2 Scene By Scene Summary, Part 10! The Queen Mother Makes a Mistake

Well, I got all bogged down in the last section between the rights and the wrongs of it all.  I’ll see if I can un-bog myself and do a bit more a straightforward account of what happened in this section. (last section here, you can go back in time from there and read the rest)

We are coming up on the tipping point of the film, the point at which everything shifts.  Which means this is the last section where you really need to know in any amount of detail anything that happened in the first half.  And also where my summary is the longest, because we are almost at the end.  So, Prabhas was declared heir.  His mother Ramya sent him off to go find himself while he waited for the coronation.  On his travels he met and fell in love with strong princess Anushka.  Back home, Rana learned of Prabhas’ love affair and convinced his mother to engage himself, Rana, to Anushka.  Anushka rejected the proposal, with prejudice, which Ramya took as an insult to the whole kingdom and ordered Prabhas to arrest her and bring her back.  Prabhas convinced Anushka that she just has to explain herself, his mother will understand, and they can be married.  And to reassure her, he promises to be her protector and not let her be harmed or disrespected.  He also takes on a promise to serve her to his dying breath, but that’s just because he is in love.

 

And now here we are in Mahishmati!  In the throne room.  It started well, Anushka apologized for speaking hastily, Ramya nicely forgave her, and then invited her to go stand next to her “future husband”.  And Anushka took a few steps towards Prabhas, and then sensed the mood in the room change and looked confused by what was wrong.  And Ramya demanded what she was doing, Anushka indicated that her future husband was Prabhas, not Rana, and Ramya declared that was not true.  And Anushka pulled her dignity back together and pointed out that she has a perfect right to choose her own husband and Ramya is the one in the wrong for denying her that right.  And Ramya totally completely overreacts and orders Anushka captured and chained.

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As I said in the last post, the most significant moment to me was when Anushka looked confused.  Because she was so clearly obviously confused, and innocent of any awareness that she is acting wrong.  Sure, she’s spoken out of turn and been insulting.  But the really fiendish evil that Ramya suspects, that she is purposefully embarrassing them all, or has an elaborate plan to trade brothers, that is patently untrue.  And if Ramya were seeing things clearly, she would know that and acknowledge it.

But, she isn’t seeing things clearly, and so she orders Anushka to be chained.  And Prabhas’ promise comes into play.  But, honestly, it’s not about the promise.  He made the promise because he trusted that Anushka would always show good judgement and he would always want to defend her.  Promise or not, he still would have thought she showed good judgement and was in the right here, and he would have defended her.

I skipped over some of the moving parts in this scene, because I couldn’t remember them all, but my nice commentators reminded me exactly how it plays out.  While Anushka and Ramya are the central figures and their conflict is the most important, there are other conflicts as well.  After Anushka goes towards the wrong man, Kattappa jumps forward to take full responsibility.

Poor Kattappa.  He is always taking responsibility.  Because he always feels he is responsible, his rulers must be perfect and just, so any flaw would be within himself.  He sees this whole situation as simply a result of him miss-interpreting Ramya’s initial proposal to be a reference to Rana, instead of Prabhas.

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(Kattappa!  So powerful on the outside, so fragile on the inside)

Apu, in the comments, suggested that at the moment Ramya wrote the proposal, she honestly was not thinking of herself as a mother of two sons.  And I think I can see that.  Nassar is always nagging her, drawing a line between her “real” son, and the baby she took in.  And in the second half, while Prabhas continues to call her “Amma”, she tells him he has no right to do so.  Indicating that she saw their relationship as mother and son as a conditional thing, based on how they feel for each other, not a recognizable fact that the outer world would understand.  Kattappa, in all his innocence, did not see this difference, or acknowledge it, and so he assumed the proposal to be referring to Prabhas, the son of her heart.

But is this all the fault of Kattappa and a poorly worded proposal?  Not really.  Kattappa is seeing it as “sorry, we misinterpreted your intentions, leading to this minor misunderstanding, but now that we understand what you want, it’s all fine.”  But that isn’t the problem.  It’s why this moment is so awkward, but it’s not the central conflict.

The central conflict is that, firstly, Ramya is trying in a very high-handed manner to force Anushka into a marriage she doesn’t want.  Take her relationship with Prabhas out of the picture entirely, and it would still be wrong.  And then put back in the relationship with Prabhas, and that’s the second part of the conflict.  Anushka should have the right to choose, and what she has chosen, is Prabhas.  Rana’s brother and Ramya’s son.  Meaning her choice will break the family.

If Kattappa hadn’t misunderstood, this scene would be considerably less public, but it still would have had to happen.  If Prabhas had been told “the good news is your mother wants Anushka for her daughter-in-law, the bad news is she wants her for Rana”, would it have changed his feelings?  Would he have felt like he had to step aside?  I don’t think so.  If Anushka had actually been engaged to Rana, sure, absolutely.  But he would have still seen it as her right to choose him, even if his mother wanted her for someone else.  And by that point in their courtship, he knew she would choose him.  And then the Pindari battle would have happened, and I honestly believe, if he hadn’t spoken out after it, she would have.  And then he would explain the situation, and Anushka would have remained firm in her choice, just as she does here.  And in the end, it would be the same, Anushka coming to Mahishmati as a prisoner/Prabhas’ responsibility, telling the Queen that she wants her other son, not Rana, the Queen getting angry, and Prabhas having to protect her.

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(Or maybe she would have said yes to Rana and it would have all turned into Mere Brother Ki Dulhan?)

Kattappa, through out, has declared his incapability of understanding love.  And this scene shows that, to him there is nothing greater than duty and obedience.  And so this is all a simple matter of misunderstanding Ramya’s orders and therefore disobeying them.  Now that everyone is on the same page, there will be no problems.

What’s crazy is that Ramya thinks the same thing!  In a lot of ways, Kattappa and Ramya are two sides of the same coin.  Both of them feel love for people, are warm and giving and all of that.  But they also deeply believe that laws and duty are above everything, are what will keep the world safe.  And so Ramya prepares to follow the same argument as Kattappa, she is still angry, but thinks she is in control.  Now that everything is clear, obviously Anushka will marry Rana, as was planned.

And it is then that Anushka speaks up.  And reminds her of a higher law.  And I think that is what gets to Ramya the most, to be challenged on her home ground of law and told that she is wrong, that she has forgotten something.  And to know that she is, in fact, wrong.  I don’t think being wrong is something that Ramya is used to.  And instead of gracefully accepting it, she tries to bury her doubts in bluster and power, ordering Anushka to be captured and forced to kneel (as Siva reminded me in the comments).  She isn’t just taking her captive, she is making her subservient, forcing her to acknowledge Ramya’s power in public.  Saying that force of power is equal to, or greater than, respect for law.  Which, come to think of it, is how Ramya got the throne in the first place.  There was no “law” that said she should have it, she took it by setting Kattappa on the rebelling nobles and slicing the face of one of them herself.  And that was the right thing to do, there was no law at that moment to cover this situation, and so she resorted to power in order to create a law.  But at this moment, there absolutely is law, both the kind written down in books, and the higher laws of Dharma, which say that Anushka should have the right to pick her own husband, to speak out in open court, and not be punished for it.

Avani pointed out that we see Prabhas right before Anushka speaks out.  He is still standing there, just listening to his mother.  Like he may not ever go against her.  We already had this awkward movement, when he comes into the room as Anushka’s champion, standing on her left and breaking the way for her, and then immediately abandons her to run to mommy as soon as he gets to the front.  At that moment, it was absolutely the right thing to do, he assumed Anushka would be in no danger, he was taking his rightful place as part of the Mahishmati royal family, and to not do so would have been a huge pointless insult to Ramya.  But it also meant that Anushka saw how easily he switched from being by her side, to retreating to the power of Mahishmati.  And now she is all alone, standing in front of them all, with her champion abandoning her.

Until suddenly he is back!  Standing in front of her and declaring that no one can touch her!

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And this is when Rana/Nassar come into play.  Rana has been watching, this whole time, with his hand on his father’s shoulder to hold him down.  But now he lets go and lets Nassar speak.

The Ramya-Nassar relationship is fascinating.  They clearly dislike each other.  But she is still the mother of his child and his wife, and he is still the father of her child and her husband.  There is a combination of mutual, not quite respect, but lingering social bond.  Nassar in many ways is her weakness.  She feels, as a proper Indian woman, that she has certain duties towards him as her husband.  And he is also the greatest threat to her power, if not a potential ruler, at least a potential regent.  So when he speaks, she can’t quite tune him out, not completely.  Even though her head says he is weak and foolish, her heart feels guilty for depriving him of a dutiful wife and his role in the kingdom.  And there is that same lingering social guilt which leads her to put preference for Rana, her “real” son, over Prabhas, the son she loves more.  And as for Nassar, he may hate her, but it is an intimate hate.  He knows exactly how to push her buttons, what to say to make her feel the worst.

Rana is what makes the difference in this scene, knowing the complicated emotional situation between his parents, but not a part of it.  Nassar hates Ramya so much, that he is not able to control his reactions.  He can give speeches that will upset her, but he can’t time them right, they just come pouring out of him, because he is upset as well.  But Rana, he is cold.  He can stand outside and see the perfect moment to deploy his father for maximum impact.  Just as he saved up Ramya’s motherly guilt earlier.  He could have taken her gifts, the elephants and the fancy new palace, and made her feel better.  But instead he rejected them, storing up the guilt until he could find something he really really wanted.  Using Nassar now, he is bringing together the two strongest areas of social guilt for Ramya, her biggest weaknesses, her position as a wife and a mother.

Interestingly, coming back to the Ramya versus Anushka idea, for Anushka those are her two greatest strengths.  Perhaps because of her actions in this scene.  Anushka never compromised, she married the man she wanted, the one who was worthy of her.  And her son was born of that love, she has no guilt or conflict in her feelings for him.  Anushka may have given up 25 years of power, the possibility of ruling from behind the throne, but she gained a better ending.  Ramya had 25 years of power, and raising a son she loved, but it was all built on quicksand.  Her initial mistake, marrying a man she could not respect and letting guilt over that decision eat away at her, it is all coming back to her now.

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That was the mistake, all those years of guilt over her position as wife and mother.  And that initial mistake is what is leading to this moment, here, when she lets that guilt push her to a terrible decision.  Again, forgive me for not remembering the exact order of how it comes out.  Feel free to add details in comments.

But here is what I do remember.  There is a shift in Ramya’s position as this scene goes on.  She starts it sitting in the throne, not even sitting, sprawled in the throne.  She is at ease with power, relaxed, assumes it will all work out as she wants.  And then later, she sits up straight, eyes wide, and issues orders.  This is how she has controlled people for 25 years, with the force of her personality.  And when that doesn’t work, she leaves the throne, paces up and down beside it.  In the same way that Nassar is pacing.  While Prabhas and Anushka stand still in front.  Ramya has lost control, she is now a moving target, not the power in the throne, but just another piece of this family, striding around the central calm of Prabhas and Anushka.  Calm because they know they are in the right and know what they want.  Ramya doesn’t know any more.  She has gone from simply wanting Anushka to apologize and marry Rana, to wanting Anushka humiliated and punished, to wanting Prabhas to come back to her side and declare his loyalty, to finally wanting Anushka and Prabhas both gone and out of her sight.

I mostly don’t remember this scene in huge detail, but there is one thing I remember.  Towards the end, it’s not that Ramya wants Prabhas to not-marry Anushka, she explicitly says that she wants him to leave her influence, she phrases it as though she believes Anushka has twisted his mind.  It’s no longer a simple matter of Prabhas disobeying her, she honestly believes that he has lost the ability to think for himself, that Anushka is controlling him.

Which is sort of true, as we the audience know from having witnessed his vow.  But also not true, because Anushka would not abuse that power.  He is protecting her here both because of his vow, and because he believes she is in the right.  And Anushka is not ordering him “go kill your mother” or “give up your kingdom”.  She is just standing there, letting his play out between mother and son.

I wonder, do you think part of this fear is because Ramya knows what her powers as a strong woman have allowed her to do?  We always tend to see the sins in others that we know of in ourselves.  I don’t think Ramya “sinned”, not really, but she did gain power by using her position as wife and mother, using the men around her.  And now she can see that Anushka might be able to do the same thing.  Anushka won’t, because she is as virtuous as Ramya, and would always look to the higher good and only use that power if she believed it was the right thing to do.  Which is why she is just standing her now, wanting to let Prabhas make his own choices.  But Ramya is perhaps the only person in the room who fully understands what kind of power a wife, and perhaps mother in future, can wield.

In the end, I think the decision to force Prabhas to choose between giving up his argument at this moment and the crown, is not exactly “choose between love and duty”.  It is more, “choose to listen to me instead of her”.  Which Ramya sees as “choose to listen to the laws and traditions of the kingdom versus rebellion”.  And Prabhas sees as “choose to give up the right thing for a wrong thing in order to get what you want”.  And Anushka sees as a simple matter of “right versus wrong”.  All 3 of them, by their own lights, have no other options.  Ramya cannot risk a rebellious ruler that might topple the fragile power structure she has built and kept up.  Prabhas cannot bring himself to start a rule by going against what he knows to be right.  And Anushka cannot bring herself to compromise her ideals, ever.

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41 thoughts on “Bahubali 2 Scene By Scene Summary, Part 10! The Queen Mother Makes a Mistake

  1. – The Nasser/Ramya relationship is honestly fascinating to me, too. I know the prequel novel series is supposed to get into it, but I honestly can’t imagine how they ended up about to live with each other for so long. As is, like you point out, the fact that he is able to manipulate her so effectively despite their strained relationship – just as most characters in the flashback are doing double, sometimes triple duty as characters from both the Ramayan and the Mahabharata, Nasser is most likely Manthara as well as Shakuni/Dhritarashtra, but Manthara is at least Kaikeyi’s trusted maid, who has her best interests, if not Ram’s, at heart. I can’t imagine Ramya is naive enough to believe Nasser cares about anyone except himself and Rana.
    (You know what else I want to know about? Prabhas and Nasser’s relationship. When Kattappa points out that Nasser has cheated him in the first movie, Prabhas doesn’t look surprised at all. I just wonder if it was just non stop loathing on Nasser’s part, start to finish, or if he mostly ignored him but only ramped it up as it became clear he was going to be a threat to Rana.)
    – And I love that you point out the blocking of the court scenes, with character’s motions and movements standing in for their state of mind. This is the kind of thing I would hardly ever pay attention to, but you are right! Pacing is associated more with indecisiveness, agitation (Prabhas when he storms into Anushka’s trial, which stops after he beheads her accuser/the sleazy commander in chief; Nasser, pretty much whenever he speaks; Ramya in both confrontations with Prabhas). In contrast, characters who know themselves and their mind stay still/seated (Anushka almost always, Rana also almost always, Ramya when she first takes the throne). And the way the camera is positioned, after Prabhas comes down to Anushka, we always see them standing together in every shot – even during the shots focusing on Ramya, we see them from behind as a unit, which is also the case in the trial scene later, too. (I could be wrong, though, and there could be a few close-up shots. But by and large, almost all the shots show them both of them in the frame, IIRC).
    – Yes, one thing about Anushka is that she pretty much lets Prabhas speak for himself most of the time. If he doesn’t (as is the case at the baby shower, when he sits back and takes his demotion), she will jump in, and I think it’s clear she wouldn’t hestitate to speak out if she disagreed with him, but largely she steps back as opposed to Ramya, who does most of the talking for everyone. And I really love that point about Ramya, more than anyone else, understanding the power of a wife and mother, which is why I think she reacts so so badly to Anushka’s demanding that Prabhas take the throne at the baby shower. I think, up until then, things were going at an uneasy truce, with Ramya still mad but Anushka suggesting for the first time that she might use her power over Prabhas is what tips the scale.

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    • -The Rana-Prabhas-Nasser-Ramya relationship feels very “mommy’s boy” versus “daddy’s boy” to me. I could see Prabhas just accepting and moving on with a lot of stuff, because he sensed that Ramya and he were closer than Ramya and Rana, and so it was only right that Rana and Nassar had an extra bond too. But the difference is, Ramya feels guilty about loving Prabhas more, while Nassar has no such guilt about loving Rana over Prabhas. In fact, is even proud of it.

      -The movement versus stillness issue also relates back to the reasons that Prabhas doesn’t seem as “kingly”. He is always doing things, dragging huge Ganesh statues around or fighting off bandits or carrying little kids around. But he does it with such purpose and stillness, that it still appears kingly. There are a lot of moments where he poses with a kind of grace while doing something, like when he shoots the arrow of the elephant in the opening scene. He is an active person who likes to serve the people by doing, unlike Rana or Ramya. But he carries with him the singleness of purpose which makes him a king.

      -Yes! Even Nassar and Rana don’t fully see Anushka as a threat the way Ramya does. They take advantage of their antipathy for each other, but it isn’t something they anticipated. And I think they also didn’t fully anticipate how much Prabhas would become a servant of Anushka. Because that’s not the kind of relationship they can even imagine, going back to the different reactions between Prabhas and Rana to Anushka walking on their heads.

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      • One thing really bothers me in the way you (Margaret) and Avani have been discussing the Amarendra – Devasena relationship in the last couple of posts. You both keep using the words “servant”, “subservient”, etc. of Amarendra to Devasena, and you always view this *as a good thing!* Why? If the roles were reversed, would you be happy to see how “subservient” or “like a servant” Devasena is to him? At the same time you keep going on and on about how their relationship is one of equals. Well, if one is always “serving” the other, it is no such thing. Please explain to me how you reconcile these two sets of statements. (For that matter, even Mahendra/Shivudu was “serving” Avanthika when he goes to fulfill her mission, but that is held as some unforgivable sin and upholding of the patriarchy on his part. Why?)

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        • I think for me it comes down to two things.

          First, this was a choice that Prabhas made. He wasn’t forced to serve her in any way, he got to know her and understand her and decided on his own that this would be a good person for him to use as a guide in his life choices, and that she deserved to be served. Very different from, for instance, Kattappa. Who is proud to serve Ramya, but it is still not a service he chose. And she betrays his trust later by demanding of him something he does not want to do. Which Anushka never does to Prabhas, and would never do.

          If Anushka were to swear service in the same way, not as a “prisoner of love” or because she was forced into it, but because she made a decision as a strong independent person that Prabhas is worthy of her service, then I would be equally happy. That is how I think Tamannah feels at the end of B1 and in this movie (although we don’t get to see the scenes that explain it). She isn’t fighting for Prabhas 2 and convincing the rebels to trust him and fight with him because she is in love, she is doing it because she trusts and respects him.

          Secondly, for the particular moments when Prabhas proves that he was serious in his vow, that’s enjoyable not because of anything in the film for me, but because of the wider social statement. Here we have an audience of billions being shown that a strong man can serve a woman, can listen to her opinion, can respect her, and it takes nothing away from him. And he isn’t doing it because he is abused or forced into it or blinded by love (which is Ramya’s fear), but because he believes his wife is wiser than he and it is right for him to follow her lead.

          I do think that this is similar to Prabhas 2’s vow to Tamannah, you are right. It’s just that vow, and their romance, got so much less space in the film that it didn’t resonate as much. We also never really saw a follow up to it, like we are seeing here. Prabhas 1 over and over again proves that he will do anything for Anushka. With Prabhas 2, he makes that big statement that all her desires and duties are now his, and then the movie got distracted after he rescued Anushka and we didn’t really come back to that.

          On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 9:49 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Its like the relationship between a dom and a sub (when the whole 50 Shades issue was being discussed). The dom only seems to hold the power – the real power lies with the sub who ‘lets’ the dom hold that power. All the work is done by the dom as they have to see to it that they never abuse that power or betray the trust freely given to them by the sub. Love your descriptions and explanations – thank you.πŸ™‚

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          • Exactly! And I think that’s why a gender reversal of this particular relationship wouldn’t bother me as much. Even if it had been Anushka who had vowed service, it still would have been an equal power balance at the heart of it.

            On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 10:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I just want to echo everything Margaret and Apu say! I also want to clarify, I don’t think that Prabhas is, or should be, a blindly obedient servant to her – after all, for example, when she demands he take back the throne, he very much doesn’t. And also add that plus, it’s not as though Anushka isn’t sacrificing/giving up large amounts of her life and independence for Prabhas, just as he is for her, it’s just that we take a lot of it for granted. Like Marees pointed out a couple of posts back, at the end of the Hamsa Naava, her mast gets clipped off, as a symbol of everything she is giving up by entering Mahishmati as Prabhas’ wife. She certainly gives up her position as heir to the Kuntala kingdom; her status depends entirely on Prabhas’. To the point where when she is on trial, she is only identified as Prabhas’ wife, not any of her other titles. So to me, Prabhas’ oath is actually putting them back on an equal setting, really. And finally, like Margaret says, I think it’s important in the wider socio-cultural context to have a hero who is confident enough in his own strength to put himself as the humbler one in a relationship, to be able to listen to the women in his life without being labeled as weak or hen-pecked. Baahubali is going to be huge in pop culture, I suspect, and I for one would be happy to see that put forward as an ideal to aspire to.

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      • – Prabhas actually does seem to have just moved with it — or actually, in fitting with his personality, he goes outside the box and finds himself an unconventional father figure in Kattappa. I know there’s supposed to be a TV show (? or something) that deals with Prabhas and Rana’s childhood, though, and that might go further into it.

        – Ooh, I really like your theory of Prabhas being the one exception to that rule, actually, who can move around while still having the clarity of vision/purpose. And it’s true, he does always move in around, even more in the court scenes – he has the biggest shift in this first one, going from near Ramya to near Anushka, and he gets the most dramatic action in the second one.

        – Yes, exactly – like superficially it seems like Ramya and Anushka clash because they are so similar, but they are really not and each probably would never have made the decisions that the other makes. Even if Anushka had met younger and less hardened-by-ruling Ramya, I don’t know if she would be completely on board with a lot of her choices. I’m sure there’s some level of grudging respect for each other, to be sure, but they are actually fundamentally different, because just because they are two strong women doesn’t mean they have to be identical!

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        • -Good point on Prabhas choosing Kattappa over Nassar. If Rana had been able to do the same, found a substitute mother figure who could give him the attention he needs, he probably would have grown up a happier and healthier person. But then, Prabhas was able to do that because his one “real” parent, Ramya, gave him the freedom to make that choice. I don’t see Nassar being okay with Rana finding someone else to serve as his mother.

          -Prabhas 2 moves as well, not just in fight scenes, but when he is talking with Tamannah or coming up with battle plans. I think it might be a scene of character growth? That’s why Prabhas 1 is so fascinating to the audience in this film, he goes from a set position as the son and heir, to something entirely different after meeting Anushka and spending time in her kingdom. That movement in this scene, from standing by Ramya’s thrown to standing by Anushka, that’s his whole character journey as well.

          -I really wish we had those Tamannah Anushka scenes, because the same is true of them. Tamannah has a kind of wide-eyed wonder in her love song, and unquestioning obedience to her rebel band, that we would never see in Anushka. Which doesn’t mean she is weak, just that she is less likely to command than Anushka, happier to sit back and follow others. I could see some clashing between the two because Anushka would want Tamannah to speak up, to be more of the difficult daughter-in-law that she was. And Tammannah would be strong enough to resist that, to want to keep being her own personality and her own self, not just get turned into Anushka 2.0. But ultimately, I think they would have gotten along better, because each felt firm in their own position. Whereas Ramya, while appearing more secure, is actually less secure than Anushka. And Anushka, once she has Prabhas at her side, fears nothing.

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          • You’re right about the idea that Ramya sees herself in Anushka in that she can influence Prabhas1!!! Now that I think about particular instances, there is so much evidence. Once she meets Anushka, it becomes more than just about her not choosing Ramya’s biological son (even though that might be what started the whole thing) or that she snubbed her.

            – Ramya calls her a traitor when she asks Prabhas1 to choose between the throne and her. I first thought that she might be referring to the fact that Anushka chose Prabhas1 over Rana but now I am thinking it also means that Anushka came between her and Prabahs1 by influencing him away.

            – She so readily believes that Anushka influenced Prabhas1 to take the throne and be the king which is why he was acting like he belonged in court during the scene where he beheads the sethupathy.

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          • She only realises how wrong she was once Kattapa points it out to her after killing Prabhas1 and tells her about her son’s true colours. Which is why she begs Anushka’s forgiveness – both for doubting Prabhas1 and her.

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          • If only she could have gotten to that point less dramatically! Although I don’t know if even if Prabhas 1 had lived, they could have been happy together as a family. Ramya’s personality is such that she either has to be completely in charge, or miserable and humbled. She could never have found a happy balance just taking a step back from power but still being around. I can’t picture her as the “Queen Mother” taking third place behind the King and Queen. She needed this kind of huge mistake to humble her, and after that she wouldn’t feel like she deserved a place anywhere in the palace.

            Probably the “happy ending” would have been Ramya taking off to wander for a while as a mendicant, and only coming back to be a loving Grandma on special occasions, never entering the throne room again.

            On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 12:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I think that it has to do something with her past as well. The book starts off with her as a 17 year old out to avenge the death of her father at the hands of Mahismathi’s rulers. Also, she was in love with Prabhas1’s father but had to marry Nasser for some reason (I haven’t gotten to that chapter yet). So I suppose she thinks of her life as ‘one big sacrifice’ in every way and thinks that she has to do whatever it takes to stay in power and that everyone is out to get her. It also doesn’t help that she’s always surrounded by the ‘wrong’ kind of crowd – Nasser, Rana, the minsiters, the priest, etc . Katappa doesn’t count as he always defers to her. I have a feeling that if he hadn’t realised that Rana was the true traitor behind Prabhas1’s death, he would have held on to his duty and obeyed her explicity and not come back to even discuss the matter. Just felt sad in his own way and moved on.

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          • Good point about who is around her. Ramya sees holding on to the law and your promises as virtues, because listening to others has always been bad for her. Heck, sharing counsel and taking advice from anyone at all would be a bad thing. But Prabhas is able to find better advisers, to listen to Anushka and Ramya and Kattappa and then make decisions. So what in Ramya would have been a weakness, in him is a strength. Only she doesn’t see that.

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          • What is really fascinating is that Anushka isn’t actually influencing Prabhas at all in those ways. Or at least, not directly like Ramya thinks. Meeting her has made him start to question his place in the world and encouraged him to think for himself, and see new ways of thinking. That is what leads him to defend her rights in the throne room, twice.

            But the one thing Anushka directly asks him for, to take back the throne, we never even see him consider. Ramya thinks that because Anushka asked it, he must be working on some plan or plot. But he is just ignoring that request and living his own life, because he disagrees with it. And Anushka did not phrase it as an order. At the end, when she tells him to go get Kattappa, she orders him to do it. But the baby shower scene is a request. Again, he was right to give Anushka that vow of obedience, because he knew she would never abuse it by asking for something he didn’t want to give.

            On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 11:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That scene in BB1 when Sanga says she wants to meet Prabhas 1 after Katappa finishes narrating Kalakeya war, the camera zooms in on Anushka. You can see Tamannah has her hand on Anushka’s lap and Anushka has hers on top of Tamannah’s hand. Sort of indicates they will get along fine.

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          • I hope so! And it does feel like Tamannah has more of a naturally Beta personality. “Beta” in the “alpha-beta” sense, not in the “Hindi for son” sense. Tamannah was taking orders from someone else as part of the rebel band, and then was willing to follow Prabhas 2’s lead a bit. Not that she is a weak character, just that I think she is more comfortable with someone else being in charge than Anushka was when she married.

            On Sun, May 28, 2017 at 11:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. The previous analysis post was Part 9 so shouldn’t this one be Part 10?

    By the way, my comments weren’t showing up for the past couple of days so I’m using my actual email instead of T.J Stevens to see if this works. That one was just a inside joke between my friends and I in case you were wondering.

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      • It should be 10, I just can’t count, I’ll fix it.

        And I’ll check Spam for your messages. I love them and I don’t want to miss any!

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        • I think it’s just like two comments and I can easily type out my thoughts again. Plus I think I’ll stick to my new, actual username. I like the blue icon more than the green one πŸ™‚

          By the way, it looks like these Baahubali analysis posts are getting you a lot of new commentors (is that a word?). Is this normal with any big release or this just a Baahubali thing?

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          • It’s kind of normal with any big release, people loooooooooooove spoilers. But it’s a lot bigger for Baahubali. More people are searching for Bahubali spoilers, finding my site, and hanging out with us all. Plus, Baahubali just invites discussion. More than, say, Fitoor (my other all time biggest Spoiler post, because no one could figure out what the heck was happening).

            Oh, and I found your other comments in the Spam block, they are restored now. Which should also (hopefully) tell the system that you are not spam.

            On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 1:43 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s what I thought. I hope a lot them stay πŸ™‚

            I kind of feel bad for Meri Pyaari Bindu and the other new releases coming up. I don’t think their going to get any attention with Baahubali around. Are you planning on seeing Meri Pyaari Bindu? I kind of lost interest in it, so I’ll just wait until it shows up on Einthusan or something.

            That’s really weird that they went to spam…

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          • The Spam settings are inexplicable, but also really really accurate most of the time. I think they are based on like word phrases that are common in fake messages, in addition to simple stuff like how many links are included. But those word phrases can trip up “real” people sometimes.

            I feel bad for Mere Pyaari Bindu too! And Sarkar 3. I’m not seeing either tonight, because Baahubali pushed them aside. Like, literally. My local theater has them both, but they are only playing at 4 and 11, the good 7-9 starting slots are all reserved for Bahubali. So I may see Sarkar 3 at a matinee tomorrow, and Mere Pyaari Bindu sometime next week if the showtimes are better, but otherwise not. It’s their own fault though, they must not be very good films if the producers decided to put them out this week, knowing the issues it would cause.

            On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 1:56 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Loving the scene by scene analysis here.I remember Rajamouli’s tweet introducing Ramya as the rajamatha and the ‘epitome of justice(EOJ)’.I initially appreciated the scene, being discussed right now, only for the sheer manipulative abilities of Rana.But then Ramya’s seemingly odd behaviour in not going by logic started to bug me (given that she is the EOJ).This leading me to various reviews and finally here.And I am glad that I did come here.All the angles explored contributing to her emotional behaviour are valid -the social pressure and personal guilt of being a wife and a mother,her understanding her powerful position,her being challenged perhaps for the first time in years,Rana’s expert manipulation in the scene and before the scene (hiding his true motives ..a factor I believe is truly important factor in the narrative)plus Rana using the ‘vachan hi hai shasan ‘ thread against her.
    -I also wonder if the small kingdom -large kingdom dynamic comes into the picture .With Ramya subconsciously being afraid of the fact that if she budges ,people in the court would see this as defeat of mahishmati in the hands of a tiny kingdom.
    -Ramya is also clearly an egotic person (a byproduct of 25 yrs of unopposed rule)who just cannot digest prabhas and Anushka clashing against her even if they r in the right.
    -This scene is fascinating because in the Indian social setting and perhaps around the world the personal conflict depicted is quite real,though it may not be in such a pubic Darbaar kind of setting but behind closed doors.
    -Also I heard an interesting idea in the promo events of Sarkar 3 relating to ‘whether the personal life and the frustrations of this space influence the decisions of public persons in their public responsibilities’.This scene is a classic case of this idea I believe.
    -Loved the ideas in the article on relating movements of a person to his/her state of mind.
    -This sequence which had initially bugged me is slowly becoming the most fascinating scenes.
    -The bgm too is a class apart and the elephant statue scene leading up to this sequence is breathtaking.

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    • Welcome! Glad you found me. Hope you keep reading even after my B2 scene by scene is done (whenever that is).

      -I could see the large kingdom-small kingdom playing a factor here. Especially since it comes up again in the sad part, one of the first things Rana does in his unchecked evil reign is to destroy Kuntala. Clearly the idea of this small place that fostered rebellion is something he couldn’t stomach. Which is also explains the Kuntala rebels, being more oppressed than the rest of the empire, they were also quicker to revolt.

      -Someone on an earlier post commented about how the moment when Ramya declares Prabhas as the heir is the greatest moment of her rule, we end the first film with the peak of Ramya. Which I agree with. But that is also the moment when she ends her last challenge. The heir is chosen, the battle won, everything is finished. Which would make her even more confident at the start of this film. She has survived 25 years of rule against all odds, and now she believes she can do anything, find a bride for Prabhas, arrange any bride he wants for Rana, have a princess brought to her in chains, and so on. Which makes her even less willing to listen to opposition, and more sure that she is in the right.

      -Oh yeah! I was watching it thinking “this kind of reminds me of Grandma and Mom and Dad”. I’m guessing many people in the audience were thinking the same thing, or else “This reminds me of me and my husband and his mother”. It’s not a huge empire ending kind of deal, but there is something basic about learning your son no longer looks to you as the wisest woman in his life.

      -The whole film is about how the private and the personal interact, I think, and when that is a good thing and when it is not. Both Prabhas 1 and Prabhas 2 are drawn into conflicts by falling in love. But they fall in love partly because the women they love are so proud and brave and wonderful, and so they trust their opinions and follow their lead. On the other hand, Ramya is letting her mind be clouded here, not listening to her heart, but listening to all the social guilt and family issues that people are putting on her. It’s good that Prabhas 1 and 2 love Anushka so much that it inspires them to great deeds. But it is bad that Ramya loves Prabhas so much it blinds her to Anushka’s value.

      -Thank you!
      -I agree! I kind of want to go back and watch it again for things I may have missed.
      -One thing I noticed on the re-watches is how the song themes are interwoven in the bgm. I can’t remember when, but there is some super early scene between Prabhas and Anushka when we hear a snatch of Hamsa Naava.

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      • Ooh, can we talk about the background music for a second? I actually enjoyed them even more in than in the first one, because they even kept on reusing specific themes that weren’t just part of the songs, and overall in a more organized fashion than in the first one (Or least such that I remember. Which wouldn’t be surprising, I am usually incredibly unobservant when it comes to these things.) Like Prabhas-Anushka had a specific love theme, Rana had his plotting music, the Mahishmati theme is still reserved for impressive Prabhas moments, Ramya’s theme of Mamatalla Talli gets looped in (I think?I’m a bit fuzzy on that one). It was just really effective.

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        • The background music themes are, I think, one of the ways that you can tell this is the second film. It’s picking up on things we already know from the first one in a way the first one couldn’t. A lot of stuff does that, the moat around the city, the rivalry between the two brothers, all kinds of things that have an extra resonance because we already saw them in the first one.

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          • BGM was a bit more louder & imposing in 2 in keeping with the darker theme of the movie. In 1 it was more about prabas’ self discovery & wonder, so it was more about fantasy & intrigue but in 2 there was a relentlessness. Even in 1 the mahishmathi related bgm was dark & imposing but therr it was more like a tease & hint of what was to come. Here it is more relentless.

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        • Oooh can I jump in with an interesting tidbit about the bgm please? So Keeravani the music director was playing around with ‘Why Kattapa Killed Baahubali’ (#WKKB) and was singing it out in different tunes and then, just screamed out ‘WHY?!’ – like it was a genuine, frustrating question. And that scream is what we hear everytime Prabhas2 comes on screen – Keeravani’s voice screaming out ‘Why?!’ . I thought it pretty cool – symbolizes his whole journey in one word πŸ™‚

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  4. I’ve seen a lot of discussion here about Ramya loving Prabhas more than Rana. Is it just because she declared him king after the Kalakeya battle? Because I never got the impression in the first movie that she favored one over the other. And in this movie she was hardly fair to Prabhas in any sense.

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    • I can’t speak for everyone, but for me it was largely because of Saahore Baahubali, where we see Ramya and Prabhas get lots of one-on-one time (not only the puja, but the scenes where he is tending to her afterwards, and that one shot of him riding in a chariot with her), and the only Rana and Ramya scene we see is her feeling guilty/bribing him – not to mention it doesn’t even happen until Prabhas has left, as though she wasn’t even going to pay attention to Rana until Prabhas was out of the picture.

      (And I suspect too, if the roles had been flipped and Rana had “betrayed” her out of love or whatever [she certainly doesn’t seem as concerned with who he marries, and is perfectly happy to just give him whatever random princess he fell in love with, unlike the thought she puts into Prabhas’ bride], she might not have reacted as badly. It is paradoxically a sign of her greater love for Prabhas that she is so angry and hurt.)

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    • For me it is a combination of things. The Saahore Bahubali scenes in this, and the guilt over Rana. Which builds on their childhood scenes that we saw before, in which Prabhas was always extra loving to Ramya. And on the way Nassar always clearly prefered Rana to Prabhas and spent extra time with him, which meant Prabhas would have been clinging more to Ramya. It wasn’t obvious in the first movie, but putting it together with what we seen in this, there seems to be a picture of Ramya and Prabhas always being a little extra close. In this scene we are discussing, the way Prabhas stands next to Ramya’s throne while Rana is by Nassar seems like something that they have been doing for years, lining up by alternative parents.

      The biggest thing for me is body language. In both films, Prabhas was a little more eager and happy with Ramya than Rana was. And something about the way she looked at him and touched him made me think that Ramya liked Prabhas better.

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  5. To me, Saahore Baahubali was more of an exposition on Prabhas’s character and HIS attitude towards his mother. Showing the audience how loving, caring and giving he was. How attentive and protective he was to his mother. Basically an ideal son. A grown up version of the scorpion scene from the first movie. HE certainly loved his mother deeply and respected her immensely. But does it automatically mean SHE loved him more than Rana? I’m not sure that she did. She seemed to enjoy the attention Prabhas showed her but I’m not convinced that means she loved him more.

    Rana didn’t seem to be as attentive towards her as Prabhas but the very fact that she felt guilty about not declaring him King showed a bias towards him, in my opinion. Because why should she feel guilt? Prabhas is the Kings son and really the rightful heir to the throne. Even if Rana claims a right, being the older brother’s son, the Kalakeya battle resolved that issue. Not to mention Prabhas is the popular choice of the people of Mahishmati. So she should know that she made the absolute right decision. But every choice she makes, from the promise to get him Devasena, to how quickly she bestows him the kingdom, to how she does nothing when Rana is unfair to Prabhas, to how easily she believes Prabhas is capable of betraying his brother…I just can’t buy she truly loved Prabhas more than Rana. It can’t be just bruised ego..I think she just loved Rana more.

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  6. Margaret, your guess is correct about many audience relating to the husband-mother-daughter in law dynamics, me including.
    Beauty of Bahubali movie is that it satisfies audience of all ages, genders and tastes (what we call nava rasas or nine emotions such as romance, comedy). I am sure it will be a guide for future movie directors, artists and technicians.

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    • I loved that about Bahubali, that it tries for the whole audience instead of just the multiplex audience or the young audience or any of the other tiny subgroups. We can compare it with the two releases this week, Sarkar 3 and Meri Pyaari Bindu, both of which had tiny releases, and would really only work for certain sub groups.

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  7. I’ve been trying to figure out where best to fit this in, and it really doesn’t, so I’ll just put it here. πŸ™‚

    I found myself reading The Guardian’s review of Bahubali 1, and was gobsmacked to find it describing the Shivudu-Avanthika romance as a “slyly feminist pairing.” So I feel vindicated, and wish Rajamouli had read that, instead of all the foaming froth from the section of India that is dedicated to hating everything Indian. Then maybe Tamannah’s and Shivudu’s scenes in Part 2 wouldn’t have been cut.

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  8. Pingback: Bahubali 2 Scene By Scene Summary Part 11: It All Gets Very Bad – dontcallitbollywood

  9. Pingback: Bahubali Posts Index – dontcallitbollywood

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