Bahubali 2 Scene By Scene Part 12: Rana Speaks! And a Wedding

I said in my last section that this is the part that is very very hard for me to watch, because it is two real.  It’s really the 20 minutes after “Daandalaya” that just kill me, but even this section is not good.  Which is a tribute to how well the film is made, that it can evoke such real emotions in me. (part 11 here, you can go backwards from there)

We are now post-interval!  Which means basically everything pre-interval no longer matters and my little “what has happened so far” section can be very short.  Prabhas defied Ramya in open court, supporting Anushka’s right to pick her own husband.  Ramya saw this as rebellion and therefore no longer trusted him to be king and picked Rana instead.  At the coronation, Rana got the crown, but Prabhas got the cheers of the crowd and the symbols of rightful rule, the umbrella falling towards him, the elephants roaring, etc.

 

Also at the coronation, we got a glimpse of Anushka.  Not as Prabhas’ fiancee, but as a princess in her own right.  She was sitting with her brother and sister-in-law, with her cousin sitting behind her.  It’s a visual reminder that she has her own family and her own people, and they have their own small place in all this drama of Mahishmati.  If she had never met Prabhas, she still would have been affected by this story.  A wrongful ruler would be bad for her and her people, and a rightful ruler good for them.  That will come back up again in a second.

Immediately post-interval, we have a talky-talky scene.  We always have a talky-talky scene at this point, because you don’t want the people stuck in line for popcorn to miss out on a cool action scene.  But this is an important talky-talky scene, because it is the first time that we get a look inside Rana’s head.

Like I said in my last section, all along Rana has known what he wanted and gone after it single-mindedly.  He wanted the throne and the crown, and now he has the throne and the crown.  And now his purpose is gone and he is lost.  In every previous scene, he was silent and still.  Indicating a certain control.  But in this scene, he is talking and talking and talking, revealing all his innermost doubts not just through his words, but through the fact that he is saying words at all, instead of keeping it all bottled up.  And he is moving around, not just pacing, but tilting his body this way and that, bending over and straightening up.  His inner confusion becoming outer.

His words help too, he is working through what we just saw in the last scene, and what we will see again at the interval scene of B1.  He wants Mahishmati soooooooooooo much, but he can’t force it to love him.  And the more he tries, the more it runs away.  Essentially, he is Shahrukh in Darr.  He believes that because his love is true, he has “earned” love in return.  But it doesn’t work that way.  The people of Mahishmati/Juhi Chawla will love who they love.  And they will love Prabhas/Sunny Deol not because he loves them the most, but because of who he is and what he is.  And there is nothing Rana/Shahrukh can do to change that.

B2.jpg

(Shahrukh carving “Kiran” on his chest=Rana piercing his hand on the crown)

We the audience miss the middle bit of this obsessive romance, but here we are seeing the beginning, when he moves on from his obsession with the crown, something he can actually grasp, to the people’s love, something that you can never truly “win”.  But we can imagine the 25 years of desperate attempts to beat them into loving him, to impress them into loving him, which lead to the ending idea of a massive golden statue paid for by gold forcibly given.  And a huge police force to beat down any resistance.  And again, this is all very very real to me right now and a little sickening.

Rajamouli doesn’t want to sicken us.  He wants to tell a story of a bad man who was always greedy and grasping, versus good people who just wanted the right to pursue happiness.  So he breaks this section up a bit.  After seeing Rana being all dark and sickening, we see Prabhas and Anushka getting married.  Really cute close up shot of their little fingers hooked around each other as they stand to go around the fire.  Very thematic too, this is not a marriage between countries, or even between families, it is just between the two of them.  Maybe other people are there in the crowd, but that’s not what matters, what matters is their two fingers hooked together.

And then we get the nuptial night, when Anushka is still worried about not getting along with Ramya.  Not worried because of the big political issues, but just because she can see it bothers her new husband.  By the way, notice the framing of this scene.  It’s not “sexy” really.  They are fully dressed and just sort of sitting on the bed talking about stuff.  Which I like for their relationship, this isn’t about the physical, they didn’t get married for that.  They got married because they like each other, and they want to share their lives.  And they are celebrating the marriage by talking about real intimate personal things, in the privacy of their bedroom, in a way only husbands and wives really can.  That’s much more important than sex (and anyway, the “Hamsa Naava” song was their sexy song, they are past that now).

(I love this song, because it manages to combine both kinds of bedroom intimacy)

Also, big big thing, notice that Prabhas here is echoing his posture with Ramya in “Saahoore Baahubali”.  Partly this is just practical, it’s really hard to lounge in a full fancy sari, much easier to sit up a bit, which is what both Ramya and Anushka do.  And Prabhas, the actor not the character, is a very very tall man.  It would be hard to get him in the same frame comfortably, unless he is sort of lounging and lying down.  But it’s also a clear visual echo, before he would sleep in his mother’s lap and take all his problems to her and hear her wisdom.  Now, in a similar way, he is taking his problems to Anushka.  Heck, that goes back to the simple husband-and-wife part of it!  Before, the woman he could be alone with and get the female perspective on intimate problems was his mother.  After marriage, now he can be alone with and tell private things to his wife, and she will be the one to advise him.  That’s just how marriage works.

The result of their talk is Prabhas confidently saying that as soon as they give his mother a grandchild, she will forget everything.  And Anushka accepting this but not exactly agreeing with it.  Two sections back I talked about how Ramya could see the “threat” Anushka represented better than anyone else, because she was Anushka at one point.  As a wife of a member of the royal family, and possibly mother in future, she could control the ruling family.  I think Anushka sees this problem more clearly than anyone else as well.  The problem of the threat she places to Ramya.  Prabhas sees their child as a grandchild for Ramya, because he sees her as his mother before anything else.  Anushka sees that this child is also going to be a possible threat to Ramya.

Which is of course what happens.  At her baby shower, surrounded by gold, Ramya comes in, ignores Prabhas’ greeting of “mother”, and blesses Anushka in a very token manner, identifying her as “carrying Mahishmati’s heir”, not as anything at all in her own right.  She is seeing Anushka primarily as related to her position to the royal family, and as the primary threat because of that position.  Prabhas, she ignores entirely, no longer considering him a threat or a concern in any way.  Because she has buried her maternal feelings, and now sees him as just “disgruntled former heir”.  But Anushka is poison buried in their household, who now might be carrying the future king.

A couple of other things about this scene.  We start by swooping in over gold jewelry, finding Anushka dressed in luxurious silks, surrounded by attendants.  Prabhas may have lost his position as heir, but he is still very much a member of the Mahishmati royal family with all the benefits that come with that, including gold and silks for his wife, attendants, and fancy quarters.  The two of them have been pushed aside, but not caste out altogether.  They are still in the palace, as potentially useful tools.  For instance, Anushka providing an heir before Rana can marry, this is a handy thing to have in the family.  In a way, Prabhas was right in his argument on the wedding night, his mother could still come around, they are still close by, she hasn’t cut them off completely.  It’s still just a personal argument primarily, she no longer lets him call her “mother”, but she acknowledges his position as heir to the throne after Rana, and his son as heir after him.

Second, the first thing we see is Anushka’s sister-in-law blessing her.  Later, after Ramya has arrived, Subbaraju appears, to give gifts to the baby and again thank Prabhas for teaching him how to be a warrior and a man.  This is a family event, and it is right that Anushka’s family is there.  I assume that this is a combination of various religious/family ceremonies that are traditional during pregnancy.  All of them involve the wife’s family and the husband’s family coming together.  And I know that some of them also place great importance on the wife’s brother (a position Subbaraju would fill for Anushka).

(the situation in this song is obviously completely different, but you do get to see the ceremony!)

This is one of those things that you can give the whole huge religious ceremony explanation for, but ultimately it is just common sense and human nature.  A baby is a coming together of two families.  And pregnancy/birth are an incredibly dangerous time for a woman, a time when her family in particular will be worried about her and want to offer support.  And so this “baby shower” involves Prabhas’ in-laws to a greater degree than other events might.  And this all serves to remind Ramya that Anushka comes from a different family, that Prabhas respects that family, and that this baby will have a bond to all of them which Ramya cannot control.

It reminds Rana of this as well.  Rana is a bit more under control in this scene than he was in the last.  But not much.  He has lost that ability to make others act for him while he smoothly slides forward to his appointed spot.  Because he has no appointed spot, he isn’t clear on what it is that he really wants.  But at least he is planning again, and watching, and waiting for his chance.  Which he sees here, he notices the warm way Prabhas greets Subbaraju, and the way this seems to bother Ramya.  The first time I watched the film, I thought this extra lingering on Prabhas and Subbaraju’s embrace was to show that there was something special about their relationship.  But that’s not it at all!  It’s to show that there is something special about how people react to their relationship.  For Prabhas, this is a nice guy who he helped, and who is related to his wife.  For Subbaraju, this is a guy he respects and is happy has married his cousin.  It’s all exactly appropriate and what they should be feeling.  But Ramya reads an extra significance into it, because of her feeling that Anushka is controlling Prabhas too much and Subbaraju’s relationship to Anushka.  And it is that reading into it which Rana remembers and tucks away to be used later.  Prabhas must have dozens of people in his life who would do anything for him, but Rana will later pick Subbaraju out of all of them as the best possible tool.

And finally, there is Rana’s big open move, his first one, when he declares that his “gift” to Anushka, is to take away Prabhas position as head of the army, and give it to his bully boy instead.  There’s a lot to think about with this move.  First, on the personal level again, after that moment when the wrong ruler is put into place, after the shock has worn off and all these supposedly wise people in charge have said “don’t rebel, the best thing is to stay calm and trust that it will all work out”, comes that first moment when you realize “no, it really is that bad, my fears were justified”.  This is Rana’s “Muslim Ban” moment here.  The moment when the line is crossed and you realize that rebellion is the only answer.

Image result for muslim ban protest

That’s how I see Anushka’s response.  It’s partly sudden anger at the disrespect to her husband, who has now been moved from “his mother is mad at him, but he is still the primary heir” to “his abilities and worth are being disrespected, for no reason”.  But it’s also because Anushka knows Prabhas is good at his job, to put it in the most basic language, and for Rana to dismiss him in such a petty manner shows that Rana has lost the ability to put the good of the people above his own hatreds.  Ramya sees it too, she has a moment of alarm because this is not something she can simply explain away as “different methods of ruling”, this is an actual bad decision.  And maybe the wiser thing would have been to hold back, to let Ramya continue to work through her thoughts and notice other ways in which Rana is making impulsive emotional decisions, the very thing that made her wary of letting Prabhas rule.  That is Anushka’s mistake, not in what she says or what she wants, but in the timing she chooses.  Although, on the other hand, to make this same argument in a less public setting would be underhanded and suspicious.  To do it now, here, that is the honorable path.

Also notice the wording of her request.  Her argument is that it is Prabhas’ duty to do what the people want, and the people want him.  And I think she is saying that as one of “the people”.  Like I said way back at the beginning of this section, she is a subject of the Mahishmati empire before she even meets Prabhas.  She has seen their power and how it can be abused.  She wants Prabhas to rule, not just as her husband, but as her king.  He is the better choice.

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51 thoughts on “Bahubali 2 Scene By Scene Part 12: Rana Speaks! And a Wedding

  1. I am a recent addition to your blog reader list and I read most of your bahubali 2’s posts till now. I loved it 🙂 . I never thought that I would read and enjoy such a detailed analysis of any movie’s review. Good work !!!!

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  2. – Ooh, comparing Rana to Darr-SRK is brilliant, but so true! It even works in how in both cases, the villain’s obsession comes from feelings of maternal abandonment. But I also think it’s interesting how Rana and Nasser compare Ramya to the sun in their conversation about her: as this force of nature that Rana nonetheless can bury at its lowest point. It’s almost as though normally, like the sun, Ramya’s better self would have come up, making her do the right thing and forgiving Prabhas, but thanks to the weight of Rana and Nasser’s warnings and paranoia, she gets bogged down in her own fear and stubbornness and never rises above it.

    – I am just really fond of these two scenes, the wedding scene and night, all thirty seconds combined. Because we really don’t see that many scenes of Prabhas and Anushka actually alone, and it’s interesting how relaxed and happy they are in each other’s company. I was sold that despite everything that was happening, they at least found joy with each other.

    – Which is important, because this next scene transition was The Worst Ever for me. Admittedly I’m biased because I enjoyed watching Prabhas and Anushka interacting and happily would have signed on for three hours of nothing but that, but to me, at least, the sudden baby shower less than thirty seconds later was incredibly jarring. I just think they needed something to bridge over those six(?) months: not much, even just a montage. We could have seen Prabhas and Anushka training the troops together, happy and satisfied to serve Mahishmati (and thereby also replying to those who complain that Anushka is never shown fighting after she marries Prabhas despite the fact that she’s heavily pregnant? And remains impressibly active despite this.). Rana walks by, leers at Anushka/sneers at her for being unladylike enough to be fighting (which could set up his later remark that Prabhas is neglecting her, saying that if he weren’t, she wouldn’t have to go to the training field to spend time with him). Anushka glares at him, but Prabhas doesn’t notice, because he is looking sadly at Ramya walking by and pointedly ignoring him. And finally we get a silent little scene of Anushka cheering him up by revealing her pregnancy. It wouldn’t take that long, but for me at least, it would make that transition a whole lot smoother. Plus I’d like to see those scenes!

    – See, to me, Prabhas fathering a child when Rana apparently isn’t even married is actually a really dangerous thing for the throne. I talked last post about how Prabhas is getting a huge chunk of Mahishmati’s power under his control, plus the people love him, plus now he has got a heir where Rana doesn’t. Not to mention that if Rana died and left a son, it would basically be the original “who will be king” conflict all over again with the next generation – and though we know Prabhas would never act in the same way Nasser does, Ramya has convinced herself that she doesn’t really know or trust him. Politically and impersonally, being leery of Prabhas isn’t entirely unreasonable; as a mother, it’s pretty awful. I am horrified that Ramya manages to cling on to her anger for so long.

    – Ooh, and there’s the Kattappa scene, where they ask him to essentially be honorary grandfather and be the first to hold the baby (which he doesn’t! No one gives Anushka what that she asks for during the baby shower.) And he looks so overwhelmed, which is surprising given the warmth of his relationship with Prabhas in Kuntala. It’s almost as though now that they are back in Mahishmati, Kattappas ease in claiming Prabhas is gone until Anushka, princess of happy free Kuntala, brings it back.

    – I’m sorry but I’m still convinced that Anushka making her request in public was just plain stupid, and responsible in part for terrifying Ramya into even more irrational behavior. But I totally agree with you that (a) her point was valid and (b) with her personality, couldn’t have happened any other way. But I actually like it! I like that both Prabhas and Anushka, despite their many admirable qualities, also make errors and have to face the consequences thereof. It humanizes them which, in an epic movie, you badly need.

    – A final thing about the scene positioning: this is such an interesting reversal of the usual Ramya-Anushka dynamic : now Anushka is enthroned, Prabhas at her side before he wanders off to give Rana’s crony his knife, and Ramya who is seated below her; and fittingly, Anushka who gets to shout down at Ramya while Ramya just splutters in response. And I think it’s interesting too, that unlike in the first court scene, Anushka and Prabhas start this scene off apart from each other, but eventually both come halfway to be standing close to each other (despite the fact that Prabhas starts with an appalled, “Devasena!” but then falls silent and regardless comes back to her; and you could compare this with how when he leaves Ramya in the first court scene, he never does come back) while everyone else is in the background, even Ramya. (I think) To the point where we see Anushka storm off in the foreground, while Ramya’s exit is comparatively less obvious. In contrast to before, despite his continued love and respect for Ramya, Anushka is symbolically more important to him – and has to be, both as his wife and as the representation of his belief in Sharma over Ramya’s strict laws.

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    • -Is the sun comparison during that talky-talky point? Somehow I thought it was later, I thought there was a progression of “I hate him because the people love him” “let’s exile him” to “let’s kill him”. But I could be wrong. And I love your idea that they are saying Ramya will always find her true place and sense of justice if they leave her alone.

      -Yes, and despite everything that happened, neither of them ever had a moment of regret for their marriage. Or even considering that the marriage wouldn’t happen. You can see that they were both so sure in their choices, Prabhas giving up the throne, and Anushka tying herself to someone in this very unstable position.

      -I like this idea! But I also see several reasons that they wanted Anushka to be pregnant for basically her entire time in Mahishmati/as a wife. I’ll get into that in the next section.

      -Yes! Exactly! And there is also the whole kind of fragility and strength of a pregnant woman/man about to be a father. It’s not just that we know Anushka is pregnant, it’s seeing her move with her pregnant belly, know that any harm to her could affect the child, knowing that Prabhas would be extra protective of her. His enemies may be worried about the whole married-with-an-heir-on-the-way part of it, but from his side, there is the simple concern that his wife is pregnant, and now she is in chains. Or exiled and living in a tiny village. Or giving birth and demanding he save Kattappa. It’s a basic human thing, makes him even more susceptible to threats that come through Anushka. Also, I love the thought that Prabhas’ position parallels Nassar’s! That never occurred to me. And it explains some of Ramya’s disgust for him, if she is starting to see in him her husband, who she hates. And in Anushka, those parts of herself that she most hates.

      -Forgot about the Kattappa thing! Yes, that is so important. And one of those things that makes me wish they had addressed the Kattappa-slave thing like I did in my imaginary post. So much of the positioning of Anushka and Prabhas as righteous rulers has to do with their closeness with Kattappa and the way they treat him as a member of the family. Prabhas 2 does the same, calling him “grandfather” and following his advice on the battlefield, even more than his biological uncle. But then we never get the conclusion of all that.

      -Yeah, it was stupid. But its one of those stupid things that I can’t really see a better way to do it. I mean, the better way would have been to wait until they were alone together and bring it up then. But then it would have been the kind of plotting and dishonesty that Anushka despises, so she would have seen that as not just unnatural, but actually wrong.

      -Fascinating! I don’t remember any of that. Just that Anushka seemed to dominate the scene.

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      • (Or the other one, LOL. Whichever!)

        – I think it is here? I could be wrong, maybe I’m confusing it with just being the first of the many, many evil Nasser scenes.

        – Yes, exactly. And I think that’s why the romance dominates the first half to an extent that even, Prabhas 2 and Tamannah really don’t : because if you don’t buy into the romance in the second movie (as many comments here don’t), it’s fine, at worst you just assume they amicably parted ways later and it doesn’t ruin the overall story for you. With Prabhas and Anushka, the story literally doesn’t make sense if you don’t believe they loved each other enough to give up everything that they do for each other.

        – ooh, that sounds really interesting. I can’t wait to hear it! 😀

        – Skipping to Anushka’s outburst: Yes, exactly, it is stupid but also understandable. And I think it’s important that the only private discussion they have is interpersonal, worrying about Ramya and Prabhas’ relationship, instead of about the throne or anything else. Otherwise it would just turn into two sets of plotters trying to sway Ramya to their side, however benign our heroes might be.

        – it stuck out to me on a rewatch because it is sandwiched between the two court scenes and yet so different. More intimate, more on Anushka’s turf than the others, and arguably the only even semi-victory they get, in having Ramya exit instead of banish them.

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        • -Combining your first point with your 4th, thank goodness we never see Anushka and Prabhas talking! I am already bored of evil Nassar talking talking talking, I couldn’t take a whole other set of people talking too! I need more ACTION!

          -And not just loved each other, truly were meant for each other. Again, the Ram and Sita parallels. It’s not just about falling in love, it’s about a couple that perfectly fits together, so that to break them apart, or try to marry them to someone else, would be wrong in a whole different way.

          -I wonder if that is also because it is such a family moment? In court, Ramya can cling to her position as Queen Mother. But within the family, she has to know on some level that she is doing wrong.

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          • – Oh, god, I never felt as much in sympathy with Ramya as that part where Nasser interrupts Dandalayya to bleat on about how terrible Prabhas is and how scared he is, etc., and Ramya just gives the camera this amazing expression of being utterly fed up with him. I’m not sure it was intended that way, but it spoke to me nonetheless 😉

            – Yes, exactly, for the plot to work, you have to get that visceral feeling of wrongness even when Rana plans to marry Anushka, so that you’re relieved when she turns down the proposal, and even more so when Ramya brusquely tries to convince Prabhas to give her up – in the same way that Rana’s coronation is just wrong, or these scenes we’re covering feel unfair, or Prabhas 1’s death is devastating even though we’ve known it was coming for two years. I’m still amazed how well it manages all of that, for the most part without overdoing it so you feel emotionally manipulated! Rajamouli even manages to convince a modern-day audience that Prabhas 1 was indeed so wonderful and so beloved that of course his wife and kingdom would still stubbornly love him after 25 years.

            – You’re right, it is the family aspect that throws Ramya so much! And perhaps that’s another reason why her greeting to Anushka is so impersonal and cold, she’s trying to get the conversation back to the political where she feels less guilty and uneasy. It winds up being as awkward as the part on the wall scene where Prabhas has to interrupt that happy family scenario with Ramya’s message, until Subbaraju brings it back to an appropriately family setting (and I love how much he adores both Anushka and Prabhas! Obviously he has his big hug with Prabhas, but before that he has his sweet, “Of course a tigress is going to bear a baby tiger” line to Anusha. Like, there were a lot of ways they could have played it, but he winds up being Rana’s foil : another rejected suitor of Anushka who instead moves on with his life and develops a deep friendship with both of them like a mature adult.) before Rana just destroys any hopes of keeping the mood light.

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          • -No wonder Ramya’s head is turned, she lasted 26 years as Nassar’s wife, that would destroy anybody’s stability of mind.

            -Yes! In B1, it felt so lazy that everyone loves Prabhas just because he is Prabhas without any real reason. But then B2 gave us so many reasons, we would have waited 25 years for him too.

            -Did you notice in Dandaalaya there was also a moment when Subbaraju played the heir whose position Prabhas takes? Also like Rana, and also reacting in an opposite manner. Subbaraju is the one listening to complaints and giving judgements during the “boulder becomes a throne” moment in the song. Prabhas starts to give his own opinions and judgements, and Subbaraju just lets him go, because he is aware of Prabhas’ superiority and comfortable with it.

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        • The sun reference was during the talky-talky (I like how this sounds!) scene when Nasser says that the sun would never rise in the west and Rana says but it could set in the east? Your interpretation makes so much sense, Avani!
          It is also interesting as Rana’s tilak/bindi (mark on the forehead) is the rising sun. According to a website, this represents his single-minded focus on achieving what he wants. Like the sun that is considered stable, Rana’s mind is stable about his ultimate goal.

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    • Um, since this duplicated, is there any way you can delete this comment? I hate to bog the discussion down with boring redundancy:( Thanks!

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      • Yep, will do! And if you want to register an account, or just login with email, you won’t have to wait for me to wake up to approve stuff.

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  3. One little tidbit – At the baby shower,we have subburaju showing off the small knife given to him by prabhas earlier in the film.Nasser notices this and ramya’s reaction to their warm embrace .Later he uses these facts against them.

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    • Yes! And it is such a pure and innocent moment, which is the reason it can be used against him. Because the royals of Mahishmati don’t understand that kind of innocence and therefore distrust it.

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  4. LOVE your point about the way Prabhas1 has shifted his head from Ramya’s lap to Anushka’s. Shows their level of comfort with each other and true friendship as equals.

    – I think that there is a reason why Rana removes Prabhas1 as Commander-in-Chief of the army. In the talky-talky scene, he mentions that only Ramya has the power/authority to issue an order to kill him and this is because she is the head of the Royal Guards led by Kattapa. Prabhas1 on the other hand leads the entire army and asking someone from the army to kill him wouldn’t work. So, remove him as the head and make him just one among the folks and boom! Ramya can now issue the royal command to kill him for treason.

    – The scene when Subbaraju shows off Prabhas1’s knife is significant too as this is what Nasser’s uses in the plot to trap him (poor guy).

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    • -Oh thank you! I think this is a subtitle fail, I got that Ramya is the only one with authority, but didn’t understand exactly why that was. Beyond her just being Ramya. Being head of the royal guards makes sense.

      -I still think Subbaraju should have been the head of the rebels, and I almost wonder if that was in some earlier draft, or else that Anushka’s brother did more of the Subbaraju stuff in some earlier draft. Because the whole idea of him taking up Bahubali’s knife and then dedicating his life to saving Bahubali’s wife would have been perfect.

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      • -Only thing mentioned about Ramya’s authority is that she has to take part in the implementation of certain decisions like perhaps killing someone,unlike appointing someone which is exclusively Rana’s domain.She is not mentioned as the head of the royal guards but the idea does make sense.

        • Ramya seems to have a unique authority over Kattappa which is never fully explained that I remember. It could be that she is head of the royal guards, that would work. Or maybe it is something about Kattappa swearing allegiance to the head of the family, not the family as a whole? So his loyalty was to Ramya, but when she died she passed it on to Prabhas 2, not Rana. Or maybe that’s it, it is something that is verbally passed on person to person? So the old king, Prabhas -1 might have “given” Kattappa to Ramya on his death, and then Ramya gave him to Prabhas 2.

          On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 7:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • So my understanding of this situation is that Kattappa does give his loyalty to one person in the royal family at a time, but that this is more a coping mechanism on his part than anything intentional. Because although Kattappa is awesome for his loyalty, I think we can all agree that his slavery is nonetheless dehumanizing and awful and a terrible thing, to complete supersede his judgment and desires for those of someone else for no reason other than that they are part of the royal family. This is not like Prabhas pledging himself to Anushka, where it is voluntary and spontaneous and romantic; this is forced on Kattappa by his long-dead ancestors without him having any say in it. And I suspect that Kattappa’s way of dealing with this is by choosing a single member of the royal family who he does respect and whose judgment/orders he obeys above all else, so that for his psyche, he can have some amount of control in the whole thing. And as long as Ramya is alive, it is her, and that is why he feels comfortable insulting Nasser and Rana at the beginning of the second movie in a way he doesn’t throughout the first movie. Ramya loses his respect, and that is why Kattappa moves on to find the next member of the royal family to whom he can be loyal (right now his options are the baby, Devasena, Rana, and Nasser. Personally I don’t know why he doesn’t go with Devasena, but whatever, Kattappa):, and he chooses Prabhas 2. But once Ramya dies, and Prabhas 2, supposedly, also drowns, he runs out of choices of royal family members to be loyal to and is therefore stuck with Rana.

            What I really thought was interesting was that even Prabhas 1 doesn’t supersede the loyalty Kattappa has to Ramya. In the present day scenes, Kattappa always refers to Prabhas 1 with respectful pronouns (third and second person), but in the flashback, we see that after Prabhas gives him his one order ever (to please feed, him, uncle), Kattappa always uses familiar pronouns with him until his death. (I honestly wonder what would have happened if Prabhas 1 had survived to be king. I honestly don’t imagine that his dynamic would be the same as Kattappa’s with Ramya. I wouldn’t be surprised if for the first few years, it was similar to Rana’s at this point, where Kattappa is proud of Prabhas for becoming king, but his personal loyalty is saved for Ramya alone.) I suspect, to Kattappa, he was secretly always the son he never had instead of a member of the royal family and therefore an option for Kattappa to offer his loyalty — and this tragically is why Kattappa is able to kill him. He shouldn’t have been able to kill Prabhas, or even Rana arguably, if he thought of them as part of the family to whom he owed allegiance. It would have even made sense for Kattappa in the case to split his loyalties, at least tell Prabhas what was happening and give him a chance to sort it out with Ramya. But Prabhas is Kattappa’s own, and on a sad, self-loathing level, he probably figured that slaves weren’t supposed to have attachments and loved ones or even possessions of their own; of course fate would force him to destroy his foster son, the one thing he had been selfish enough to claim for himself. To put it more succinctly: Kattappa could never have killed someone he was loyal to, as he should have thought of Prabhas, prince of Mahishmati. But Kattappa could have only – and does- kill someone he loved, while thinking of it as some quasi-Biblical sacrifice by the father of his son in the name of duty.

            ….I’m not sure if that necessarily made sense, but I just made myself very sad.

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          • That completely made sense to me. To justify his service, Kattappa has to think of himself as “less than” the royal family, like they are a different breed than he. And therefore, once Prabhas allowed himself to be close to Kattappa, Kattappa subconsciously began to think of him as “less than” as well, with the other royals as “above”. I think he had the same division between how he thought of Ramya versus Nassar. But Ramya and Rana were definitely “above” him. Notice that even when he makes fun of Nassar, he doesn’t of Rana. And in the present day, he and Rana still have that division, just like he and Ramya did, but not like he had with Prabhas 1.

            I suppose you could say that this is his real breaking of his chains, choosing to serve Prabhas 2, someone who loves him and calls him “grandfather”.

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          • I have this love/hate relationship with Katappa and on the days its more hate than love, I think of Dobby from Harry Potter and it all makes sense. It definitely takes a certain kind of human to be who he is. In the book, he has a younger brother and although they are both brought up with the same ideas of having to serve the royal family for as long as they live with no wants and desires and free thoughts of their owm, etc etc, his brother rebels against it and moves on with his life. Go figure. Katappa on the other hand grows up being the ‘guard dog’ to Nasser before Ramya comes into the picture.

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          • Interesting. So it’s not just “my ancestors vow”. Kattappa is the kind of person who wants to be dominated, he wants to give up control to someone else. In that case, you could say that the ending is “happy” for him, he is able to continue to avoid making his own decisions, but with someone he respects.

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          • I suppose so, yes. Prabhas2 gave Katappa a sock!😀
            Also I don’t know if him being the older brother played a part (more responsibility to keep up the family name/tradition etc etc)

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  5. I just came back after I saw Baahubali 2 for a second time and I really enjoyed it again! If everything works out, I’ll be going a third time next weekend 🙂

    One thing that I realized was that Prabhas hands over a ring to the Sethupathy person after Rana demotes him. That ring is basically the symbol of the Commander-in-Chief. In the next scene at the temple, Anushka cuts off that guys fingers. I don’t remember whether he has that ring on or not but it would have been cool if he did.

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    • I really love that idea! I don’t remember a focus on the ring in that scene, but assuming he wore it on his right hand, that would indeed be the one whose fingers were cut off! (Also I love the idea of Anushka, spirit of righteousness, symbolically relieving him of his position because as a man who used to prey on innocents, he didn’t deserve it. And practically he would have lost the job anyway; he doesn’t seem like the sort with the dedication to learn to fight with only one hand.)

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  6. Both comments are now up, but they are so nice I posted them twice! By the way, I noticed that your comments always end up in “pending” until I approve them. If you register an account, than the system will remember your email and always auto-approve. Or if you don’t want to do that, just wait until I see the comments are there, and I will approve them.

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  7. As much as I like your comment about wanting Subbaraju as the rebel leader, I kind of see why it was the brother instead. After watching Baahubali1 again and relating it to the character development of the brother in Baahubali2, its evident that he wasn’t someone with a lot of military experience or used to the realities and harshness of battle. And so, when he decided to take over the role of leader (which to me seems more out of a sense of responsibility as he was the king and love/familial duty as he was Anushka’s brother as opposed to being given the role because he was capable of it) the only way he saw to make it work was to become the opposite of what he was in Kunthala. So he goes from being warm, happy and laid-back to this hard, emotionless person who forbids everyone else from exhibiting any warm emotions as well. Its as if the film-makers wanted to show the sheer hopelessness and helplessness that befell Kunthala in every way (not just because it was burnt down etc).

    Subbaraju on the other hand, is a much stronger personality. His dormant strength (physical and mental) was awakened by Prabhas1. I think that the whole comment about killing the tiger/leopard made Nasser realise that he could be a threat, also considering his relationship with Prabhas1. This is probably another reason why he was targeted specifically (apart from having Prabhas1’s knife). If he had led the rebels, he would have been a natural leader and Anushka would have been released much earlier (notwithstanding her stubborness to not leave without killing Rana).

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    • Interesting point! I could also see the brother/king feel a sense of guilt. Like his laidback and happy kingdom, and his laidback and relaxed ruling style, were too easy to conquer. So now he is over-correcting, no more beauty or joy, that is a weakness, it all has to be hard and steadfast.

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    • I also wanted Subbaraju to be the rebel leader, at first because I didn’t remember what the guy looked like and mistook him for Subbaraju, but then because he was such a likable guy and I hated that he died in such a sad, useless way! But in a way, too, it makes a sad sense: Rana and Nasser were out to destroy everything that Prabhas 1 had created, down to his little kingdom, his inventions*, his wife and son, and even the random guy who he had changed for the better, just by being his friend.

      *At least I assume, given that no one in Mahishmati seems to be using them anymore. Except you will not be able to convince me that the hay-bale-on-fire trick that they use at the gate when Prabhas 2 is escaping with Anushka wasn’t the brainchild of Prabhas 1 : it just has that quirky, lateral thinking feel to it that I can’t see say, Kattappa inventing.

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      • I would agree, except that it didn’t work AT ALL!!! That’s one of my problems with B1, the haybale on fire is so clever looking, but completely ineffective! You can just ride over them! So maybe it was one of Prabhas 1’s designs that he scribbled down on palace notepaper, then realized it wouldn’t work and threw it away, and one of Rana’s stupid officers found it later and passed the idea off as his own.

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        • I wonder if it might have worked on others but just not on Prabhas2 cos he’s just so cool and awesome and he is afterall, Prabhas1’s son?🤔😏

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          • True! Just like all those arrows that keep getting shot at him and have no effect. (Why people keep wasting arrows on both Prabhases, I don’t understand. It doesn’t do anything! Stop trying! )

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          • Hahhahaha! Although to be honest, I kind of like the symbolism in it. Prabhas1 is such a raw, passionate and impulsive character – he feels EVERYTHING and he feels them in extremes. And he expresses them freely. When he sees a problem he just has to solve it and there is no greater thought to the hows and whys and stuff. So in effect, its as if all the arrows and blows to his head (so, so many times!!!) and whatnot represent the outside world of which he has no view of.

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          • (I thought I’d clicked enter but it was reply😑)

            He just keeps moving no matter what till he’s done what he’s set out to do.

            – I like the comment about Katappa not having thought of the burning bales of hay idea. Its interesting that at the time of the final battle between Prabhas2 and Rana, Katappa defers to Prabhas2 to do all the thinking (‘think like your father’). And I thought the whole ‘flying off the palm tree wrapped in shields’ technique was so cool because it showed Prabhas1’s character – it wasn’t as pretty an idea as his dad would have thought up (some of the soldiers got smashed to smithereens!) but it also got the job done.

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          • I do enjoy the way he keeps kind of flicking off and cutting away arrows like “what is this irritating thing sticking out off me? Get it off!”

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        • *laughs* That’s true, maybe it was one of his inventions when he was like, 14 or something, because even Prabhas 1 needed to have a bit of a learning curve, yeah? But I find the idea of it being a rejected idea that one of Rana’s flunkies finds even more hilarious.

          …That said, it does seem to stop everyone except Prabhas 2/everyone not crazy and/or flame-retardant enough to literally set their chariot on fire by not stopping?

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  8. Hi Margaret, something weird is going on in the comments. A few days ago, there were a couple of comments listed by you in the “latest comments” section, but when I clicked on them and wen to the post, there was nothing there.

    This morning I posted a comment on the Mother’s Day post, and it appeared there a little while later, but now it’s disappeared. If you removed it for some reason, that’s OK, but otherwise, you might want to look into it (it may have gone into spam, as it had three links, and I think WordPress limits the number of links allowed). There’s also another comment listed as by you, but once again, when I click and go to the post (Mother’s Day one) there’s no comment.

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    • I remember the one from this morning, it was approved automatically.

      I noticed something odd too, but I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it or not. there were a few comments i pulled out of spam today which I had thought had already been posted.

      Thanks for the heads up!

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  9. Pingback: Bahubali Posts Index – dontcallitbollywood

  10. “And Prabhas, the actor not the character, is a very very tall man. It would be hard to get him in the same frame comfortably, unless he is sort of lounging and lying down.”

    Actually, Prabhas is 6’2″ and Anushka is 5’10”-5’11” in real life. Prabhas has openly stated that he prefers female co-stars that are closer in height to him. In the Kuntala fight scene, you see how closely matched they are in height. Anushka’s weight also was on the higher side so she doesn’t look tiny standing next to his enlarged frame.

    Ramya is 5’4″ and they’re never show standing side by side in the film. Almost all major actors in the film are tall.

    The wedding night scene, for me, ties back to the one in Saahore. And of course, Amarendra and Devasena ARE talking about his mother!! LOL

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  11. “but he is still very much a member of the Mahishmati royal family with all the benefits that come with that”

    He’s the royal born general of the army married to presumably the heir to the throne of Kuntala (we dont see Kuntala RF’s kids anywhere) After being relieved of his role as general, he still enjoys the same lifestyle as before. Only after banishment as punishment for taking the life of the General in court is he required to give up his lifestyle. He could have retained the lifestyle at Kuntala (Devasena could have had the baby at her maternal home) but he chooses to be a servant of Mahishmati.

    “At her baby shower, surrounded by gold, Ramya comes in, ignores Prabhas’ greeting of “mother”, and blesses Anushka in a very token manner, identifying her as “carrying Mahishmati’s heir”, not as anything at all in her own right. She is seeing Anushka primarily as related to her position to the royal family, and as the primary threat because of that position.”

    Sivagami here is acknowledging her own potential successor here. Remember that the Queen Mother has a powerful position in Mahishmati law. Even if Bhallala has male children, it would still be up to Sivagami as Queen Mother to choose which of the two cousin’s children get the throne once the position becomes available at which point the mother of the chosen child would become Queen Mother. She herself was the wife of the non-crowned Prince who gets the title of Queen Mother simply because she is the natural mother of one heir presumptive and the adoptive mother/aunt of another and there’s no other contender for her title.

    For Sivagami, Devasena is the Queen Mother-in-waiting and she doesn’t disrespect that. Both Sivagami and Bajjala stay at the ceremony. Sivagami is definitely hurt and confused by Bhallala’s decision to relieve Amarendra of his rank.

    It is at this point that Devasena starts using some really disrespectful words for Sivagami. Bajjala reminds her that such appointments are the prerogative of the King. Devasena is totally ignorant of the law and that’s her fault not Sivagami’s. Devasena continues to disregard that fact and continues to lash out at a clearly distraught Sivagami. She doesn’t address or look at Bhallala who gave this order and just continues to blame/shout at Sivagami whose hands are tied by the technicality.

    The misplaced anger shows how tactless/immature/quick to anger/ignorant/impatient Devasena really is. She just needed to have waited till the next battle to have everyone in power realise the true value of Amarendra. Amarendra seems sure of himself when he hands his General’s ring and dagger to Sethupathy. Devasena shows that she doesn’t really understand/trust her husband as deeply as she should. Amarendra is happy to serve in any position. Devasena would have nothing less than wife-of-king for herself.

    Sivagami’s earlier assessment of her as an arrogant brat is shown to be absolutely correct here.

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    • In one of the comments on one of my many many posts, we went back and forth on the issue of Kuntala’s heir. What I landed on, without any real textual evidence, was that Devasena was the crown princess, but after her marriage, her cousin became crown prince. And that the workers’ village was on the border between the countries. During the “Dandalayyaa” song, you see Devasena’s cousin there, clearly giving judgements to the villagers, as though it is his right. And he is seated with the royal family of Kuntala during the coronation.

      I also assumed, just because of how everything played out in the film not because of any clear statement, that upon her marriage Devasena had to give up all her Kuntala rights and identities. Which is fairly standard for royalty. And it would explain why they lived as commoners after banishment, because the only rank they had left was in Mahishmati. Her cousin is there to provide support as a family member, but does not offer them a place in the royal palace.

      Which goes back to your earlier point about the foolishness of the Kuntala royal family in defying Mahishmati. This time, they are wiser, and choose not to get involved in an official capacity, but rather just to provide the loving support of a family member.

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      • Kumar Verma is Kuntala Queen’s brother. She says so in the scene where Devasena is trying to shoot two arrows. He probably grew up in Kuntala. In Hindu kingdoms, it was a common practise (for reals) to have royal siblings sent with a royal bride if the child accompanying the bride was lower down the line of succession and wasn’t needed at home. If he was just visiting, we only see him, in movie time, for around a year’s time. From his intro during Amarendra’s travels to his throat being slit is a duration of around 10-12 months max.

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        • Does Devasena refer to him as her “cousin” at some point? I saw the Tamil and Telugu versions, where I am less up on the relationship vocabulary, but I thought I saw that in the subtitles.

          Which made me think perhaps the Kuntala Queen was a member of the royal family by blood as well as marriage, that it was a cousin marriage. In which case Kumar Verma would be both the brother-in-law of the family, and the next in line of succession once Devasena was removed.

          On Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 9:39 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

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          • In the Hindi version, we didn’t have that. Marrying within the gotra (blood relations) gets people killed even today in the more conservative belt up north. Maybe they didn’t put that in the Hindi version for that reason.

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          • That makes sense. It was a big adjustment for me when I started watching southern films, where cousin marriage is expected and encouraged.

            On the other hand, in another comment discussion, there was talk about the possibility of Rana marrying his brother’s widow, Devasena. Apparently that is shocking and forbidden in the south, but (as we all know from Silsila) it is normal and expected in the north.

            Social norms are so interesting!

            On Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 10:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

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          • Curious enough about Bhallala and Devasena, as I’ve mentioned before that I see her as part of the set of antagonists now, I feel, in an alternate movie universe, she would have made the perfect wife for him!

            She’s a woman with a mouth. Someone as manipulative as Bhallala could easily use her to say all the things he cannot without causing a hellava strife for himself personally. And Bhallala would obey her command more easily too. If she tells Bhallala (when he is appointed general) “You should be king. You won the war!”, chances of him obeying her, and the a portion of the public genuinely following her would be very high! Civil war with the public equally divided between Bhallala and Devasena and the beloved but voiceless Amarendra and a Sivagami accused of favouritism.

            Yes, I realise how insane I’m beginning to sound.

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          • I could be off base here, but this is reminding me a little of Draupadi and Bhima? The physically strongest, but the most easily lead of the Pandavas, the one who would be most likely to obey her orders. Unlike Bahubali, who (if Devasena is Draupadi), reacted more like Arjun/Yudhishtra, taking her concerns seriously but not acting immediately.

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