Bahubali 2 Scene By Scene Part 15: Mahishmati “Justice” and “Dandaalayya”

I continue my crawl through the judgement/banishment scene!  I truly did not realize how deep this section went while I was watching it, it’s only while writing this report that I realized how many moving parts there were.  Essentially Part 13 was the personal layer, Part 14 was the massive internal issues going on with Prabhas and what this said about him (and his son).  And now Part 15 is where I can get into the general question of what this scene says about Mahishmati, and a little bit into the banishment period.

This time, the summary is skipping everything before intermission!  Prabhas and Anushka are married, Anushka is pregnant.  Prabhas’ brother Rana is king, his mother is still Queen Mother/Chief Advisor.  But there are stresses between them all, because Anushka is carrying the presumptive heir, and the people still want Prabhas to be king. Anushka chopped off the fingers of the head of the army because he was molesting women at a temple.  Ramya and Rana had her chained and brought into the throne room for judgement.  Prabhas, furious at this insult, arrives and takes over the trial, insisting that Anushka be allowed to say her side of it, and then issuing his judgement, that the proper punishment is not for the fingers to be chopped off, but his head!  And Prabhas slices through the neck and the head goes rolling away.

 

Now, in this section, I want to talk about the snappy way both Prabhas and Anushka confront “Mahishmati Justice”.  Anushka starts it, complaining about wearing chains, asking why she is on trial, being generally difficult.  Prabhas goes even farther, ignoring the Mahishmati style entirely and just creating and executing his own.  And then it ends with a complete rejection of the entire system of government.

What I find most interesting is that we, the viewers, are for the first time getting a close up look at that “system”.  Anushka is in chains, not just because Ramya and Rana find her threatening, but because the system allows for it.  As the accused, she is automatically put into chains until proven innocent.  And the “victim”, whoever it is, is allowed to present his version of the situation before judgement, the victim is not allowed to talk.  And then Ramya issues her judgement, after consulting the prime minister and his stack of old books of laws.

Look at the set design of this situation.  Not the set design that Rajamouli set up, but the set design that Ramya, the character, has arranged for her trials.  Or who knows, maybe it even predates her, maybe this is an ancient tradition.  To the left is the victim, with the prime minister and the shelves of books to the left of him.  To the right is the victim, in chains, with the guards holding them to the right of her.  Ramya is on a throne, seated, far above them both, and slightly off center, to the left, towards the law books.  And in the center, even farther above, is the king, observing it all.

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(See what I mean about triangles?  This doesn’t show the greater triangles I mean, but it shows how the room was designed to reflect triangles)

There is a message in this arrangement, before anyone even speaks.  Ramya is literally on the side of law.  And, also literally, the law is on the side of the victim.  The accused is set away from them both, on the side of punishment, cut off from the law.  And the king himself is above it all, letting judgement come from Ramya, from the old texts, with himself uninvolved.

There are 3 separate triangles of power here.  Ramya, victim, accused.  And enclosing that triangle, law books, Rana, guards with chains.  This is the system that Anushka objects to.  It appears to be balanced, if you look at the smaller triangle.  Two equals being judged by someone seated between them (okay, Ramya is slightly more on the side of the victim, but not much).  But you have to look at the bigger triangle.  Anushka is enclosed by force on one side, law on the other, and Rana/the king above it all.  And nowhere is there justice, is there humanity.

That is the triangle that Prabhas breaks.  He turns it from a triangle to a line.  Anushka/Accused on one side, Bully Boy/Victim on the other, and judge in the center.  There is no space in this triangle for the guard on one side or the law books on the other.  Or, most importantly, either Rana on his thrown far above or Ramya on hers slightly closer.  Prabhas isn’t just issuing a judgement on this decision, he is issuing a judgement on the whole system, breaking the pattern that has kept the kingdom stable for years.

But it is a BAD system!  Once you look at the larger triangle, that becomes apparent.  The king should not be so far removed from the people, literally removed.  And the law books and the guard on the other side should not be the other parts of the triangle, should not be there at all.  Royal justice does not involve books, and should not require an additional show of force.

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(By the way, there is a move afoot in America to re-incite the “War on Drugs” laws, which removed the ability of judges to use their own judgement in handing down punishments, and made the laws be applied without mercy or logic just because they are laws.  You can sign a petition against it here)

I’m going to assume that Mahishmati has lower courts somewhere in the city, let the law books and guards be there.  But in the royal court, the responsibility should rest with the royals, not with the chains and the books.  That is their duty, to find the true justice, and then to enforce it.  If they have come to rely on outside forces to do so, then the system is already broken.

And it is this whole system that Prabhas puts on trial and judges when he makes his alternative judgement.  He shows how a true king, a true ruler, would dispense justice.  Not by consulting old books or ordering others to follow his commands, but by looking within himself and performing his own actions.

Ramya herself, this is how she started.  In fact, now that I think of it, Prabhas’ entry in this scene is startingly similar to Ramya’s then.  A low angle slow motion stride into the room as everything is about to go wrong.  And, like Prabhas, Ramya issued her own decry, and enforced it herself (slicing the noble who tried to grab her).  She had no need to consult law books then, in fact if she had they might have disagreed with her decision.  It is only in years since that she has come to rely on them, and to rely on the guards at her beck and call, to become used to ruling through passively obeying the system instead of guiding it.

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And that’s why this is the moment when Prabhas could have taken a step further and taken everything.  And perhaps he would have, if it had been an empty throne.  Ramya made her move, and followed it by walking to the empty throne and taking it.  And she has kept that place for 25 years, finding her power in that security.  But Prabhas would have had to follow his by walking up that looooooong step and taking pushing Rana out.  It’s a different level of action.  And I can see why he resisted it.  But perhaps this was the moment when he should have acted.

Instead, he broke the smaller triangle of power (Ramya, accused, victim), but bowed to the larger one.  He allowed Ramya to call on the law, which mean bringing out a tiny little leaf book which declared that a member of the royal family going against royal decree would be banished.  And he allowed the guards to follow them and walk them out of the palace.  And he allowed Rana to sit far above and watch all this happen.

The last time I watched it, my friends and I suddenly started snickering at the way they pulled out this law book.  Like, “oh yes, of course we have a law already on the books for this particular situation!”  But it’s supposed to be funny.  Or at least, odd.  Prabhas has just had this viral simple gesture of justice, and then we have this doddering old man with his long white beard pulling out his old piece of paper and reading it off.  The Mahishmati law books are this detailed, because it is their way of minimizing that virality, that possibility of change.  Ramya tried to fight against it, but she was worn down by the system, and like everyone else, she clings to these old books for protection.

It’s also funny because this old book is declaring that Prabhas and Anushka should be banished, and this silent man on the throne far away, and this old woman asking this even older to read out from the book, are the only ones to support it.  And Prabhas and Anushka are so strong, that they could upend all those books, throw away that old woman, and the only one who might be able to stop them is the silent man on the throne, far away.  Remember that moment in B1 when Prabhas 2 shrugs out of his armor like he is shaking himself free, and uses it to swing around and hit a guard coming towards him.  That’s what you are waiting for from them here, Anushka and Prabhas 1 to shake off these trappings of civilization and fight back.

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(did not realize that Prabhas 2’s promotional hashtag is #TheUnrestrained.  But that’s exactly what I am talking about!  Prabhas 2 would never have put up with crazy old law books telling him what to do)

But, they don’t.  I’ll have to watch it again to see if I am remembering correctly, but what I remember is that they don’t even seem angry, or unhappy.  They simply turn and leave.  And then I do remember when they get out to the steps.  The crowds have gathered to watch and protest, but Anushka and Prabhas don’t seem like they want to protest particularly.  Prabhas takes off his jewelry and drops it on a tray, like he is taking off a coat or a hat, something he doesn’t need any more and might as well leave behind.  If I am remembering correctly, he and Anushka are almost smiling as they descend the steps.  And when the crowd stops protesting, when one of the men in front declares “why should we be sad?  He is coming to live with us where we can see him all the time!” the mood seems to change, and suddenly Prabhas and Anushka and all the people are on the same page.

One small note, do you recognize the peasant woman with a speaking role who calls out “why?” or “say it isn’t true” or something?  She is the only speaking role peasant woman!  This poor lady, captured by the Kalakayas, then almost stampeded by an elephant at Ramya’s procession, then leading the chants at the coronation as Prabhas fails to be crowned, then getting felt up by the bully boy at the temple, and now once again trapped in a crowd.  At least she also gets to be there when Prabhas 2 shows up and take part in the final battle!  I hope the intermediate 25 years of her life were less exciting. (I do understand the practical reason for this, just hiring one speaking role extra and giving her all the lines in all the crowd scenes, but it is odd to think about the coincidence of this same woman appearing in every significant moment of the story)

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(This women.  Such an eventful life!  and always something to say about it)

And then “Dandaalayya” starts!  A lot of people have mentioned in the comments that this seems like the happiest time in Anushka and Prabhas’ life.  But while that is what we see from their characters, all the other cues in the film are sad.  The song is slow and mournful, the lighting is aggressively dark.  They may be happy, but it is a happiness in the middle of disaster, doom is coming, is already here but they don’t see it.

Beyond the mood of the song, there are several fascinating moments to consider within it.  Firstly, remember how I was talking about Anushka being so aggressively visibly pregnant for this section of the film in order to remind us of her power (carrier of the future of Mahishmati) and her weakness (physically less able to defend herself)?  There is another purpose to it, which becomes clearer in this section.  Anushka’s pregnant belly is a reminder that Prabhas 2 is here as well.  Later in the film, Kattappa will tell Prabhas 2 that he grew in the light of Prabhas 1’s intelligence.  Starting with the baby shower scene, we can picture a little -Prabhas as a part of it.  Or at least starting with that throne room scene.  Little fetus Prabhas 2 sensing his father’s fury at his mother in chains, and the clarity of his justice in slicing off the head of the man who glories in it, who has disrespected her.  And seeing his father break those chains and toss them aside, in the same way he will do 25 years from now.

And in “Dandaalayya” it was reminded over and over that Prabhas 2 is on the way, is there and involved.  Anushka’s belly gets larger and larger, and a running theme is Prabhas 1 putting his hands on it, trying to feel the kick.  Maybe it’s wishful thinking, because it is too sad to think of Prabhas 1 never interacting with Prabhas 2 in any way, but it also feels like a reasonable interpretation, that Prabhas 2 on some level learned everything he needed to know about being a ruler, being a Kshatriya, and just being a good man, from what he sensed through his father’s hands.

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53 thoughts on “Bahubali 2 Scene By Scene Part 15: Mahishmati “Justice” and “Dandaalayya”

  1. Just a couple of points.

    1. Since I just rewatched BB1, I can tell you that when Ramya takes over power as the Regent, she specifically does NOT sit on the throne. In fact, one of the nobles or ministers asks her to sit on the throne, which has been empty too long already, after the death of Prabhas 0. She refuses, saying that throne is for the king of Mahishmati, not her, and, when these two babies grow up, whichever is more qualified will occupy it. So she never does sit on the official Mahishmati throne.

    2. When the Dandalayya song starts, Amarendra is a little sad or stunned or whatever. But, then he hears the guy in the crowd say, “Why are we all sad? Our god is coming to live with us, so we should celebrate!” That’s when he breaks off his jewelry and drops into the receptacle, like he now realizes what his destiny/path will be from now on, and he’s committing to that path.

    I, too, noticed the speaking extra woman. Did you notice that she was also attending on Devasena in her labor, and she was at the forefront of the crowd who comes to ask what happened to Amarendra after he’s been killed? I had a nagging doubt that she might even have been the extra woman whose husband got smeared with dung in part 1, and her jewelry yanked off by the soldier (to make the golden statue). But it turns out she wasn’t. So at least there’s one significant event that she didn’t take part in. She actually inspired me to write my own story of Mahishmati, from the “Common person’s point of view”. I worked it all out a few days ago, but am not sure I will bother to write it down. 🙂 The only thing that bothers me is that, in all these 25 years, she hasn’t aged.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe, just like Prabhas 2 looks just like Prabhas 1, speaking role peasant woman also had a child who looked exactly like her, and therefore 25 years after the events of Prabhas 1’s life, her daughter looks identical and the same age as her mother.

      On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 2:58 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I like #ExtraMidwife ! And if you really want to earn your “dork” credentials, you can see if you can track down the real name of this poor woman.

        On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 4:14 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Ha! Prolly not as IMDB didn’t list so many of the ancillary characters. But, I just happen to have an eye for continuity errors and caught many of the extras in B1 re-appear in that last Sivagami scene where she raises the new king – Mahendra.

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  2. Nowhere does the movie say that mahishmati dint allow the accused to defend themselves.So i think this angle is speculation .Prabhas kind of hijacks the only trial we get to see in the film.

    Also the local trial we see ,while prabhas is on his trip to the countryside,is different from this in the sense that the viewers dont know who the accused or the victim is.It just shows a person randomly accused …confessing everything.

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    • What I got from the random trial was the idea of confession and remorse. That maybe Prabhas wasn’t used to thinking of that as an essential element of guilt/punishment. The few moments of conflict we see in Mahishmati, there seems to be more resistance to admitting a wrong-doing and moving past it.

      On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 4:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. – I love the point about the triangles in the courtroom set up – and you’re right, this is the first time we really see it fully. In the scene where Ramya takes over, it’s very her side vs. Martand’s side; and actually, in the court scene where Anushka enters Mahishmati, it’s the same thing, except it ends up being Ramya’s side vs. Anushka’s side. Either way, it’s always Ramya standing slightly above her opponent, refusing to compromise, refusing to accept anything but their surrender (I.e Ramya’s take on more personal insults/threats to her power) – and now we see Mahishmati’s legal system, which is more triangle based, but again serves to alienate the accused. So Prabhas’ set up, of accuser/judge/accused all on the same level, judge standing between them is a huge shift as to how things would work under his rule.

    – Ooh, y’all are definitely right – Prabhas’ walk is straight up an homage to Ramya’s walk in the first movie. Though, I dunno, the more I think about and discuss it here, I don’t think he could have brought himself to take the throne – especially because thematically, him on the throne or as future king as not him at his greatest/the height of his potential (more on that later).

    – I love random peasant lady! (And the old woman in that same still, who feeds Prabhas during Dandalayya, and I think appears in one other generic crowd scene? And the dude next to her, the guy who Prabhas 2 helps up years later, who hasn’t aged at all except to go gray). But I kind of also love the continuity, and to me it echoes how to Rana, the population of Mahishmati is just the random mass of citizens that he doesn’t care about individually, while Prabhas would probably know all of these people by name and face and life history.

    – To me, as they’re walking out of the court and you get that long shot, they both look…not unhappy, but a little scared? They’ve got their arms around each other for comfort, and Subbaraju is walking a little behind them – they’re not larger than life to me here, or references to mythological figures, they’re a couple with a baby on the way who has nothing in the world except the clothes on their back (though Prabhas gets his horse head sword at some point, somehow. Not sure how.), and they’re understandably nervous. But neither of them is blaming each other, and they instinctively turn to each other for support. It’s only when they go outside, see the crowds, that they fall into the Ram/Sita/Lakshman grouping and look much more confident? And part of this is heightened for me by the first few lines of the song (fun fact, they talk about the setting sun leaving, to tie it back together with the previous trapped-from-rising sun discussing we heard about Ramya), which are the only ones to me that are melancholy and sad and take place before they walk out and see the people.

    – Because the rest of Dandalayya sounds so triumphant to me! *laughs* Yes, I know this is mostly because I champion the this-was-the-happiest-time-of-their-lives theory, but the instrumental part (except for the Mamatalla Talli reprise) sounds majestic and royal to me, and fittingly, to me this is Prabhas 1 at his best, at his cleverest, making people’s life better directly. Going back to our discussion int he first few posts, I don’t think he could have ever lived like this, done all the good that he does here as the formal crowned king, especially if Ramya was still around. Even though we know Prabhas is very involved with the common people as a prince, he clearly had no idea about the difficulty of the rock workers and the lack of easily accessible water before, which means the palace apparently either didn’t know or doesn’t care. He would have been remote from them, and they would have loved him as a hero and a benevolent ruler, but I don’t know if he would have earned the sheer worship that he does from them even 25 years later, to the point where they call him their god and in the scene where Prabhas 2 saves them, honestly seem to believe that he’s returned as a spirit to protect them. (My little anti-monarchist heart grows three sizes at the “who was the true king” twist, as emphasized by the statue scene in the first movie.)

    But at the same time, I concede that the lighting is much drabber, and even the majestic/impressive music constantly gets interrupted by the royal court – where we switch to Ramya to hear Mamatalla Talli, where Rana is spying on Prabhas, where Nasser comes in to deliver his nth “Prabhas is evil” monologue- to reinforce pretty much exactly what you said, that no matter how wonderful and happy Prabhas and Anushka are, they can’t escape their doom.

    (Are we doing Dandalayya in the next post, too? If not, I’ll add my other thinky thoughts later, but otherwise I’ll save it for next post.)

    – But since you brought up Prabhas trying to feel the baby kicking: yes, exactly, I love your point that it’s tying him and his son together. Someone in the one of the other posts brought up the myth of Abhimanyu (another son who never really gets to grow up with his dad) learning fighting skills from his father Arjuna in utero, and I think that is 100% what they are going for there. (The coconut tree catapults! As ridiculous as it is later on, this is where it comes from!). Except that was where I realized that they weren’t going to let Prabhas 1 see his son, not even for a minute before he dies, which going in, I had hoped so desperately could have happened. And then we get to the final baby-kicking part, where he finally gets to feel it and looks so young and happy before he grabs the pipe and plays it, and I start ugly-sobbing because he’s not a warrior in the scene, or a brilliant inventor, or a quasi-king, just this nice young man who loves his wife and is excited for his baby and only wants to live quietly with them- except he is never going to get that chance.

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    • -I just suddenly remembered where else I saw the triangle system, and what this reminds me of. It’s in Mughal-E-Azam a little. In fact, this entire film could be seen as a companion to Mughal-E-Azam. Both films have a strong woman inspiring a prince to revolt. But in M-E-A, the difference is that Dharma is definitely on the side of Akbar, he is a good ruler who takes the long view. And Dilip Kumar revolts because of his heart, not because of a higher concern. But “Pyar Kya To Darna Kya” song structure is the same, Madhubala this smaller figure on the ground, with two thrones raised above her, creating a triangle. And of course the chain imagery is there like bonkers.

      -I don’t know if he could have taken the throne either. And that is definitely part of the strength of using the triangle set-up for this scene. Something about how the earlier scene was shot, although I know it was the same set, Ramya and Nassar seemed closer to Anushka and Prabhas. It created a visual impression of the throne being right here, within his grasp, and him rejecting it. But in this scene, it feels so much farther away, because of everything that has happened to all of these characters. It’s no longer a quick bound up the stairs, it’s over to the right and many steps away.

      -Excellent point about the peasants having a deeper meaning! And thanks for identifying Random Statue Puller Slave. When I saw B1, I was all curious about if he would be a recurring character, along with that soldier who knelt before him after the fight to save Tamannah. And then I completely forgot about those characters while watching B2, but now I am all happy to know who they were. Well, one of them. Any idea who Random Soldier is, in Past Times?

      -Okay, that memory makes sense. Be prepared to help my memory A LOT in the next sections! It is possible that one part may be “And then it gets really scary, so let me tell you about what the guy behind the concession counter was wearing because I was in the lobby for this bit”.

      -Dandaalayya gets at least one more post, if not more. There is so much character speculation to dig into.

      -Yes, exactly! The darkness is extra sad because of that moment of human happiness right before.

      On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 4:21 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • – Ooh, yes, that is brilliant! And it’s great, Ramya seems to be believing that they’re stuck in a reprise of M-E-A, where the son goes a little crazy and forgets his dharma/rebels after falling in love with some random girl who (from her perspective) isn’t worth it, whereas Prabhas and Anushka are coming at it from correcting deep-rooted injustices in the system. (And in M-E-A, it’s the parent, not the son, who has interest in forging a personal connection with and a sense of responsibility to his subjects – Akbar spares Madhubala just because of a promise he gave his mother years ago that he could have easily ignored, but doesn’t. Dilip mostly hangs out with courtiers and Madhubala, OTOH…I think? It’s been a while.)

        – I’m not sure who Random Solider is! I couldn’t get a good enough look at his face in Baahubali 1, but I like to think he is the guy who starts pounding his spear during the coronation scene and setting off the army’s acknowledgment of Prabhas.

        – Oh, Margaret, my memory is equally bad of the following scenes! I’m afraid going to be no help at all 😦 I’m serious, my viewing experience from the end of Dandalayya usually turns out to be non-stop sobbing with a break to roll my eyes when Kattappa is shocked, SHOCKED when Rana reveals that he faked the whole thing and back to sobs once that Jeeva Nadhi reprise about Ramya, Rana, and Kattappa starts playing.

        – Yay! Yes, please, let’s live in happy Dandalayya land for a bit before tragedy hits.

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        • -Yes! In M-E-A, we don’t even need that many examples, because you know, it’s Akbar! I use “Dilip” because that prince had so many names and I don’t even remember which one was most used in the film (Jahingar?). But Akbar is always Akbar, this real historical icon, so even if in the film we only have a few moments to see moments of caring, we know from history how Great he was. And how “eh” his son was. So when Akbar says “this is not the right thing”, we believe him. And, in those scenes with Madhubala trapped in the middle, it felt like Akbar had some sympathy for her too and was trying to help her find a way out, without also ignoring the problem. In this film, Ramya’s like “you’re on your own! Sorry-not-sorry.”

          -I do feel bad for Random Soldier, and all the other random soldiers. Prabhas 2 is just killing indescriminately, not realizing that some of them would love to fight for him, instead of against him, if he gave them the chance. Although we do see that in the final battle a little bit, which I find fascinating, but it’s not time to discuss yet! (have you noticed how our discussions keep jumping ahead? It’s because of the interval pacing. In the middle of the first half, we were well into a contained story. Now we are at the start of the second half, and we have little related to discuss that is behind us, and everything that is coming is so closely involved with what we are watching now that it is hard not to talk about it)

          -I am loving this hatred for Kattappa that is coming out in you. Very refreshing.

          On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 5:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • – Yes to the historical background really influencing things in M-E-A, too! I mean, we know Akbar is totally awesome and good, and Dilip/Jahangir (Salim, I think he goes by in this movie) is gonna end up being an opium addict controlled by his last wife. And going off on a tangent, my biggest problem with the love story was that huge skeevy power differential, where Dilip is clearly in a position of greater power over her, and doesn’t really seem interested in her except for her beauty and as a challenge to his father’s authority (and dear god, the real life subtext just made watching worse); only Madhubala’s amazing acting has me invested in them, and it’s why, the ending is still acceptable to me (she gets to escape awful Dilip! And hopefully have a less dramatic but happier life alone.) But you’re right in that Akbar doesn’t want her to marry Dilip, but he’s perfectly happy to keep her as a royal dancer, or set her up otherwise. Ramya here doesn’t even offer the compromise of Anushka going back home and not marrying either prince; it’s marry Rana or imprisonment!

            – Me too. My only way to get around is notice that the soldiers in the second half are all dressed in Rana’s colors of gold and red, instead of the usual Mahismati dress blues (at least Prabhas 1’s men were all wearing that in the first one? Maybe Kattappa’s too?), along with those creepy masks, so maybe that was a way to shorthand that with very few exceptions, the army had shifted so that it was more in line with Rana rather than Prabhas? And the good soldiers either joined Kattappa’s regiment or quit the army? (Do we see any others break away from Rana in the final battle? I can’t remember offhand.)

            – Haha, I know, I feel like I’ve spent all this time trying to at least come up with excuses for the other characters, even Ramya, and now I’m just like, “die in a fire, Kattappa, grrr.” I’m kind of loving this irrational hatred thing, it’s fun!

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          • -I used to be sad about Madhubala ending up with Kishore, but after comparing M-E-A to Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, I am ALLLLL for it! Marry the nice man who makes you laugh! Moving on from that, I wonder if part of the difference between Akbar-Salim and Ramya-Prabhas is that Akbar actually is the for real ruler. The people are his people, the empire is his empire, in a way that Ramya never quite has. But Prabhas is growing into. And Salim never quite gets there either, although the end of the film seems to be implying that now his heart is broken, he is finally going to stop thinking about himself all the time and learn what his father is trying to teach him. Also, Salim’s best friend the Rajput, absolutely reminds me of Kattappa. Dragged along into all this stuff, and more noble than the people he has to serve.

            -The final battle has some fascinating messages with the soldiers, but I can’t let myself get ahead of myself too much! We can circle back to this conversation on Friday, or whenever I get there. (I’ll be moving a lot faster thanks to all the scenes I can’t stand to talk about.)

            -Speaking of irrational hatred, some time let me tell you about my feelings towards Randeep Hooda and his stupid face.

            On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 7:40 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • – Oh, Kishore/Madhubala beats Dilip/Madhubala any day! (Is that whole scandal on your Hindi Film 101 shortlist? I always thought that was one of the most interesting classic film stories.) Definitely agree about Akbar being the “true” king in a way Ramya isn’t, and therefore having the moral high ground. His rule is the high point of the Mughal Empire, the one they’re never going to have again; whereas Ramya’s rule isn’t the lost golden age, it’s the might-have-been of Prabhas’ reign/his shadow government. And yes, poor Rajput – he 100% did not deserve to get caught up in their crazy.

            – Will do. The final battle is a little fuzzy for me, mostly because I was way more interested in following Anushka’s path than Prabhas 2 , so I look forward to it!

            – Haha, duly noted!

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    • “I don’t think he could have ever lived like this, done all the good that he does here as the formal crowned king, especially if Ramya was still around. ”

      I don’t think Ramya is as bad and would have let prabhas do good to people, if he was king.It is just that she doesn’t want a rebel kind of king who is opposed to the queen mother in many situations.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder if Rana and she would ever have found each other in opposition? If Prabhas wasn’t part of the equation. It seemed like Rana was pretty happy to go along with her decisions and her way of running things, and just do his own thing in unrelated areas.

        On Thu, May 18, 2017 at 2:24 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I think that’s part of the depressing set up here, in that Prabhas and Ramya are more alike in terms of caring about the people (in abstract from Ramya, on a personal level from Prabhas) – and now that Saahore Baahubali is online and I can rewatch it, I definitely think Ramya loved him more but felt like she shouldn’t– which means that Prabhas’ death was caused by two people loving him and feeling guilty about it, three if we go with your gay subtext theory 😉 ) but clash in terms of ruling styles in an ultimately irreconcilable way. Whereas Rana is more like Ramya in ruling style, and manages to hide his ideological differences from her, and I wonder if she didn’t interpret that as blood being thicker than water up until the end.

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          • Saahore Baahubali is online!!!!! I’m SO HAPPY!!!!!

            Also, I just rewatched some bits of B1, including Prabhas 1’s intro. I was looking to confirm that he was introduced behind a sword (which he was), but what I forgot is that we see Ramya’s reaction. Both her sons are practicing, but when she sees Prabhas break the mangos so they drop onto the children, she smiles in appreciation of his charm. When she sees Rana break the big rock thing, she looks approving like “good job”, but she doesn’t smile. The same a little later, when Prabhas 1 has his cocky “good job bro! When I am king, you can lead my armies” comment, Ramya smiles. And in that case, not only is she appreciating Prabhas 1’s personality, she is ignoring/unaware that he was hurting Rana with his words.

            It immediately shows you that while she might officially be unbiased between the sons (and I do think her choice as Queen mother is completely objective and only based on who she thinks will rule better), as a mother she just likes Prabhas better. And doesn’t seem to notice Rana.

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          • I wonder if her backstory of having feelings for Prabhas1’s father comes into play here? ‘She loves the son of her former love more’ kind of thing? Maybe that is what upset her more about Prabas1’s betrayal – we get hurt the most by the ones we love (as opposed to by the ones who love us)

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          • Yes! And makes her doubt her judgement, she is worried about judging Prabhas too gently, and therefore overcorrects and judges him too harshly.

            On Fri, May 19, 2017 at 7:47 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I found this site by chance when i was trying to figure out why Anushka did not react when her brother was being killed by Rana. Btw, this scene by scene analysis is awesome. The old woman with the random peasant lady – did any of you notice it was the same woman in BB1 who carried baby Prabhas1 and helped Ramya feed? Continuity or a unintentional conincidence?

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      • Glad you like the site! I hope you keep reading, even if/when I finish my Bahubali scene by scene. I did not notice it is the same woman. Rajamouli is so good, I could believe either that it is a simple matter of using the same extra because it’s easier, or that he came up with an elaborate backstory to explain it that ended up being cut.

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  4. Tangential, but I just came across this deleted scene on Youtube, which looks real to me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxLRsTABXoo

    Does anyone know anything about this/can lipread what they are saying/guess what is going on? (It looks like part of Anushka’s battle in Kuntala when Prabhas is up on the dam! In which case I am so mad it got cut!)

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    • There is actually a longer video of this scene. I came across it on Twitter. Prabhas is next to Anushka and he steps forward and joins in on the discussion. Then Anushka draws an arrow and shoots the guy. Prabhas turns around in surprise and looks at Anushka. It looked very interesting. I hope they include it in deleted scenes in the DVD.

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      • I hope they include a lot of deleted scenes. But I am worried about that, I just got my DVD of Raees, and there are no deleted scenes, not even the song they cut which is now on youtube.

        On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 8:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        Liked by 1 person

        • Same here…I feel there were many transitions that may have been left on the cutting floor. Including more on Avantika.

          Would have loved the link, Sonia.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I have never seen an Indian movie DVD with ‘deleted scenes’ or ‘how they made movie commentary’ and such other features. Hope we can see those in Bahubali DVD.

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          • They used to have them on all of them, back when I first bought DVDs. All the Yash Raj released films had them, really extensive ones too, especially K3G and DDLJ. The first one I remember really being shocked by the lack of special features was MNIK, and even that was just the American release, I got someone to buy me a copy from India, and it had all the features I was expecting.

            And now I feel so old! Talking about “back in my day, when things were better.”

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      • Ooh, interesting, I didn’t know Prabhas was involved, too! Maybe it’s the equivalent of the scene before the Kalakeya battle when Ramya et al go to speak to the Kalakeya leader? – a attempt as a last-minute negotiation before the battle begins in earnest? (And until contradicted, I am going to take this as proof that I was right about my theory that the Pindari attack is all about formal retaliation for Anushka as a warrior, not a damsel-in-distress/helpless kingdom scenario.) I really, really hope they go all out on the DVD and include deleted scenes/commentaries, but I agree with Margaret – I’m not holding my breath.

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        • Ramya et al!😂 Reminds me of Uni and assignments!!!

          It could also be that the Pindaris were on a ravaging and pillaging spree and Kunthala was just the next area in their path? The bad guys Anushka fights are just said to be bandits and that they were being targeted to be caught by the guards dressed as commoners (says Katappa to Prabhas1). The Pundaris, on the other hand, seem to have killed off an entire region of people and dumped their bodies in the water body Prabhas1 was about to drink from and Katappa says that this is what they do – plunder and pillage and kill everyone off. And the fact that they attacked at night shows that they are attacking with the intention of taking everyone off guard. Also, Kunthala was the next region Prabhas1 and Katappa arrive at after the water body place.

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          • Ack, I didn’t see this before! But LOL, this movie just puts me back in university-era close analysis mode (we could probably put together our collective thoughts about this movie already and submit senior theses/dissertations at this point, it’s ridiculous how much we’ve all written!)

            And wait, I always assumed that the bandits Anushka fights off were Pindari, just that they were a fringe group that came ahead to loot the people at the travel stop, as opposed to the full combined forces who show up at the palace. Did I just completely misinterpret that? (Answer: very likely so.) Whoops!

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  5. Prabhas1 surrenders his sword at Ramya’s feet before leaving and tells her that he’ll always be available at the service of the kingdom. If this is the same sword that she gave him when he was younger, it is significant. I think the horse head sword is his personal one inherited from him father which is why he has it with him always. Within the kingdom and palace areas he seems to carry his loopy handled one but whenever he’s outisde, its the horse headed one.

    Th turbaned man who cries out to the citizens to be happy is also there in Baahubali1 – he’s just got a moustache and no turban. He is next to the woman in the crowd after the Kaalakeya battle.

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    • I wonder if that behavior in the Kalakaya battle was more of a turning point than we realized? Perhaps it was the first time the people had seen Prabhas outside of the palace, and they first time he had seen them?

      On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 8:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Hmmm…this makes sense. Till then, he was this royal they admired and revered from afar (the wink in the Mamathala Thalli song ☺️). The people also saw the differences between the two princes live during the battle.

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      • Thinking back, I find it sad – Prabhas1 and Rana seem to work so well together. The hunt for Saketh the Traitor and when they concur on battle startegies are such beautiful moments when they are so much in harmony. If only…but then, we wouldn’t have this story, I suppose.

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      • It was definitely the first time he challenged a long running tradition and proposed his version of how it could be “updated”. And it was at the end of that battle that Sivagami herself called him a God for having saved lives.

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    • Can I also make a note of how graceful I think Prabhas is?☺️ I don’t know if it is because he’s such a long person (not just tall but long to!) but all his movements are so poetic. The way he moves his hands and the way he jumps and turns and twirls the sword and fires off those arrows, etc etc. And I especially love the way he kicks out – he always extends his whole leg (which makes me wonder if the stunt masters take a tape and measure out the exact distance the chaps at the other end need to be at!!)

      Also, during the battle scene in Baahubali1, he had his hand wrapped and I assumed it was a part of his battle uniform kind of thing. Like a glove because he had to use the sword etc. Its only during my recent return to the film that I realised its because he had cut his hand on the sacrificial sword.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! Agree. I don’t find him that graceful as a dancer, but he is amazing in fight scenes. I wonder what kind of training he had? If it was just on the job from fight scenes in other movies, or if there is some kind of schooling he had. I don’t even know what that schooling would be, but I am sure there is something.

        On Thu, May 18, 2017 at 12:52 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I think his dancing has improved tremendously – he’s beautiful in Idedho Bagunde from Mirchi. Very graceful. Then again, maybe its also because he had moves that really suit him.

          He and Rana had to go through a lot of intensive training for Baahubali. Kickboxing and stuff. The arrow shooting scene in Baahubali2 (with Anushka) was choreographed by a dancer 🙂

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    • It’s definitely the loopy one that Ramya gave him (after our discussion last post, I went back and watched clips on YT to be confirm), which makes sense because, that one was given to him by her (perhaps as an indication of his status as prince/in line for the throne?) and it’s appropriate for him to return it symbolically, but like you say, I think he keeps the horse head one since it’s his inheritance from his dad (and will be his inheritance to his son!)

      I actually don’t think he hangs out with the common people before the Kalakeya battle! (Wasn’t the wink to the courtiers/noblewomen? They looked better dressed than the regular people). And also, you guys keep on pointing out the most amazing little details about the first movie 🙂

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      • I just watched this bit again, and not only is it to the courtiers/noblewomen, there is a kind of self-absorption in it. Like, he is thinking more about this cool thing he just did than about how it might affect them. Very different from the Kalakeya battle, where he completely ignores his personal goals for the sake of the people.

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        • He also just…forgets about them and moves on to nettling Rana (and how much did I love that they established his affection=teasing habit even in the first movie? We just didn’t see enough of it for it to click, or maybe they left it that way, so you can see how Rana is a little insulted/upset by it.) – it’s even completely different to how he is around Anushka, where he doesn’t even mind if she or anyone is impressed at him, he just wants to be around her and watch her reactions all the time.

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    • I also just remembered that he wears his horse-head armour and holds his horse-head sword at the swearing in ceremony. Which I remember struck me as odd because shouldn’t he be in the Mahismathi attire now that he is Commander-in-
      Chief of the army? Then it came to me that this is who he is – the horse head represents him and this is him swearing his fealty to the king and kingdom, body and soul.

      Also, Katappa is still in his horse-head armour. It changes to the general Mahismathi one afterwards.

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      • Doesn’t Prince Charles do that? Wears the Wales stuff all the time, even though his greater loyalty is to England? Your explanation makes sense, the horse-head isn’t a representation of a smaller territory, but it sort of is, the territory of Prabhas 1 himself. And that territory is swearing loyalty.

        On Fri, May 19, 2017 at 7:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • But this is because he is still the heir apparent and holds the title of the Prince of Wales, I suppose? Prabhas1 on the other hand, has been stripped of this title and is just a Prince in Mahismathi but officially the Commander-in-Chief of the army.

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          • Oh yes. I was thinking, Prabhas without a title is still representing something separate from the Mahishmati empire as he swears his oath, because otherwise the oath would be meaningless. That he is representing himself, an individual, swearing allegiance. Rather than representing just another Mahishmati soldier who would already have an allegiance.

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  6. Pingback: Bahubali 2 Scene By Scene Part 16: The Founding of a New Mahishmati – dontcallitbollywood

  7. Came across this blog by chance and I am so glad I did. I saw Bahubali 2 two weeks ago (and I saw Bahubali 1 on youtube afterwards), I have been exploring the Kingdom of Mahismati since then. While the scene of Ramya expelling Prabhas 1 and Anushka was sad, I loved the look Prabhas gave Anushka as they were walking out and he puts his arm around her shoulders.

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    • So glad you found us! I hope you keep reading even after my Bahubali posts finish (if that ever happens).

      And yes! The second half of the film is so sad, but it is almost worth it for seeing how Anushka and Prabhas 1 draw together through adversity.

      Like

  8. Pingback: Bahubali Posts Index – dontcallitbollywood

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