Welcome back! I decided I wanted to get all the sad parts over with as quickly as possible. So sad part part 1 was a few hours ago, now sad part part 2, and sad part part 3 will be going up in a bit. And then, thank goodness, we just have the big old battle to deal with! Which might wait until Monday, seems like you should all have enough to talk about with these three posts over the weekend.
Previously, Prabhas and his wife Anushka were banished from their kingdom and happily set up a new life together. Only even in banishment, Prabhas’ jealous brother Rana the king still saw him as a threat. So he decided to convince their mother Ramya to order his death, as she is the justice giver of the kingdom and the only one who can do so. Rana makes it appear as though Prabhas sent an assassin after him, which convinces Ramya to order Prabhas’ father figure, the old head of the royal guards, to arrange his ambush. The same night that Prabhas son will be born.
Prabhas is anxiously waiting outside the hut where Anushka is in labor. Prabhas is interrupted in his pacing with word that Kattappa has been captured by the palace guards and is being burned alive for treason. He rushes in to say good-bye to Anushka, who is in the middle of labor, but tells him that he must go, orders him in fact to do it, and bring Kattappa back to hold the child first, as he promised. And she gives him his sword, his horse head sword, to take with him.
Couple of things here, the idea of the trap first of all. Do you think they were waiting for Anushka to go into labor? And therefore Kattappa would be sent for, and could be arrested for treason near the village, thus necessitating Prabhas going to rescue him?
Also, how far has Mahishmati fallen if Prabhas could easily believe that Kattappa is being tortured by palace guards, and that Ramya could have come up with this rous (sp?), showing that she knew this was now a reasonable fear, an innocent being tortured by imperial guards?
And then the farewell with Anushka. If this weren’t their last scene together, it would be a perfect moment between husband and wife. As a good husband, he is checking with her before leaving. And as a good wife, and someone who understands him most, she is not even questioning his need to go, instead giving him the orders he needs to hear before he leaves her, not saying “don’t leave me, I’m scared!”, but instead reinforcing what he already knows he must do. And finally, handing him his sword, which both ties to the idea that she is his sword, his greatest sense of Dharma and his true faith. And which gives us a little look at how close they are as a unit, that she is apparently the keeper of his sword. Not in a ritual fancy way, but in a literal one, like a different wife might keep her husband’s car keys. She is always with him, as close as the sword at his side, and their lives are shared that there is no division between what she holds and what he owns.
(Reminds me of this, a different Ramayana exile film, but one in which the exile similarly seemed to draw the couple ever closer together)
Since it is their last scene together, this is not “perfect”, which is what makes it heartbreaking. This is not the ideal poetic farewell of a couple who may not see each other again. This is the practical farewell of two people who love each other, but think they will still have more time to say everything they need to say, to learn everything they need to learn, to do everything they need to do. I don’t think they even say “I love you”. And they certainly don’t say “I will always remember you” or “Raise my son well” or any of those things that need to be said before someone dies, both by the person facing death and the person left behind. Again, it just feels wrong! At a deep level, this is not how it is supposed to be.
And then the final battle. Gonna go through it real quick, just so we have the logistics. It’s a clever ambush, you can see Rana’s hand here. He is a great strategist, we saw that in the planning for the Kalakeya battle. And he uses that strategy in this plan. Prabhas is surprised here multiple times, confused as new enemies keep appearing. It begins with a simple rescue, scaring off the King’s guards and then freeing Kattappa from where he has been hung from a tree above a fire. It couldn’t just be a matter of rescuing Kattappa, he also had to be tied, tied up and down and all around, so that Prabhas would be forced to stay in one place and focus while he tried to free him, not make an easy escape. And so that Kattappa would not show his hand by refusing to help Prabhas save himself, but rather appear to leave him alone in the fight only because he is physically incapable of helping.
While Prabhas is trapped, helping Kattappa, the faux-Kalakeya’s arrive. They are dressed similarly to the warriors we saw at the end of B1, but slightly different. Which has to be on purpose, right? The two films were made simultaneously, it’s not a “Klingons with/without forehead wrinkles” situation where behind the scenes people just didn’t care how they used to look. So this means it is on purpose that they look slightly “off” in this scene. Which, I think, is meant to indicate to the audience that this is not a real Kalakeya army. They are remnants of that massive organized force, and soldiers in dress-up, organized and paid off by Rana and Ramya. Even the weapon shows us that, their arrival is announced by a rain of arrows. Clearly using arrow technology of a sophistication we never saw from the Kalakaya in battle.
(See? No forehead ridges. Only added in later when they had a movie budget to play with, and then elaborately retconned)
Prabhas is wounded, but not done. He drags himself up and chops off the arrows and carries Kattappa (still tied and unable to move) to cover, despite Kattappa’s pleas to leave him. Remember this hail of bullets, because it will come up again in the final battle, but with a different ending. I also love the way Prabhas sweeps his sword back to chop off the arrows. There is such grace to it, conquering the brute power of numbers with his one clean sweep through them all.
Kattappa here gives us a glimpse of his internal morality. He can’t bring himself to tell Prabhas Ramya’s orders, or make an effort to stop what is happening. But he does tell Prabhas to leave him, and he doesn’t make a particular effort to free himself. If Prabhas had left him tied, and had followed his pleading to save himself, Kattappa could have “saved” him. But Prabhas didn’t, and so Kattappa, once he was freed and all the other attackers had failed, had no choice but to kill him himself.
Well, that’s clearly a lie! You always have a choice! Kattappa just chose not to make the choice. As he has done over and over again. Or, more than that, he chose to deny to himself that he was making a choice. He picked Ramya as his queen and put her on the throne 26 years ago. And he continues to choose, every day, to listen to her above all others. Even Rana knows that the only way to get Kattappa to kill Prabhas is if Ramya orders it. That’s not part of his ancestral vows, that’s something Kattappa picked, whose orders he was going to obey out of all the royal family.
And so Kattappa prevaricates and tries to get out of his responsibilities. But at the same time is not brave enough to just stand up and say “No! This is wrong and I won’t do it.” Heck, the worse thing he does in a way is holding off so long. He knows what they are ordered to do is wrong, and he wants one of these hired guards or mercenaries to succeed in killing Prabhas so he doesn’t have to. It’s cowardly, and it reveals his knowledge of right and wrong and that he is on the wrong side.
And then to stab him in the back! He could have killed him to his face, I don’t think Prabhas could have brought himself to fight his beloved “uncle”. He would have left his chest open to attack just as easily as his back. No, it’s because Kattappa can’t face the reality of what he is doing. Even the way he does it, head down, as though he is bowing under a great weight. Only, he isn’t! The only thing keeping him down is his own choices.
Prabhas falls, and Kattappa catches him. They are silhouetted against the fire that Prabhas has been using as a weapon and which now covers the sky. I don’t remember if Kattappa says something at this point or not, but I know that Prabhas says “take care of mother” (which could mean either Ramya or Mahishmati). And then as he starts to fade, Kattappa helps him up and puts him on top of a boulder, giving him his sword to hold, letting him die as the king he is/should have been. And Prabhas does die as a king, his final words the cry of “Jai Mahishmati!”, with Kattappa kneeling before him.
He dies twice though. After I first watched the film, I couldn’t figure out this scene, and then on the second watch I finally did. It’s purposefully confusing. Well, not confusing on purpose, but they wanted it to happen twice which is what made it confusing.
The first time Prabhas dies, he does it in Kattappa’s arms, telling him to take care of “Mother”. This is why Kattappa tells Ramya later that his last thought was of her. Because that was the last thought of Prabhas, the baby she nursed, the little boy she taught, the one who called her mother. But once the outer shell had died and melted away, the different Prabhas inside was revealed, the one who fearlessly gave justice in trials, who vowed without hesitation his entire life to the woman he loved, who broke down a dam and made a waterfall, the one who stopped an elephant in its tracks, this is the King Prabhas, the noble and wonderful and perfect inner core. And he dies a kings death, not the death of a little boy missing his mother.
It’s a double death, and it’s also doubly heartbreaking. As we lose both the person we have come to care about, the sweet man who flirted and joked in Kuntala and was so excited to meet his baby, and the nobility and destiny and goodness he embodied as a potential leader. We grieve for the man, and we grieve for ourselves.
And this is another part where, without any particular reference, Rajamouli managed to capture the tragedy we feel in real life. When President Kennedy died, for instance, it was a tragedy because he had this amazing shining potential as a leader, heading an amazing young and promising government (yes yes, I know, history has changed that estimate a bit, but that’s what it felt like at the time). But it was another second tragedy, because he had two young children who would grow up without a father. And that’s why it really burned, because of the double calamity.
(That’s why this photo is so sad, and so famous, because it combined the great leader and the young children)
The real heartbreak is when you are mourning both the potential of government, and someone you knew personally. Kennedy might not be a good comparison for that, but Roosevelt is (at least for Americans). His photo was in millions of homes, people grew up with him, went to war for him, he was a member of your family, a voice on the radio every week, someone you felt you could go to with your troubles. Not remote and perfect, but human and right there in your life. Although at least his children were grown and his life was winding down, it wasn’t quite the “cut down in his prime” tragedy of Kennedy.
(Another famous photo, because it captures both the public and private grief, playing for both his commander in chief and someone he loved as a person)
And it is all of that heartbreak which Rajamouli gives us here. The great leader, the man we have come to love, and the sympathy for those he left behind, the tragic personal gap he will leave. It’s just sad, is what I am saying!
So I looked away from the screen though most of the scenes, so only brief thoughts:
– Are they fake Kalakeyas? That makes more sense. I just really needed a bit more explanation there because I wasn’t sure if it was a hallucination, an ironic actual attack on Mahishmati when they’d set up a ruse, or none of the above. (Again, we could have lost a Nasser monologue for this easily!)
– Kattappa’s constant pleas for Prabhas to leave him made me grind my teeth, because come on, there is no way Prabhas is going to abandon him, even if Kattappa wasn’t his beloved father figure! It was obviously not going to work and it just annoyed me more that Katappa wouldn’t do the right thing instead.
– At the rain of arrows, was I the only one who thought, “It’s Arjun and Bhishma, except in reverse!” (And I’m pretty sure I know the parallel to this scene in the Prabhas 2 battle you’re hinting at, and I agree that is definitely meant to be Kattappa’s way of making up for it.)
– the two deaths idea is beautiful and makes so much sense. I love it!
-I am assuming they are fake Kalakeyas? Because not only would that be less of a coincidence, that is the only part of the plan that goes along with what Ramya says about how it can’t appear to be them. If Prabhas 1’s dead body was found with a sword wound in the middle of nowhere, the implication would be pretty clear. But if they can arrange for it to be found surrounded by dead Kalakeyas and riddled with arrows, then there is a different story. Skipping ahead slightly, it also explains Rana’s violence, we learned in the first movie that the Kalakeyas were vicious to their enemies, if Prabhas 1 had been killed by them, than a dishonored corpse would not be surprising.
-It’s such a transparent way of assuaging guilt “Hey, I told him to leave! I did everything I could!” But you must have known that would have no effect! You might as well have not said anything at all, saying something just makes you feel better, it wouldn’t accomplish anything at all.
-I didn’t think of that! But I am now. And the scene in the battle felt like not just Kattappa making up for it, but the difference of Prabhas 2 with this massive support system around him, the supports that Prabhas 1 has been cut off from (mother, other mother, lover, father figure, all are there to stand with Prabhas 2 and all have been lost by Prabhas 1).
-I love it too! But in a choking back tears, this is so sad, kind of way.
This two deaths thing also reminds me of Don Quijote, in a way. The end is the death of the old man who has read too many tales of chivalry and decided to act like a knight and go off to do heroic deeds. But, most of the book, he has been resolutely telling everyone around him he is a great knight, he has a great calling, tilting at windmills, etc. At the very end he goes back to his family, takes ill, and dies. But he dies as the man he was before the “knight” personality; they ask him about it and he doesn’t remember, doesn’t know what they’re talking about. So although the old man dies, the heroic legend he created (which the reader starts being amused by but is eventually touched and inspired by) doesn’t have a “death”.
I have a question for you, “Sister”, if you don’t mind. Are you still in India? I gather you are in South India, not the north. So my question is, how is the Dangal vs. Bahubali 2 box office collections being reported where you are? And what seems to be the general public perception of the two?
I’m afraid my corner of India isn’t paying much attention! In other words, I’m spending most of my time with collaborators who are more interested in talking about our research project than about extracurriculars like box office. No information to report.
Fascinating! Only in this case, it is both that have dead, the legend and the person. Except not, because of Prabhas 2.
I can see your idea about the Kalakeyas not being the Kalakeyas makes a lot of sense here! Especially the bit about the arrows as they don’t have them in the earlier battle. I remember reading some article somewhere about how the son of the slain Kalakeya leader would return to extract revenge in Baahubali2 and I assumed this is what it was. I also thought that Katappa’s pleas to be left alone and for Prabhas1 to make him escape was so that Katappa could die at the hands of the Kalakeyas and escape his muddled fate, as it were. He seems to be adamant about being left tied up as if he’s afraid that if he’s let loose, he would be forced to fight off the Kalakeyas and win over them.
For being this epic fairy tale fantasy, these movies are surprisingly logical! Every little thing has a call back and is tied together. To me, it seems more tied together that the plan was for Prabhas 1 to save Kattappa, be ambushed by the Kalakeya, and then either killed by them or Kattappa, but the death blamed on the Kalakeya so Ramya’s hands could be clean. Versus the plan being Kattappa to just kill Prabhas as soon as his hands are free, and the body left with no explanation. Seems like that would have incited the exact civil war that Ramya so feared.
That’s the beauty of it, I suppose. That you can go back and say, “Aha! I knew it!”. It is not some fantastical piece that makes no sense.
Et tu Brutus?
The issue I had with Kattappa was how he couldn’t bring himself to argue against Sivagami’s orders BEFORE the kill, but he had no problem putting her in her place post-betrayal. Her argument wasn’t strong enough for me to see how he was persuaded. Her words in the Hindi version: “You will kill him, or do you prefer I kill him?” I just don’t see how he would actually think she’d go through with it. The set up/transition felt weak here. Where was his conscience at that point? I would have expected Sivagami to pull out some red herring that Kattappa couldn’t argue against, but her one-liner was hardly it.
Off topic: I thought Sivagami killed it in these last few scenes. Her haunted, distressed eyes spoke volumes. I just adored her even more.
I’m working now on my post about Rana’s speech and desecration of the body. I don’t know if I think the execution of it worked, but I think what Rajamouli wanted was for it to be clear that until that moment, Kattappa never thought of Rana as bad. He knew Nassar was terrible from the start, but Rana was just kind of in the background, not noticed. So if Ramya is told by Nassar AND Rana that Prabhas is plotting against the kingdom, it’s not such a clear lie. And Kattappa may not want to do it, but he doesn’t necessarily know for sure that Ramya is wrong.
I think that’s why Rana’s scene is so over the top, as is Kattappa’s reaction, because no one ever thought that Rana was this poisoned and crazy. It’s only once he knows that, that everything changes. Because that means it was a complete set-up, everything was a lie concocted by Nassar and Rana together. And that by their actions in believing this lie, they have not just put a “not so good” king on the throne, but an actual madman.
However, I think the execution wasn’t so good, because to the audience Rana’s madness and badness was so clear, it’s hard to believe Katappa and Ramya didn’t know about it until their mutual moments of realization.
On Fri, May 19, 2017 at 11:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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See, I can believe that Ramya had no idea, especially since Rana+Ramya get that one scene to set up her growing respect for him. But Kattappa? If nothing else, Kattappa knows that Nasser is toxic and horrible; Rana is always around him, and if he isn’t agreeing with Nasser, he isn’t angrily shutting him up or avoiding him. Plus, in the first movie, Kattappa’s the one urging Prabhas to take action, fight back against how Nasser and Rana have called dibs on the artillery! So the switch here, to where Kattappa never ever guessed that Rana was a nutcase or that Prabhas was framed (which begs the question of how or why Subbaraju had gotten the idea to attack Rana or how he had gotten into the palace in the first place. Did he actually half-suspect Prabhas of treason himself?* Or did Kattappa not get told those details?)
*i think he had to, otherwise his argument wouldn’t be “I can’t kill him and you can’t because it would be a sin” but instead “I’m not going to kill him because obviously there’s been a mistake and you will never forgive yourself when it’s cleared up.” (In which case, all the more, KATTAPPA HOW COULD YOU??)
He doesn’t exactly say, “you’ll never forgive yourself when its cleared up” but “Baahubali doesn’t have a mean bone in his body” (or something similar). Which goes to show that he knows that something isn’t right but still cannot exactly pinpoint what (like victims of emotional abuse – they know something bad is happening but they don’t know what it is). He seems to be beseeching Ramya to understand and to avoid putting him in the situation of being the one to do this miserable deed. He even tries to get himself killed – which made me think that this is why he wanted to die at the hands of the (fake) Kalakeyas.
Katappa constantly makes excuses to explain away situations that don’t add up as to him, guilt, loyalty, love, slavery, etc are all one big emotion – he doesn’t know how to separate them all. He didn’t have the luxury of learning how (which is cleverly explained in the scene with the love birds with Prabhas1. He simply sees what is and cannot identify anything beyond that. He only sees that Prabhas1 is taken by Anushka and like the good slave that he is, he wants to do everything in his power to make his master happy. We know that there is a wonderful relationship between Prabahs 1 and Katappa because we see it from Pabhas1’s eyes. To Katappa, Prabhas1 is still the royal prince who he has to serve in every way).
Something that caught my attention is that he seems to be perfectly capable of speaking his mind whenever Ramya isn’t in the picture (to Nasser in the beginning, to Prabhas1 during the battle scene, etc) but everytime he is in the presence of Ramya, he becomes ‘the slave’.
The irony here is that Nasser and Rana suspect that Katappa might not be up to the task whereas Katappa himself had no doubts whatsoever! Which is why Rana comes to check on him after the killing (and look at how arrogant he is that he wears his crown too!!) I suppose to Rana it was a release of sorts. That it had finally been done – the first time we see him raw and vulnerable.
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I missed this comment until just now! And it is so so good.
I love the idea of Kattappa never having been taught emotional intelligence, that he has been so stunted by his life that the doesn’t even have the ability to process feelings the way other people do. It would also explain another part of the whole thing, that he doesn’t seem to understand the messiness of Ramya’s relationships with Nassar and Rana and Prabhas 1 and Anushka and how that might be affecting her judgement.
On Fri, May 19, 2017 at 12:27 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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Exactly! Which is why I am worried about him being in Prabhas2’s life. It is clear that he still hasn’t been able to sort all this stuff out in his head as evidenced by his response to Nasser when he confronts him about his family’s vow etc. Katappa might end up doing something out of what HE thinks is love and loyalty and all those good emotions when in fact, they might end up causing more harm than good.
I saw part of an interview with Keeravani the music director where he said that the death scene did not have any background music. He felt that the emotions were so heavy and poignant that all he did was to let the noise of the burning fire provide the score. Its so significant – like all the emotions burning through both the characters as they come face to face with a reality they never even imagined would happen.
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Well, Katappa is now 86. With any luck he will die soon. Maybe there is a twist on Bhishma, maybe he is immortal until his ruler chooses his time of death? And maybe Prabhas 2 will finally free him and then he will die happily.
Also, I feel like Anushka would do a pretty good job keeping him under control, seems like she has a good idea of his strengths and limitations.
I like the idea of Anushka keeping him in check. She was the only one who actually verbalized any sort of feelings for him (at the baby shower when she asks him to be a stand-in for the fathers). Even there he starts off by saying that as a slave he has no right, which means that he will view his ‘responsibility to love the child’ as an obligation and not out of free will.
Apu and Margaret,
There is also that initial scene with Aslam Khan where he asks why Katappa chooses to continue to honour a word to be a bonded slave and to serve that his forefathers gave. That defines it. Katappa never has a choice once the royal orders are given to him.
Also, Bijala plotted with Bhalla who gave the order and together they convinced Sivagami to consent. Hence it was not a random choice but an order of the royal family. (This tactic would not have worked had Bahu still been a part of the family albeit with no post). Also when Bijala asks Bhalla to simply kill Bahu, he clearly responds saying I can issue orders but they become law only with the Rajamaata’s consent. She may have made him king but she still controlled the reins. She had seen hi propensity to kill and not be a ruler. With Bahu I think she wouldn’t have had that control. She would have stepped back. Also, she was the in-proxy ruler so Katappa took his orders from her.
See Katappa was a grown man with set ideas. Had he had more time with Bahu and his ways he may have changed (came across an interview of Karky the lyricist and dialogue writer for the Tamil version where he spoke of them having shot a scene at the last coronation with Shivudu declaring Katappa as a minister of state and then vetoing all arguments saying this is his word and his word is law. But that scene got chopped off it seems).
I really wish they release all the deleted scenes. There seems to be so much left out!
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I would have been really interested to see Kattappa as a minister of state! Not just that announcement, but how it would have actually played out. He always has good advice and good ideas, but he is so hesitant to share them. Prabhas 2 would have to really push to get them out there. But if he succeeded, I think doing that, giving Kattappa an official respect post where he HAS to think for himself as part of the job, would both be the best way to utilize his abilities, and would kind of be “safer”, putting him somewhere that he is less likely blindly follow the wrong orders.
I also wonder if Ramya would have been so involved if Prabhas 1 had been king. I think maybe not? Not because she didn’t trust Rana, but because he was seen as such a non-entity. With Rana, there’s more of the feel of “I should help this guy out, he’s okay, but he’s not really up to the job yet”. Which of course wasn’t true, at least not in the way she thought, but with Prabhas she would have been more sure it wasn’t true. Maybe. I don’t see her doing as much gentle advice giving and day by day assistance with Prabhas, but I do see some big blow ups as he made big decisions she disagreed with.
On Sat, May 20, 2017 at 10:41 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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The issue I had with Kattappa was how he couldn’t bring himself to argue against Sivagami’s orders BEFORE the kill, but he had no problem putting her in her place post-betrayal.
For all those finding fault in Kattappa’s actions, I wish to say one thing. Kattappa’s core trait is loyalty and just to satisfy the audience’s urge to let things happen the way they wish and make him rebel at that point is against the integrity of the film. It is core injustice to the filmmaking, even if it is a mindless masala film because characters come with certain constraints and arcs. Loyalty is the key conflict. Some say that Kattappa needs to be brave and rebel. But, do you know how much bravery is required to be committed to a word and stay loyal? Hearts clinch. Memories try to pull one back. Despite this, it is commendable that this man stayed true to his words. I am not making you buy Kattappa as a hero here, but am simply saying that the turn of events are definitely in sync with the character’s trait and that the audience were not taken for granted.
And, now the next scene. If you can recollect, when Kattappa enters the courtroom, he is shown lifeless in the light of a disturbing thunder. He was made to lose the one who was truly someone he can rely on. Someone whom he considered his only dearest friend, companion and son-like person. When Amarendra dies, Kattappa too died. Hence, he need not be afraid of anything now. By killing Amarendra, he fulfilled his duty. By killing Amarendra, he himself lost zeal in life. There, if Kattappa didn’t raise his voice, that would have been Rajamouli’s true betrayal. If Mahendra was not made the king, and if Devasena was not subsequently chained, I am sure that it would have been the last night in Kattappa’s life.
“When Amarendra dies, Kattappa too died.”
He actually says this explicitly in B1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHNQJ28k1Y4&t=81m16s. I just loved Kattappa here. I understand the myth of royal loyalty, but I felt the script was a bit weak in the Sivgami/Kattappa moment of decree. I don’t see the exact point where he realizes the dastardly deed is his destiny.
I also feel any loyal servant to the crown wouldn’t have raised his voice as it is now completely out of character and line. If duty was served (and it was), I would imagined him flatly stated how wrong it was and left. But, I do like how his emotions got the best of him in front of both Sivagami and Devasena. It shows the humane side of Kattapa finally. But I can’t imagine why these very same emotions didn’t come out earlier. Had he been brought to Bhallal’s supposed execution scene, it would have made more sense to me.
Kattappa is another character that I think is slightly underserved by not having more present day scenes in this film. We saw so much torment in B1, felt so bad for him. But then in this movie, we didn’t come back to that. You have to remind yourself that after killing Prabhas 1, it wasn’t just one confrontation with Ramya, it was 25 years of loneliness and bitterness and misery and guilt. All of our irrational “Stupid Kattappa!” feelings are because we feel like he should feel guilty or regretful or something, and we don’t see that in this movie, right after the crime.
Maybe one or two more scenes where he apologizes to Prabhas 2 and Anushka personally, in some way tries to get closure with them for what he has done. Which I think must have happened, I mean, I don’t imagine Prabhas and Anushka being so quick to fight alongside him if they hadn’t had some kind of conversation, let alone Prabhas calling him “grandfather”. But for the audience, it would have been nice for us to have a chance to see that conversation and forgive him as well.
On Fri, May 19, 2017 at 12:27 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
“Even Rana knows that the only way to get Kattappa to kill Prabhas is if Ramya orders it. That’s not part of his ancestral vows, that’s something Kattappa picked, whose orders he was going to obey out of all the royal family.”
-I kinda think mahishmati has the system of the queen mother playing a crucial role in decision making.Also Kattappa may not have picked her as she was the only female in the household left in the family ,26 yrs ago(p.s.-she may have killed her rival i.e. prabhas 1’s mother:)) .The ancestral vows also dont allow Kattappa to question orders.This is followed throughout the 2 parts .He follows orders though hesitantly at times.
-Also all the characters are referred to by their real names except Sathyaraj.y? 🙂
-Also rajamouli gives the environment a personality too.Remember the first movie with the beheading of rana’s son and the subsequent rainfall as if to say the environment wants it to happen.
In the Kattappa killing baahubali scene lightening and the forest fire indicate the environment being incredibly angry at the ongoing events.There is even a lyric thrown in with the dandaalayya tune saying-“dandaalayya ,dandaalayya……please dont stay with us ,we dont deserve u”.I thought this added substantially to the scenes.
-I was thinking maybe Kattappa’s allegiance is something that can be passed down to a specific person? (someone else may have mentioned this in the comments as well) So maybe when the old King, Prabhas 0, died, he told Kattappa to follow Ramya. And Ramya used that authority to steady the throne and take over the kingdom, sort of, in a good way. Ramya, in her final scene, is clearly passing authority down to Prabhas 2. So Kattappa was in this odd limbo for 25 years, stuck obeying Rana and Nassar because they were the last family members left, but hadn’t really given his loyalty to them.
-Sorry, I didn’t realize this would be so confusing! My regular blog readers know that I always call characters by actors’ names, because usually the actors are more playing variations on themselves than a character and it is less confusing that way. If I am describing a Shahrukh movie, who can remember the character name? Much easier to just say “Shahrukh”. I only call characters by the character name as a huge compliment to the actor, that they were able to so fully disappear into the role. I explained this about Kattappa in my first few reviews, and then just kept it up since then, but if you came in late, it would be confusing.
-Yes! One thing I might want to get into if I decide to do a Big Themes post after I finish all these detailed ones is how water is a symbol for Prabhas 2, and fire is more tied to his father. But both of them have some control/relationship to the elements. In a way that other characters don’t so much, and which is another sign of their essential leadership.
On Fri, May 19, 2017 at 12:11 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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Reposting the comment from the earlier post
I am one of the masochists and actually was awed with the sequence of events that led to that moment.
Katappa is “accused” of being a traitor. That is the bait. But unexpectedly the Kalakeyas attack. Fighting them leaves Bahu wounded and exhausted. What if they had not shown up?
When Katappa beseeches and begs Bahu to leave he simply tells him you promised my wife to hold her baby, I promised her I would bring you safe so sit quiet and let me do my job. Katappa is distraught and still insists Bahu leave to which Bahu’s reply about how with Katappa around there was no one who could harm Bahu. My heart went out to Katappa in that moment. A difficult task just became so much harder. 2 people who have so much love, affection and respect for each other. All that was about to be shattered and mutilated for the power and greed of one perosn.
Bahu literally handed him the sword to do what he had been bid in that familiarity of fighting together they had developed over the years. Bahu is initially confused who could have and when he turns he is stunned near speechless but when Katappa simple says royal decree with his head bowed things became so clear to Bahu in that moment about just how rotten things were. His voice when he next speaks is softer , there is no anger and he asks Katappa to protect that one lady whom they both have had so much affection for all these years, especially since Bahu would now not be around. Devasena and his child had Kuntala (he had no way of knowing about Kumar Verma or the fate to soon befall Kuntala). And then he has anger or rather authority when he demands his sword. He deserves to die a warrior would in battle.
And the next scene when Bhalla emerges with the shadow the imaging was brilliant, a normal king but with a perception of being larger than life (his huge shadow against the flames). He desecrates his brother’s dead body, giving himself the illusion that he killed him, the axe in hand and those little hacks. Trying to steal glory from his brother and even then failing. Not bothering that Katappa heard all and would tell Sivagami. It was too late. He had teh throne and his brother was no longer around. He had it all. Making it all the sweeter when it was all again snatched away from him in short order.
– I saw that Kuntala war scene deleted scene, I guessed it would have been an echo of the B1 war when Sivagami upon being insulted asks her sons to go bring the vile man’s head whereas Devasena simply punishes him herself.
– ALso happened across a deleted scenes / alternative scenes discussion with Rajamouli where he speas fo how the Dheevara sequence and the Shivudu returning to Mahishmati sequence were conceived differently and due to other considerations xecuted differently in the movie.)
thanks for the repost! I wanted to respond to your original comment, but then it would have gotten all confused and nobody would have been able to find it and respond back when they were ready to talk about this scene.
-I love how Kattappa and Prabhs 1 never really misunderstand each other in that moment. Kattappa isn’t surprised that Prabhs 1 is so determined to save him, and Prabhas 1 isn’t even surprised when Kattappa kills him, once he learns it is a royal decree. This isn’t a “hideous misunderstanding” situation, but rather a “hideous understanding” situation. Kattappa/Ramya (who I am sure came up with the plan) knew that Prabhas would stay and save him no matter what. And Ramya knew Kattappa would carry out the orders. And Prabhas 1, once he knows there are orders, doesn’t even bother to forgive Kattappa, because there is nothing to forgive, he understands.
I saw his dying words as being because Anushka is so much stronger than Ramya. He assumes Anushka will survive and be okay, because she can take care of herself. But Ramya is weak and broken. Which turns out to be true, Ramya makes one final effort and redeems herself, but then dies. Anushka has a horrible 25 years, but she survives. She doesn’t need Kattappa or anyone else to save her. Well, her son eventually, but until then, she has her inner strength to keep her going. Whereas Ramya is just broken after this, even if she hadn’t drowned (or whatever), i imagine her reaching the forest people safely with the baby, and then having a complete psychotic break and turning into a lovingly cared for mad woman that slowly fades away. Or just straight up killing herself once she knows the baby will be safe.
On Sat, May 20, 2017 at 11:11 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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It’s great to see so many diverse opinions here. I think I will add a few points here
When kattappa is ordered to kill prabhas1 he is left with two options 1. To kill himself or 2. To get killed while executing the order.
– Why can’t a slave kill himself? Because it is a pathetic state of human social condition that they don’t even have authority to kill themselves on purpose. That’s how loyalty and slavery works.
To get killed in action is what kattappa does all the time while he is with prabhas1. If we notice it clearly kattappa wants to die, so he asks prabhas1 to escape. Sadly prabhas1 just falls on katappa’s body and protected him from rain of arrows and hence not only gets himself injured but also protects kattappa life. This saddens kattappa even more. Kattappa tried his best to get killed in the field “by accident”. But he fails and when moment arrives he is left with no option but to kill prabhas1.
-Another point to make here is that when kattappa finally stabs prabhas1 he drops his sword far away. Also prabhas1 is no longer a king or even a royal anymore. Remember kattappa bows only to royalty and none else. So, he had no need to bring in the sword for prabhas1 or kneel before him. So, if we observe carefully, just like he did with Ramya, only not so explicitly (which would be cheating) , he bows down giving in the sword after he couldn’t promise he would protect Ramya. That means kattappa brings in sword and bows down so that prabhas1 could kill him easily and he expects him to. By the time prabhas1 is clear what happened and is not angry on kattappa at all. So, we know he spares katappa’s life and so kattappa is once again the pour soul which doesn’t need saving but is done. I think that’s the only way you can say you want to be killed in action without actually saying anything, expecting prabhas1 to be furious at his back stab. But we know how great prabhas1 is !
I think after Rana reveals sketches about how he deceived his mother and speaks foul of his mother kattappa understands how prabhas1 inferred the situation and anticipated an attack on Ramya. Hence he is asked to promise to protect her.
At the same time, unable to loose his guilt and failed to die he goes back to palace and explains from the beginning the entire sketch. But Rajamouli chose to make it emotional instead of obvious rubble about the past. Also I think slowly Ramya too comes to realize the mistake she did slowly grasping the schemes of Rana.
When she finally confronted Rana she realizes her death is certain but somehow tries to do something diplomatic but failed. Nazar in his evil plan try to convince Ramya to kill the child. That would keep blood away from their hands and yet make her guilty enough whereby they can take a u turn to execute her for her crime of killing infant. Alas she shows her brilliance here by saying that prabhas1 is killed but doesn’t say how or why so that country won’t break into civil war. But to rana’s surprise she declares infant the king. That means infant needs protection until he can rule. Also why when prabhas1 takes the throne he takes oath on Ramya instead of his mother.
At this point she distrusts everyone except kattappa and anushka unable to move and devastated not by delivery but by death of her husband that she choose not to escape palace. When Rana finally attacks Ramya its not just to kill his mother but also now proclaimed infant king . Kattappa tries his best to protect her. She protects the baby with her life and very well knows that Rana won’t give up until both of them are dead. So, she sacrifices herself so that everyone thinks baby died along with her. Spies would have found her body and reported back to Rana which might have confirmed death of infant.
Also explains why when prabhas2 comes to the capital and a whole bunch of people recognize him and start a rubble that they saw bahubali and it soon picks up, Rana is so devastated and we can actually hear Nazar saying that infant is dead and Rana thinking it’s impossible.
I think kattappa is the only man in the kingdom who knew what exactly was happening or happened. I don’t think even Rana knew what was happening behind what was visible. He only had schemes and sketches for action plan. He is the most evil character.
I know it’s too soon, but I want to remind you people that before B2 came out a few war scenes leaked where aslam Khan, the Kabul trader aids kattappa in attacking the fort from other front of the fort. That’s why Rana grabs anushka in the battle and just closes doors : to fight war on the other front. We can actually hear aslam Khan asking kattappa to call him at any time of need in B1. Apparently all the footage taken to explain the climax war more cleanly is cut out and is lying on the editing floor. I hope they add it as deleted scenes in the DVD.
I have noticed another thing during the final fight which is a suspended I would like to keep until the final post. I will give a hint here. Notice the two Shiva lingams in the movie : the one prabhas2 lifts and the one inside the kingdom. It is said they are connected and there is history for both of them.
-It’s interesting, no one really chooses suicide in these movies. But they will fight to the point of death. Ramya wants to die, she says it explicitly, but she still has to serve Anushka, and Mahishmati, as much as she can. Anushka never even considers death, as an alternative to her torments, seeing that her faithfulness is somehow serving Mahishmati/Prabhas 1/Prabhas 2. Rana is the only one who embraces death, who admits that he wants it, at the end of the final fight. And when he suggests Anushka join him, she looks disgusted, I think not just because it is Rana, but at the thought of suicide, of giving up in that way. I don’t think it is a moral stand against suicide exactly, but there does seem to be a moral stand against giving up the fight in any way.
-Thank you for explaining why Prabhas 2 takes the oath on Ramya instead of Anushka! That makes complete sense.
-With Ramya saving Prabhas 2, knowing that the palace has to think he is dead also adds to her determination to kill the guards following her. It’s not just to save their lives, it’s that she can’t risk one the guards surviving and getting word back to the palace that she and Prabhas 2 didn’t die from falling in the river. And with your point about her avoiding giving any details of Prabhas 1’s death to avoid civil war, for the same reasons Rana and Nassar couldn’t let the common people know the full details of Ramya and Prabhas 2’s “death”. Which would mean that there would always be rumors that they survived, explaining why the people were so quick to believe, while Rana and Nassar were sure it couldn’t be true.
-Well now I am really upset! I loved Sudeep in the first movie, and that line about “call on me any time” so clearly set up his character for a return. Plus, as you point out, the final battle doesn’t quite make sense in the version we got, it’s unclear why Prabhas 2 and his group so easily defeat the Mahishmati forces. This is more than just removing scenes we might have enjoyed, it’s damaging the scenes we got, if there was a logical explanation we never saw. Oh well, maybe there will be a special “extended cut” available later.
-Can’t wait! Final few posts should be going up early next week.
I read first that the director’s cut was 3 hr 17 min long. But distributors protested saying that it would considerably reduce the no of shows per day. So, all the trimming was done to reduce it to 2hr 48 min version. We got to see that in theatre. Like it happened with magadheera after 50th day of release, they added 12 min of footage, it hope Rajamouli does the same this time too.
But I felt like the movie should have ended with prabhas1 death and there should have been a third movie all about revenge with a little more dramaticization. Or it would have been real cliff hanger if it ended with Rana snatching away Anushka after milling her brother and prabhas2 left behind. But Rajamouli was so determined to not go for third movie he messed up a lot of things. Luckily movie didn’t loose it’s heart in the process. Which is why audience forgave that stupid formality of revenge. I felt it was super quick and was felt out of place. I was moved enough by his death already I didn’t want more violence or anything at all after that.
Same thing happened to Sholay! And it took literally decades for the definitive version to be pulled together and released on DVD. Hopefully it doesn’t take nearly as long this time.
I hope that eventually they release a 4 hour version. I don’t know if I would want them to try to stretch the material even longer, make a 3rd film that felt more like “filler”. But I would have liked this film to be longer. Or, perhaps the first movie could have run longer as well. Maybe some of the battle preparation scenes that were clearly cut from this film could have been put into that one.
When Bahubali 1 died, I got the same feeling which I got when the big tree in the movie “Avatar” falls down. I went to the movie with my family and everyone sunk into their seats with tears rolling down their eyes when he is suffering from pain.
That’s a great comparison! It’s the same sense that it wasn’t just about the person, but about the way he was holding up an entire community.
On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 1:27 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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I was watching the movie again today and something from one of the comments here struck me – about how Amarendra’s death was hard to accept because we had just seen him as this young, father-to-be, reveling in the happiness of having felt his baby kick (basically the entire Dandalayya song).
I often wondered why Mufasa’s death in Lion King hit me hard. Every single time I watched it, I’d end up a blubbering mess. I never pondered on it though. But the above mentioned comment made me realize that Mufasa had a pretty much similar arc to Amarendra. Just before the death scene, you see him reprimanding Simba for going in search of the hyenas and how he was scared that he would lose Simba. And then you see them playing with each other and Simba innocently asking him “Hey Dad, we’re pals right, and we’ll always be together, right?”
It’s rather wonderfully tragic that both Amarendra and Mufasa’s happiest moments before their death was with their family – not as kings, but as a loving father/husband.
This deconstruction of their character is what binds us to them. Both of them are initially presented to us as someone with a god-like stature. But the real triumph of these movies is that they peel the royal layers and slowly we are looking at man who is as vulnerable as you and me, who at the end of the day wants nothing more than to love his family endlessly and receive that love in return (feel free to add a host of other good qualities about Amarendra/Mufasa).
Would LionKing have been as successful if it had just portrayed Mufasa the King and ignored Mufasa the Father? Nope
Similary, would Bahubali 2 have been this successful if all we got to see was Amarendra the warrior prince instead of the devoted son, flirtatious lover, loyal friend and caring husband that he is? Again, a resounding no.
Brilliant comparison! And in both films, the son returns after death as the avenger. Both of the king and the father, the one person uniquely suited to mourn the man and the myth, if that makes sense. They are the destined true ruler who wants to remove the usurper from the throne for the good of the kingdom. But they are also the son angry over the death of their father.
I must say your post has proved the best content to have after watching the ending of the Bahubali Saga. Ohh man, what an emotionally covered moment when Kind died at his body position of the king. Wow, finally that scene made me lots of cries and did you cry?