Bahubali Theme Post: Avantika! Our Female Kattappa

I’m just cruising along with these character posts!  Partly because, as I said before, they are more sort of discussion starts than the end all-be all.  Every single moment of character development has been covered in the scene by scene posts, this is just gathering together some of the more interesting thoughts in one place. (full index of all Bahubali posts, including the other character posts, available here)

Avantika!  I just realized I am still going along in chronological order of main characters.  First Sivagami, then Shivudu, and then Shivudu and the audience meet Avantika.

Avantika is an interesting character, especially compared with our other heroine/romantic interest Devasena.  In the comments, Asmita recently called Devasena a “flat” character.  I know exactly what she meant, I don’t necessarily agree with it in regards to Devasena, but the “flat” description is really evocative.  It means a character where you have plenty of details about them, but there still feels like there isn’t much there.  You get bored whenever they are onscreen, they just don’t feel “real”.  Avantika really SHOULD feel like that.  We know almost nothing about her, and spend the least amount of time with her than all of our main characters.  And yet, she doesn’t feel “flat”.  She feels sketched in, if that makes sense.  There is just enough of her character for us to feel like we know her, the bare minimum to give a feeling of shape to her.  I guess kind of like an MF Hussein painting, big colors and brush strokes, not a lot of details.  But the end result is still a full portrait.

Image result for mf hussain madhuri painting

(See?  No eyes or nose, perspective is a little funky, but still clearly a person)

So, what do we know about her?  She is not a happy person.  That is the first thing we learn.  She is unique in that way, the only one of our main characters who never allows herself a moment off the path of duty to find any joy.  Even Sivagami and Bhalla, the two other characters who are the most “head” over “heart”, have their moments of letting go.  Sivagami sings to her son.  Bhalla tortures animals.  The point is, they have hobbies!

Avantika has nothing.  I’m talking about real Avantika, not Shivudu’s vision of her.  In my discussion of B1, I talked about the significance of her introduction, and how it varies slightly in the Hindi and Telugu versions.  Sticking with the “real” Telugu version, what we see is a group of soldiers laughingly running after her, teasing her, clearly preparing to rape her just for the fun of it.  Avantika is running away, leading them into an ambush.  And then neatly killing them all.

It’s a cool opening, establishes her as a great warrior and fearless and so on.  But it also shows just how empty her life is.  She is at the point of seeing her body, her whole person, as just bait for attackers.  And then as a weapon against them.

The film spends a surprisingly long time on establishing Avantika’s life.  If you look at it from the Shivudu side, it seems like spending a long time on his romance.  But just as B2 didn’t just give us the Devasena-Amarenda romance but also a sense of life in Kuntala which would carry through the rest of the film and Devasena’s behavior, so do Avantika’s scenes let us see life in Kuntala now.  We see her at what is social time for her, sitting in a smokey cave talking about death and duty.  And then at what is her “luxury” time, letting fish eat the dirt from her fingers.  And what passes for friendship is the nameless fellow female fighter who sometimes covers for her during night guard duty.  And who will help her set a trap for an attacker.

This is a very thoughtful opening sequence for Avantika’s character.  By the end of it, we know more about her than, for instance, Shivudu after his introduction.  Maybe we don’t know her backstory, how she came to join the rebel band exactly, who her parents were, what her equation is exactly with the rebel leader.  But we know who she is now.

Image result for avantika

There is nothing else in her life but the rebel band and her duty to them.  Whether her family is dead, abandoned her, or she was born into the rebel life, it is all she has now.  And it is an empty life.  One of the first things we see is her learning of the death of one of her closest companions from the guardsman, and then passing that news on to the rebel leader.  And any emotion this news might create is hidden away, not allowed.  Tears are forbidden and so, clearly, are smiles.  Life is just about duty and mission and nothing else.

And we know that Avantika has begun to chaff under this, at the same time that she is achieving “success” (clearly a high level warrior within the band, finally given the biggest honor of all in being assigned her impossible mission).  Perhaps the two are related?  Perhaps her success comes from her ability to follow orders so perfectly.  And that perfect control is exhausting, is making her more and more crave respite, something different.

Which is where Shivudu enters.  Something completely different from anything else in her life.  Happy, open, hopeful.  He puzzles her at first, she defaults to seeing him as a threat because that is how she sees everything.  But, finally, he breaks through her reserve and her coverings of responsibility, and makes her see and feel like a real living person again.

Avantika’s greatest strength is not in the battle scenes, it is in the moment when she walks away from Shivudu.  She has made a decision of what is the right thing to do, and is following it, although it dooms her to a life of misery.

Really, the closest character comparison for Avantika is Kattappa.  Two characters who have sworn obedience above all, who have wrapped up all their human emotions into their duty.  As Sivagami is to Kattappa, so is her brother, the rebel leader, for Avantika.  As Amarendra is for Kattappa, slowly wearing away his resolve and giving him one person to call his own, so is Shivudu for Avantika.  And Avantika drugging and walking away from Shivudu is her moment of heartbreaking duty over love, as much as Kattappa’s stabbing Amarendra.

That is why Avantika is so fascinating.  A character who has foresworn everything but duty in a way we don’t usually see from female characters.  And her moment of character resolution (short though it is, it is there!) is not a romantic one.  It is in the middle of B1, when she orders her rebels to go and wait for Shivudu because she is sure he will fulfill his quest.  It’s the same as Kattappa deciding to lead the army for Shivudu later.  She is placing her love and faith above all “logic”, risking her duty because of her trust in something else.  And for the first time giving orders instead of taking them, because her love makes her confident in her own decisions, able to break through her blind obedience.

From then on, it is all just kind of done for Avantika.  She has resolved her duty-versus-love conundrum in her own way.  It would have been interesting to see what would happen if it came up again in a new way, for instance of Devasena as Princess of Kuntala was against the marriage and ordered Avantika to leave Shivudu.  Would she choose love over duty?  Or, would she choose duty to her King who orders her to marry him (Amarendra would never have done that, but I am pretty sure Shivudu wouldn’t hesitate to abuse his power in that way, technically forcing someone to do something he knows they really want to do) over duty to the Princess she idolized for her whole life?  But, that doesn’t happen.  The only tiny moment of Devasena/Avantika we see has Avantika sitting with her head on Devasena’s lap, clearly they get along fine.

And then we have Avantika in B2.  For, like, 30 seconds.  But, again, it does resolve her character.  We want more not because we feel like what we got was wrong, but because it was so right it whetted the appetite.  Yes, of course Avantika would be fighting in this battle, not sitting on the sidelines.  And yes, of course, when it is over, she would be dressed in royal clothing on the royal pavilion.  Because that is where her duty takes her.

Oh, one final interesting note while I am thinking about it.  We were discussing in the comments recently how Amarendra calls Kattappa “Mama” and Anushka regards him as her father.  Therefore making the two of them, in their own way, follow the “daughter of my maternal uncle is my bride” southern tradition.  We don’t know exactly how Avantika is related to the rebel leader, but he is clearly the closest she has to a father.  And, since he is Devasena’s brother (we learn through the cast list since the dialogue scene that must be there explaining it was cut!), that means Avantika is the child of Shivudu’s maternal uncle, once again repeating the pattern.  Which is kind of neat.

(Just like in this movie!  Which is otherwise completely different)

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74 thoughts on “Bahubali Theme Post: Avantika! Our Female Kattappa

  1. “The only tiny moment of Devasena/Avantika we see has Avantika sitting with her head on Devasena’s lap, clearly they get along fine.”

    This was in BB2? During Kattappa’s flashback?

    “And, since he is Devasena’s brother (we learn through the cast list since the dialogue scene that must be there explaining it was cut!), that means Avantika is the child of Shivudu’s maternal uncle, once again repeating the pattern. ”

    I did not understand this bit. Avantika is King Jaya Varma’s biological daughter? Or adoptive daughter? Is that in the casting list? Or like he’s a father figure to her?

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  2. One of the really interesting bits about Avanthika is that Tammannah has openly stated that she was roped in for the role almost a year into the shooting of the film when she was visiting Anushka on the sets. Meaning Anushka had already filmed quite a bit for her role in the film.

    Keeping in mind the actual length of screentime Anushka got in BB1 (they shot the Kuntala scenes in 2016 since we have so many on-set interviews from the time) and the bodies of the two leading men (giving us a timeline of the shoot), there is the possibility that the full Avanthika character may have been an afterthought.

    Tammannah again has stated that Prabhas helped her train for the battle sequences and nowhere in the behind-the-sets scenes do we find Tammannah being trained in swordfight by actual professionals. Why would your precious principal actor do that unless it was just a few hours of work for him and not full time training which requires time and he himself is supposed to train strictly under supervision to avoid injury risks?

    And we do have footage of Anushka, Rana and Prabhas in training. They trained for a good few months with professionals. Why would Rajamouli skip training for a major character? Avanthika is the least impressive fighter in the film (limp wrists, incorrect posture, runs with head tiled back!). Avanthika makes Devasena looks amazing! Devasena’s intro, the scene where the Pindari are flying in air, has such amazingly accurate footwork and a breathtaking range of motion from Anushka. You fall in love with her and believe that she’s this amazing warrior in that first scene! That’s training showing! The bodylanguage, posture, wrists, feet, waist, non-sword arm, forehead, lips, expression, shoulders- everything is ON POINT! Avanthika’s action sequences, on the other hand, look forced and girly! They could be on the blooper reel!

    I find this even more interesting because allegedly the role was also offered to Sonam Kapoor. ALLEGEDLY! The original casting rumour only stated that Hritik Roshan, Sridevi & John Abraham rejected the film but the list was later expanded to include Vivek Oberoi (for Bhallaladeva?! Seriously? I don’t buy this one at all!), Sonam, Nayantara and Mohanlal. And Sonam Kapoor looks like a bhikharan when not dolled up! I’m sorry to have to say this about a girl, but she is kinda plain looking. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Mausam prove that Sonam can do plain-looking small town/ village girl-next-door but she doesn’t have the sharp features to pull off sexy Raggedy Ann!

    My theory is that their original plan for the story was Shivudu finds the mask, gets intrigued, climbs the waterfall, finds the cavepeople, someone recruits him and he goes to Mahishmati and rest goes as it was. The only doubt i have with this theory of mine is that Dhivara kind of both needs and doesn’t need a pretty woman to work! It’s an ode to Shivudu, the song is all about him, the VFX is too meticulously planned to be an afterthought.

    So that was by design. The climbing sequence would have worked with just Shivudu alone. I just don’t see how Sonam Kapoor, no matter how goddessed up, could do what Tammannah did for the song! Tammannah may be low on acting scale but she very high on the effortlessly pretty scale. Plus the pale skin obsession kind of works in her favour too. But she would be pretty even if she weren’t so pale.

    SO, what if they were planning it like just a fantasy song? Like Shivudu chases this girl that doesn’t exist and finds the cavepeople instead and so on? Because for the makers to start shooting without casting a female lead (with an actual full-time role in the film) when budget is kind of already a big deal, is mind-boggling! They would be so chill if it was just an item song. And I suspect it may have started as just that! Tammannah was supposed to do just an item song or two as fantasy Avanthika/damsel in distress Avanthika who cannot marry/go back to the village with Shivudu because her tribe needs to rescue Devasena (giving Shivudu the appropriate motivation to get to Mahishmati) HENCE she wasn’t trained for the battle role or given a proper backstory.

    I didn’t really understand what this character was doing in the film and I walked out of the theatre because of the Avanthika character. I HATED the shoorveerni-to-mush arc. It threw me off completely and to be honest I couldn’t even stand it till I read your explanation for the character. South Indian films don’t do characters like that at all, do they, where you need to analyse it so deeply to make sense of things! In a film full of characters filled with easy to understand motivations, for them to put in an Avanthika that is so hard to understand doesn’t make sense.

    Even the general public was outraged by the “Rape of Avanthika” sequence. The character is out of place and awkward and it shows. Kudos to you for sticking to the principles of critical analysis and making sense of Avanthika in-universe!

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    • “My theory is that their original plan for the story was Shivudu finds the mask, gets intrigued, climbs the waterfall, finds the cavepeople, someone recruits him and he goes to Mahishmati and rest goes as it was. ”

      Rajamouli in an interview mentioned that as per original story a monkey was involved. The monkey brings the mask to Shivudu. They were intending to bring a trained monkey to do that part which censor board had a problem with and Rajamouli had to chop off that idea. Having a monkey also makes the Dhivara song even more impressive, afterall the Sanskrit verses (in the Telugu version of the song) are from Sundara Kanda of the Ramayan and Sundara Kanda is about Hanuman.

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      • Oh, that is fascinating! I imagine the “Dhivara” song would still have the structure of climbing the waterfall chasing a vision, but i wonder what the vision would have been of? A noble hanuman looking monkey vision could have worked. Or maybe it could have been something artsy like a vision of his future self, or of Mahishmati. Or Anushka in chains?

        On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Would appreciate it if you can link that interview somehow if you can find it? I’d be happy to watch/read as many of his interviews as long as they are not in Telugu which I don’t know.
        No idea how or why censor board may have a problem with monkeys like that.

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        • Sonam is brilliant at PR! I find her fascinating, because she has such a “male” career in that way. I wrote a post a while back about why there are so few women at the top level of the film industry. And it’s not just because they aren’t getting the roles, it’s because they aren’t getting the training way way early in their career that male stars have available, the spending time shadowing directors and sitting on on music sessions and all of that stuff you need to know in order to become a top star.

          But Sonam is doing it! It’s harder for a woman and it doesn’t look the same, but she is the only female actress I can think of who worked as an AD before acting. And even after she started acting, she has done so few roles because she spends half her time making connections in the industry, cementing her status, and sitting in on production meetings to learn everything she can about filmmaking. She is already a producer-star of successful films, while her “batchmates” Rabir and Deepika are still working on establishing themselves.

          On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:46 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That wasn’t by choice. She was fat. And in her head that made her unsuitable to act. Besides, what contribution has her AD stint made in her acting career anyway? She wouldn’t even be getting noticed if she wasn’t Anil Kapoor’s daughter. Who btw is such an admirable guy. In this interview he did during his Hollywood debut, he said something like oh while I was doing the “struggle” there… He didn’t act like oh I’m this big deal in Bollywood so I should only let melt agents do the hard work for me here.

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          • We can agree to disagree, but I feel like Sonam’s AD stint has made her much smarter at navigating the industry. Or, put it another way, knowing that she should do an AD stint before acting, that it is good to understand every part of the film set not just your own part, is a sign of a larger sense of how the industry works.

            Not that it made her a better actress, but stuff like knowing who to offend and who not to offend. Like, Delhi 6 flopped, but Sonam stayed in touch with the director anyway and never badmouthed the film (in fact, continually talks it up), and then he offered her Bhaag Milkha Bhaag which was huge for her career. Heck, taking Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in the first place was a savvy move, such a tiny tiny role a lot of actresses would have turned their noses up at it. And putting in so much energy to promoting Neerja and preparing for it, knowing that it would be a hit.

            I just feel like she has a better understanding of the industry as a whole than a lot of other young actresses. And you can see that in how her career has played out.

            On Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 10:11 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I see your point. Maybe I just dislike her because she’s said really nasty stuff about other actresses on record.

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    • I think the sketched in feeling I get about the character is probably because of how she was added late. But on the other hand, in some ways, it makes her a stronger more interesting character. Instead of being someone that we feel like we know everything about, she is intriguing.

      If there is a BB3, it might be interesting for her to be the lead character, because there is so much to explore.

      On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:00 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Adding a monkey would make it look like a disney movie. Tamannah is the best choice. Besides, as Margaret commented, half the audience won’t be excited to see monkey’s bare back 🙂

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          • If Rajamouli planned the monkey to have the same story arc as Avanthika (back baring included), I can totally see why the Censor Board shut that down! 😛

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        • Rajamouli did say in that interview he did not want a CGI monkey. Perhaps his original plan was to have the monkey provide the mask to Shivudu and be an inspiration to SHivudu to climb the mountain. Without Tamannah in the picture, it would mean that Shivudu’s paths somehow crossed with Jaya Verma (Devasena’s brother/Rebel leader) and Jaya Verma has him undertake the mission to rescue Devasena.

          I would have actually preferred both the monkey and Tamannah.

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          • They couldn’t have had Shivudu meet anyone who had met/seen Amarendra. So sans Avanthika, he could have been recruited by anyone from the rebel band who had been born after Kuntala burned.

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          • Although then Jaya Verma would recognize his face. But any other member of the rebel group would work, so long as they never brought him to meet the leader.

            On Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 11:32 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. It is standard Bollywood PR action for actors to claim that they were offered successful films which they rejected. Deepika has developed this to the nth degree. The producers, director, and Rana have clarified many, many times that NO ONE other than the final cast was offered any role except Sri Devi for Sivagami. But the Bollywood media keep churning out these PR pieces. The rumor of various Bollywood heroines being offered Saaho are just more of these PR exercises, IMO. All that shows to me is how much of an impression Bahubali and Prabhas have made on the Bollwood industry.

    BTW, despite this blog’s name, I use the term “Bollywood” above deliberately and advisedly. It signifies to me that part of the Hindi film industry which is much more about connections than talent, driven by friendships, nepotism, gossip, jealousies, and backstabbing, and only occasionally by the desire to make a good film. Films like Aligarh and Neerja are Hindi films, not Bollywood. 🙂

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    • True! Bollywood press just don’t know how to handle South stars. I don’t speak Telugu but I’ve watched enough Prabhas interviews in Telugu (even a Tamil one) with captions where he looks perfectly capable of speaking at length about Bahubali and an N number of other things. With ease, even when the interviewer is heaping praises on him and he looks uncomfortable, he speaks like a normal person. In Bollywood press, there is one single interview of him where he talks normally and that is with Rajeev Masand! And it’s a really good interview too. How is it that the rest of this large press segment couldn’t talk to this mega star at all? Or is it that the Bollywood press is so ignorant and so oblivious about the rest of the Indian film community that they can’t even get a normal interview done?

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      • Again, I am so frustrated with this new “press”! Anupama published a book of early interviews/essays from back at the beginning of her career a few years back. And it’s fascinating partly for how it shows what the press used to be like. They were just a bunch of kids who would stroll onto film sets and hang out with stars. There were no “interviews”, it was just chatting over lunch. And there was no “gotcha” kind of idea of reporting, they just said what they were told by the stars. Of course, it also worked because the stars were so relaxed, there was no need for the kind of invasive questions they have now, because people would just talk and open up naturally.

        Well, and then there were also places like Cineblitz that just straight up made stuff up. So it was too extremes, either all friendly and exactly what the stars said, or completely fake.

        On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:56 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • These kinds of stories are another area where it feels like the very high parts of the industry and the very low parts don’t care, but there is this middle crowd that just lives off of it.

      What was the last thing where it came up? Was it the Bahubali caste issue maybe? Anyway, it seems like this middle crowd only came up recently, like in the past 20-30 years out of the entire 100 year history of Indian film. The actual producers and directors, and the top stars, don’t have the time or interest to deal with these petty stories. And the hardworking lower people, they just want more movies to be made so they have jobs, they don’t care about it either. But there is this new category of media people and PR people and stars who are more focused on working the media than on making movies, and suddenly we have all this chaff to dig through in order to find real stories. And my least favorite, the “evil” version of me, people who pretend to do “analysis”, but it is really clickbait articles tying every film to the latest hot social issue/discussion. At least, I hope I don’t do that! If I tie a film to a social issue, I try really hard to make it not just about that. Because that’s not analysis, that’s just finding the one thing you don’t like and ignoring the rest of the film.

      On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:36 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I worked as a writer for this blog network way back when. And I remember getting editorial briefs about celebrity posts that demanded either blind adulation or downright dissing. Nothing else sells I was told. Objectivity doesn’t sell. I can tell when some blog got a one line lead from somewhere and did a whole article on it and then other sites just ran with it as their source. I wish writers for entertainment sites got the chance to have a spine, to have real opinions of their own.

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        • I am torn between being SUPER JEALOUS that you had an opportunity to work as a writer (I have never had a chance to write for a living), and grateful that I can maintain my semi-amataur status and just write what I want instead of what I am told to write.

          That adulation/dissing thing comes up sometimes very rarely in my comments. As in, people can’t handle it that my posts usually aren’t adulation or dissing, but somewhere in between. On the same post, I’ve had comments complaining that I am blindly believing everything a star says and he is actually a terrible person, and then another comment on the same post that I am being disrespectful and mean (you don’t see these comments because they are also abusive so I don’t let them be posted). It’s like people have lost the ability to read what I am actually saying! If they see one sentence that is critical, or one that is complimentary, they just stop and react to that and assume there is nothing more.

          On Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 10:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It was the best, most enjoyable period of my working life. I worked multiple blogs so I also got editors that trusted me completely and let me write whatever I felt like on a lead. Lost that job in the recession 😦

            Still friends with those editors though. I’ve written a few novel type of deals that I’ve been meaning to refine all this time but life keeps getting in the way.

            As for your haters, well, fuck them. You’ve got plenty of people that love you even when they don’t agree with you.

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  4. As to the actual content of this post — Now that BB1 is on youtube, I have watched it many times, as well as the four times I saw it in the theater. In none of those times did I ever feel that the soldiers chasing Avantika in her introduction scene were motivated by anything other than a desire to capture her as an enemy soldier and get the enemy’s plans and strategies out of her. So I disagree with your assumption that they wanted to rape her, however much that might jive better with your feminist theories. Similarly, while I cringe a little at the “adornment of Avantika” sequence, and felt it could have been better portrayed, I never thought of that as “rape”, either, and so object to that sequence being referred to as the “Rape of Avantika” sequence. In general I find that public discourse has become poisoned by the use of extremely exaggerated terms to describe a particular action or event. I see the overuse and light use of terms like “rape” in the same way.

    I think your comparison of Avantika’s character to Katappa’s is brilliant. Yes, there are many similarities, and the equating of Avantika’s drugging of Shivudu to Kattappa’s killing of Amarendra is again very apt. The only correction I want to point out is that, after Shivudu goes off to Mahishmati, Avantika doesn’t “order’ the rebels to also go, but persuades/begs the rebel leader to trust her in her trust of Shivudu, and take the band to Mahishmati to support him.

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    • I didn’t figure out the Kattappa-Avantika idea until halfway through this post. I was just focused on describing her character but then I started to get deja vu while writing thinking “this sounds so familiar! This discussion of duty above desire and an empty life and feeling guilty for love.” And that’s when it clicked that I could use all those same terms to discuss Kattappa.

      I wonder how it came up from the character development side of things with the filmmakers? If the character was added late, as I think we can all agree she was, I don’t think they actually said “let’s make a female Kattappa!’, but maybe the ideas of duty and an empty life and all that were already sort of floating around in the air, and without realizing it, they ended up just sort of duplicating those themes instead of creating an entirely new conflict for this character. All the other characters have such strong and individual themes to their stories.

      On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:44 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Margaret felt that Avanthika chasing sequence was with rape intention going by how the chasers could apparently be heard differently in original Telugu audio, laughing more than the other language tracks. But yes I also don’t think it was with rape intention any which way and it could be one of those things that feminists go too far reading into.
      On the other hand, Margaret also posted that the rapey song sequence prelude could also be seen as Shivu just making her see herself for what she really wants to be, as she clearly indicates her dislike of the lifestyle she has little choice but to adopt anyway, especially in that scene where she looks at her reflection forlornly in the puddle.

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    • thank you! But they still don’t feel like real “friends”, right? Like, not the kind of joking happy friends Devasena had in Kuntala in the past, right?

      On Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 2:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes their friendship was not shown in detail because it may be beyond scope of script. Besides, along with crying, friendships and relationships also must be forbidden in the rebel territory.

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        • that’s what I am thinking, the rebel rules are so strict that the closest relationship you can make is still goal focused, not just having fun.

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  5. Avantika appears only for 30 seconds or so in Bahubali 2. Because he character was already established in first movie, her fight scenes or romance scenes in second movie would be redundant. Besides the movie is about how Sivudu avenged the death of his father and cruel treatment of his mother.

    But I read some gossip somewhere that Rajamouli had a fight with Tamannah and hence chopped off her scenes in second movie. If that is true I feel really sad for her because I liked her character. Anybody has facts that Rajamouli really had fight with Tamannah?

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    • If she did, she wouldn’t be out promoting the film as extensively asd she did. Her role is definitely chopped off but that might have been for time.

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      • Even if her portions were chopped for personal vendetta I think director has final creative authority and so she would have had to attend promotions due to contractual obligations.

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    • No, there was no fight, but Rajamouli was cutting scenes out till the day of the release, if the VFX didn’t satisfy him. He supposedly cut a lot of Tamannah’s scenes just a day or two before the release, because the VFX didn’t come out right, in his opinion. To an extent this is also hearsay — that is, Rajamouli himself confirmed that he was cutting scenes at the last minute, and his editor confirmed that he was doing it till the last minute. With so much information overload just before the release, I can’t now remember if the editor or someone else said that some of those cut scenes included Tamannah’s. But that’s the general memory I have.

      I can readily believe that her scenes were cut due to technical problems, rather than personal problems.

      If we are to go by rumors, I did read some rumors that Rajamouli felt bad about having to cut her scenes, so promised her the heroine role in his next film. But, since no one knows what that next film will be, I’d take that with a pinch of salt.

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      • I also heard that he was cutting until the day of release. and if he had to cut anything, Avantika was the logical place to cut. There was less to resolve with her character in BB2, and she had less connections with the other characters, only really being important to Shivudu’s story not Kattappa or Anushka or Bhalla and she never even met Sivagami.

        On Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 3:55 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I actually felt Shivudu got shortchanged in BB2 as well. His story was not well resolved, either. Too much time spent on Amarendra-Devasena romance. I know that’s heresy for you romance lovers, but I felt it upset the balance of the overall story.

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          • I agree, sort of. The overall feel was that the movies were more Amarendra and Devasena’s story than anything else. Which may have been the goal of the filmmakers, in which case the decision to make Shivudu’s resolution all about the final battle and avenging his parents was correct.

            But maybe the films would have been stronger, would have felt more like cohesive wholes, if it had seemed like two separate stories, Amarendra and Devasena in the past and then an equal story for Shivudu and Avantika (or just Shivudu) in the present.

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          • I think it’s because both Rajamaoli and Prabhas love Amarendra more. Prabhas basically developed Amarendra’s characterization nuances himself (Rajamaoli confirmed this) and you can just tell Rajamaoli prefers Amarendra too. That character has so much screentime! If Prabhas was a girl there’d be romance rumors.

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          • Prabhas is still officially unmarried and all, right? Maybe there is some passionate romance we don’t know about between him and a female camera person, and she is the one who did all the super loving shots of him 🙂

            Oh! And he never knew how she felt! Because he is so humble and good in real life. And he thought she was too educated and sophisticated and modern and ambitious to care about him that way. they became good friends over the 5 years of filming, but it never turned romantic. Until Prabhas is cruising the internet one day, comes across this very blog post, goes back and watches the movie, noticing how lovingly the camera frames him in the parts that she filmed, realizes what this means, suddenly understands other comments she has made, rushes to the airport to stop her as she is about to leave the country for an opportunity in America, uses his star power to convince the airport workers to help him, puts on a massive choreographed song and dance to get her attention and admit his love, fights her evil fiance who helped convince her she never had a chance with Prabhas because he wanted her American Visa, and then they embrace and are together forever and ever.

            On Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 10:21 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Dear God!!! ^this!!! Dude you should totally write movies!!! This would be a film with Prabhas as himself!! Oh the possibilities!!!

            In real life, however, there’s this video thay just went viral with anushka telling him to sit properly, eye roll and everything!! 😁 I think they’ve got a thing. That or they have a brother-sister relationship!! No “friend” does that to a guy! His expression after sitting properly is something I couldn’t understand at all. Was he sulking, was he like yes dear? You gotta watch that!! 😁

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          • Found the video! And you are right, it is super cute. Although, to be fair, I’ve had friends do stuff like that for me too. Like, I will ask them to watch me and make sure I don’t fiddle with my hair too much, and they will signal me to stop. Of course, this would be very good friends!

            On Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 8:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Ooo.. So you got “friends” vibe from this?? Damn!! I’m already all Team Pranushka in fan groups. He’s likely to marry some politician’s or big businessman’s kid though right.

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          • I didn’t necessarily get a “friends” vibe, but either “friends” or “dating so long that they are kind of back to being friends.” I would be happy either way! The one thing I don’t want is our poor Prabhas to be married off to some girl he doesn’t know just because her family is wealthy/powerful.

            Oh, I know what this is reminding me of! In the Hindi industry, Varun Dhawan has this really great friends vibe with a lot of his co-stars, Alia and Shraddha especially. There were all these romance rumors. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that he is seriously involved with his college girlfriend and has been since long before his career started. So he really does see woman as just friends, and vice versa, there is no awkwardness, and what the public/media was reading as “romance” was just a friendship with no hangups. So maybe Prabhas has some super serious girlfriend that he hasn’t been comfortable letting the public know about yet. Or maybe Anushka is that super serious girlfriend.

            On Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 8:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • God please let it be Anushka!! She’s such a wonderful actress. They can make amazing movies together and help each other become even better actors!! Sweety and Darling!! 😁

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          • Well, if it is, at least it makes complete sense why they haven’t announced anything until now. You don’t want the Bahubali promos to be overshadowed by their relationship, or their marriage to be overshadowed by the promos. But if it isn’t announced within the next year, I think we may have to give up. I mean, what are they waiting on? Neither of them is getting any younger, and there is no higher their careers can go. Or, put it another way, at this point marriage wouldn’t slow them down because they have already gotten so high.

            On Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 9:06 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh the media is already shifting attention from Pranushka to Prabhas-Tammannah and Anushka-Nagarjun (King Nag rubbished the claims shaming the media for linking Anushka to both him and his son!) Makes me wonder which the last actor couple was. None of the younger Telugu mega stars have married actors.

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          • As you may have seen in other posts, I looooooooooove Nagarjuna. Which, combining with my love for Shahrukh, seems to mean i have an unhealthy obsession with much older men. And yet, my reaction to the idea of him with Anushka is “ew ew ew ew ew!!!!!!” TOO OLD!!!! NOT RIGHT!!!!! I don’t know if I even want to see them co-star with each other!

            Nagarjuna’s son isn’t a mega star, right? But he is engaged to Samantha-from-Eega-and-Manam?

            Liked by 1 person

          • My longtime crush is Vladimir Putin so I hear you on the older guy crush thing 😁

            I’ve been told to only believe south stars engagement rumors only when officially announced.

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          • Yes, that would have been good. Not necessarily Shivudu-Avantika, but just Shivudu and his forest tribe family? There was so much build up for his character in Part 1, then the flashback started and we got to the Amarendra story, but that momentum gor stopped in my view, by the romance and comedy tracks in BB2. The switch to Shivudu/Mahendra and the final battle and coronation felt very rushed to me.

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          • I would have preferred a 3 part movie. BB1 with the WHy did Katappa kill Bahubali cliffhanger, BB2 focusing more on Amarendra, Devasena, and the build up of conflicts with Sivagami along with a suitable cliffhanger ending and BB3 focusing more on Shivudu-Devasena, Devasena-Jaya Verma, Devasena-Avanthika, Shivudu-Avanthika, Shivudu-Katappa and all these folks vs Bhalla-Bijjala.

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          • It kind of felt like that’s what it was, 3 movies squeezed into 2 movies, with the way the two films broke down in present versus past. Only, I’m not sure if there would have been enough in the present day to support a 3rd movie. Even if we add in more talkie parts, it’s still essentially one act, the battle, and nothing else.

            Unless they really went off from what we actually got, added in smaller missions to gain knowledge, and created conflict between the leaders of the battle party, had some kind of “judgement” of Kattappa, etc. etc.

            On Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 11:38 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. “Amarendra would never have done that, but I am pretty sure Shivudu wouldn’t hesitate to abuse his power in that way, technically forcing someone to do something he knows they really want to do”
    Reminds me of when Prabhas 1 was a child, he sits to eat with Kattapa and other slaves and asks him to share their food with him. When Kattappa politely refuses city status reasons, Prabhas 1 commands him, and a second later kindly laughs it off. Of course, forcing (well, not even forcing if the other person is into it) a marriage /= Sharing food, but Prabhas 1 is not above asserting his power if he knows he is right.

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    • Good point! Although later he has the same option with his courtship of Devasena, he could always just reveal himself as the ruler of her kingdom, and he doesn’t. So there is a line there somewhere, but I think it is a different line that Shivudu has.

      On Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 9:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Yup. He’s quietly assertive with Kumar Verma during the battle, I saw the anger bit when Devasena hits him with the torch as assertion too, he was assertive in the court scenes, in BB1, too when proposing the Trident Strategy, and right till his death when he’s ordering Kattappa to do as he says.

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      • another sign of the complexity of the characterization! We can see how some people in his life could see Amarendra as a pushover (Sivagami is worried that Devasena is influencing him too much, Bhalla thinks he can control him, Nassar thinks he is generally useless), because it is so rare that he enforces his power. And we can understand how his personality shies away from control and orders, because he doesn’t want the distance from people that his power will force. But at the same time, we can see how he has that power there, at his command, as needed.

        On Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 8:53 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • The moment he tells Bhallala in BB1, you’ll be my General when I’m king kind of ties back to this doesn’t it?

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          • Well, in my interpretation of it, yes. Amarendra saw that as a joking moment between brothers, Bhalla saw it as a threat. Because Amarendra wears his power so lightly, he never thinks of it as threatening, never thinks he could be misinterpreted in that way. And then we see in the end it really was a joke, Amarendra is happy to be general to Bhalla when he thinks that is what will be announced at the end of Kalekaya battle.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I watched the coronation again yesterday because it’s my mom’s favorite scenes and she has me play it when she needs to use a little “bahubal” around the house and I noticed that Amarendra refuses to read from the scroll when taking his oath. He doesn’t reference his lineage as Bhallala does and he swears the oath with Sivagami as his witness and there’s no reason to question that the loyalty he swore to Bhallala is lacking even an iota of conviction. But that moment of mini rebellion (referencing his refusal to sacrifice the bull in BB1) with refusing the scroll is him burning the books while sticking to the “laws” at the same time. How did you read that?

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          • the first time I saw it, I interpreted it as “I have already memorized my oath because I care so much, I don’t need to read it”. But then pretty much everyone else saw it as “I’ve written my own oath”. and that makes more sense.

            I like your idea that relates it back to sacrificing the bull. Because I feel like both those moments, in Amarendra’s mind, were not moments of rebellion. He saw a better way to go and took it, he didn’t mean to make a bigger statement than “I don’t want to kill a bull, I will slice my own hand instead” and “I want to make the most meaningful vow I can, I will say something that means more to me than the words on this scroll.”

            But of course, that is all his “rebellion” ever is. He never plans to throw out the law books, or to disrespect his mother. So long as what he is being told to do matches his own sense of right and wrong, he will do it. But if he feels like there is a better way, he will take it.

            We see that, even in his childhood flashback, his whole life he has followed his own internal sense of things (hiding the scorpion bite from his mother so as not to disturb her prayers, eating with Kattappa), but mostly in small ways that no one really pays attention to. And so they missed the signs that he wasn’t exactly “perfectly obedient prince”, but more “prince who always agrees with his mother’s decisions and therefore follows them, but has his own mind as well.”

            Liked by 1 person

          • “They missed the signs” is a beautiful interpretation. But also those two “rebellions” for lack of a better word, did perhaps helps cement the “Amarendra is subversive” narrative in Sivagami, Bhallala and Bajjala’s minds.

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  7. Pingback: Bahubali Theme Post: Kattappa, Morally Crippled | dontcallitbollywood

  8. Pingback: Bahubali Posts Index | dontcallitbollywood

  9. I don’t have any clever insights to share about Avantika, woe! Except I agree with you that she seems flat, disjointed somehow, like the parts of her personality don’t quite fit together, and that that is probably to reflect the number that growing up in the rebel camp did on her. You can see bits of what she would have been like otherwise, but I think overall, she’s more fun to explore in alternate universes where Kuntala doesn’t fall (like in your fic!), and she gets to remain a more interesting, multi-faceted personality.
    (Though I can’t shake my conviction that in canon, if it came down to Devasena v. Shivudu, Avantika would pick Devasena, no question! And not because of duty, but because she has been raised to hero worship this woman as a larger than life figure; to the point where Shivudu, in my head, has a running joke later that the only reason Avantika agreed to marry him was because of his mother.)

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    • I would love to see a movie about Shivudu versus Devasena and Avantika caught in the middle! Even better, Kuntala versus Mahishmati. Especially because I suspect it would all come down to “Dharma”. If Avantika thought her Dharma was to follow Kuntala/Devasena, or if she was convinced that Mahishmati/Shivudu were in the right.

      Basically, I want to see the same thing happen over again in the next generation, only with Avantika being the one who gets to pick a side instead of Shivudu!

      On Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 5:11 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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