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This author believes you should watch Bahubali not only for its visual spectacle, but for the many layers its characters display.
Bahubali, dubbed as the most expensive Indian motion picture is now in theaters. It is a historical fiction Telugu-Tamil bilingual dubbed into Hindi, Malayalam and French. If you haven’t seen it yet, book your tickets to live through an experience that portrays the grandeur of medieval times of India, the strength of brave warriors and the power of women in olden days. It is a must-watch movie for every macho man who thinks that listening to a woman is a sign of weak man.
I felt that the movie shows how women were power centers in ancient India and treated accordingly. The most important gender equation this movie shows is that men and women are complimentary to each other, without the power game of any gender needing to play a superior part.
I am not a movie buff and watch movies selectively; this is the first time, I am writing about one. I felt that Bahubali is not just a movie, but an experience it itself – majestic, if I can use that word for it. More than the grandeur/visuals of the movie, I liked the portrayal of the characters. In Indian movies, the hero of the movie is the epitome of all goodness and generosity, and the world around revolves around him. However in Bahubali, each character is etched to connect to you on many levels. It’s not only the hero who shares the centre stage at all times.
In Bahubali, each character is etched to connect to you on many levels. It’s not only the hero who shares the centre stage at all times.
Most Indian commercial movies beautify woman and in many movies heroines have hardly anything to add. In most movies, they just sit as an add-on to the glamour quotient of the movie. In many families too, we think listening to a woman is a sign of a weak man, but the movie portrays that the strength of a man lies in respecting women. You need to listen to a woman who has a point, and a woman has to be strong to drive her point across. Not just at the palace, in the tribal milieu as well, villagers respect Rohini’s (a character in the movie) words and feelings. A man beheads another for the vulgar comments he made about a woman (even though he doesn’t know yet that she was his mother). If that was indeed our culture, how and when did we pick up this rape culture?
If you compare this movie with its counterparts from Hollywood, you would lose what the movie had to offer you – that extra emotional connect with its characters. Given all the constraints, it is a great Indian movie, which would stand tall in the archives of Indian Cinema. However if you think, only the ‘Hero’ should have 80 percent of the screen time, this movie is not for you.
Some critics do say that the Bahubali script is weak. However, I didn’t find it weak; every story can be narrowed down to three feelings – Love, Hatred and Duty – so it is with the Ramayana, Mahabharata and with Bahubali too. Plus, a movie is not just about the content of the story, but it is about how the story is told as well. Director Rajamouli is a spectacular story teller. There is no chronological order, the story moves back and forth in time and place – you need to connect the dots. You need to use your grey cells to understand the war strategy.
I would suggest watching it with family too to give children a glimpse of an ancient culture, majestic warriors, war strategies and the respect accorded to women. At least some of them would understand that women are not the weaker sex and learn to respect women when they turn into adults.
All said, Bahubali-2 looks even more promising as you get to see more of Bahubali, Bhallaladeva, Devasena, Katappa and Sivagami.
Bahubali image via facebook
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