Per Wikipedia, Bahubali: The Beginning is the seventh-highest grossing Indian film worldwide. Both these movies are about political intrigue, love, greed, betrayal, etc.–the stuff that epic legends are made of.
Two sexy brothers, Bahubali (played by Prabhas) and Bhallaladevi (played by Rana Daggubati), were raised by the same woman from infancy, Queen Mother Sivagami (played by Ramya Krishnan). Both the brothers were mama’s boys and tremendously conceited.
Although Bahubali winked at the girls, was always the apple of his mother’s eye, and certainly had the popular vote, he still cared about his people, gave to them and helped them every chance he got. We use the word “ma” as short for mother, but Bahubali used it as a term of endearment when he addressed his queen mother, and his slave “uncle”, Kattappa. Bahubali’s son, Shivudu, also used this term when he addressed his foster mother who he believed was his real mother.
Bahubali found love when he was sent by his mother to see what was going on in their country to get experience. Acting as a poor simpleton, Bahubali met princess Devasena (played by Anushka Shetty), who fought alongside her men to defend herself. She smelled Bahubali and knew he was neither poor nor simple. Sexy.
When his Princess not yet betrothed, tried to walk across the short bridge to the boat that would take her to meet his mother, the bridge breaks and Bahubali jumps in the water between the boat and the princess in order for her to walk barefoot across his shoulders to the boat. Sexy.
The evil that men do. Bijjaladeva (played by Nassar) was always the buzzing insect in everyone’s ear, always drunk and looking out for himself by pretending to care about his son, Bhallaladevi, who was in line to be king. He was constantly suggesting bad ideas to the Queen mother who had the last say on everything. He seemed to poison everything with words.
After Bhallaladevi stole the throne, he terrorized his people, made thousands more slaves, wanted everything his brother had, and took for himself what his people were entitled to have, including having a 100-foot gold statue made of himself. We see in the celebration that many peoples other than Indians were there to pay tribute to King Bhallaladevi. Soldiers were numerous and expendable at any time.
Later on, in part 2, the queen is bamboozled into putting out her good son and his pregnant wife. But that backfired because Bahubali had to go and live with the poor. Because of his good nature, he and his wife prospered among the people.
Another trick. When Bahubali found out that his treasured slave, Kattappa, who he called “uncle”(played by Sathyaraj) was in trouble, he ran off by himself in his overconfidence in his super strength which proved his undoing. The Queen mother was once again bamboozled into agreeing to Bahubali‘s execution, mainly because his princess was so outspoken which caused Bahubali to kill a man not in her station who attempted to put his hands on the princess in public.
How the queen could think anything bad of Bahubali is beyond my understanding. But it’s difficult to see when you have the constant buzzing in your ears from people around you who don’t have the country’s best interest in their hearts.
When the people didn’t like what rulers did, they made it known vocally, and with undercover rebellions—a part of both movies.
A big surprise to me was how the man who played the hideous Kalakeya king (Prabhakar) looks in real life. We don’t get much back story on this king. This was the biggest war waged out of both movies. What a hunk.
These Indian movies were directed by S. S. Rajamouli and written by his father, K. V. Vijayyendra. Budget 250 crore ($2.5 billion).
I was unfortunate enough to miss both of these films on the big screen. I don’t remember them being advertised in Baltimore, Maryland. If they were, I didn’t see the ads.
As I told you before, subtitled movies may be some of the best movies you get to see. Pretty soon you can grasp what’s going on and don’t necessarily have to read every word.
I recently viewed a library dvd of each title. I was overwhelmed with the music, the dances, the costumes, the cinematography, the feats of strength, special effects, colors, exquisite fight scenes, etc.
I am ready for Bahubali 3, which I will go to the movie theater to see beautiful people of color on the big screen!
Other sources that will give you information on Indian history/mythology:
“Is Bahubali a Real Story from History?” by Harpreet Kaur, April 28, 2017, https://www.speakingtree.in
“Is the Telegu Movie ‘Bahubali’ a Real Story from History?”, https://www.quora.com
Wikipedia on Jainism, ancient Indian religion
Written by Rosa L. Griffin