Film Corner: Baahubali Part 2

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

It's time for Baahubali Part 2! Which we may not finish tonight because it's 167 minutes long! Note that these are on Netflix right now! You can watch them too! If you have US Netflix! Once again we get a really cool explanation of how no animals were hurt in the filming of this and the following animals are CGI. The opening credits are beautiful and show stylized stills of major moments in the first movie. I love this style and it's a great way to call back to the important moments we need to know about.

We're back in the flashback: Shiva's Father was declared king by his foster mother and the kingdom was happy and at peace. The Queen Mother is performing a festival ritual that involves walking barefoot to a temple with burning coals on her head. Trouble arises in the form of a rampaging bull elephant, but the Queen Mother and King Baahubali solve the situation with badass cleverness and respect. The people are impressed, and the elephant gets a nice saffron bath before a statue of Ganesha.

The relationship between King Baahubali and his adoptive Queen Mother is so precious to me. He loves her so much and respects her above everything else. It's just so wholesome and healthy and I love them. It's sad that the Villain is going to fuck all this up.

The Queen Mother's shitty husband shocks everyone in his little circle of friends by urging his son--the Villain--to kill his mother in a rage at being raised as an equal to his adopted brother/cousin. Villain tells his father that he's drunk and needs to rest. I really wish the shitty husband wasn't disabled, but they at least say several times that the reason he was passed over for the crown was because he is a cruel asshole and not because of his deformed hand.

Soon-to-be-crowned-King Baahubali is asked by his mother to tour the kingdom before the coronation so that he can understand if his subjects are happy. (Evil Brother/Cousin broods at home.) Bandits attack a litter carrying a beautiful woman! Oh!! I thought he was going to save a princess, but it's a trap to draw the bandits out and she's a warrior! Baahubali is lost in love in an instant as she takes on four bandits with ease.

Bandits swarm Baahubali and his beloved servant. They fight them off without breaking a sweat but the young king is distracted in love and it's so cute. They tell the warrior princess that he was thrown out by his family for being a little slow, and her heart melts. She promises to take the poor boy on as a guard to be trained in swordsmanship. This is going to be adorable, obviously! God, the use of COLORS and SETTINGS in this film is just so beautiful. This is like a more vibrant, colorful Lord of the Rings epic.

Baahubali begins courting Princess Devasena by pretending to be a useless page to a more useless warrior, who Baahubali is making seem awesome. It's wonderful and she sees right through him. As the princess begins falling in love with the mysterious warrior under her roof, word gets back to the Villain Brother-Cousin what King Baahubali is doing. Determined to hurt him however he can, Villain tricks his mother into promising Princess Devasena as his wife.

Queen Mother vastly misjudges Devasena and sends a shitload of gold and jewels expecting the princess to be honored to marry her son without actually bothering to talk up his virtues or anything. Devasena sends back a cold response calling him a coward for expecting jewels alone to woo her, and not his character or appearance. The conniving husband-father-uncle convinces Queen Mother to declare war on Devasena's kingdom and to send word to Baahubali to capture Devasena and bring her back as a prisoner.

Meanwhile, a massive army of bandits attacks Devasena's kingdom and Baahubali is forced to abandon the ruse as a 'blockhead' and show his warrior capabilities. Baahubali catches up with Devasena and they fight side by side, slaying bandits together in perfect unison. I am so in love with this battle couple. THERE IS A NIGHT-STAMPEDE OF COWS WITH FLAMING HORNS.

Baahubali saves the small kingdom and they're just about to marry Devasena off to him when (oh shit) the carrier hawk arrives with message from the Queen Mother to capture Devasena. The young king swears that his mother means well and must have a reason for her actions. He asks Devasena to accompany him to the city. When she agrees, he swears his life to hers and vows to protect her and respect her for the rest of his life.

This boat is the prettiest boat I have ever seen. Rivendell *wishes* it had something like this. THE BOAT IS FLYING LIKE FUCKING PETER PAN AND I LOVE IT. This is the best movie ever made, ever.

Baahubali and Devasena arrive home before the Queen Mother and it looks like everything is going to be fine...until we clarify that Devasena plans to marry Baahubali whereas the Queen has promised her to Villain Brother. Devasena is incensed *again* and chews the Queen out. ("Who are you to give your word for my marriage without my consent?") The Queen orders her men to grab the princess, but Baahubali is at her side with his sword out and ready.

Poisoned by insinuations from her evil husband, Queen Mother tells Baahubali to choose between being king of Mahishmati or his vow to Devasena. He refuses to break his oath and accepts his brother-cousin as the new king. Villain is crowned king and Baahubali is made captain of the guard. The crowd goes *nuts* for Baahubali and the entire royal family is horrified at the difference in popularity among the people. They start crying for Baahubali to be king instead.

There's so much *symbolism* in this movie, I love it so much. Evil Father urges Evil King Brother to order Baahubali killed, but the Queen Mother still lies in the way. Meanwhile, Baahubali and Devasena marry and conceive a child. He hopes that the birth of a child will soften his mother's wrath, but she is still ice-cold. (Not helping her grudge: the evil husband whispering at all times in her ears.)

Villain-King fires Baahubali as captain of the guard (ostensibly so he can spend more time with his pregnant wife) and hires his right-hand scoundrel to be the new captain. Devasena is pissed off at the courtly rituals causing the Queen Mother to remain silent as the Villain installs a corrupt man as the new captain. Devasena calls them all out as cowards and tells Baahubali that the gift she desires from him is to take the throne of Mahishmati for the good of the people. SHE DEMANDS THIS AT THE BABY SHOWER. WHAT A QUEEN.

After a sham trial in which Devasena is chained (while pregnant!) and shamed for protecting herself from being groped by the new villainous Captain of the guard, Queen Mother banishes them from the palace. The people greet Baahubali and Devasena at the steps of the palace and celebrate because "god has left his temple and will now live with us!" The couple resolves to live with the people and we must pause there so I can rest. More tomorrow, I hope!


We're back tonight! As you recall, Baahubali and Devasena have been banished from the palace to live among the people, and the people are *thrilled*. Baahubali does manual labor and Devasena heals the wounded. Oh! No, he's not just manual laboring. He's also INVENTING. He's using his palace education to make tools that help the people do their work safely and more efficiently. The people go to him for wisdom and justice, and the Villain watches and realizes that Baahubali is *king* in every sense that matters.

Evil Dad approaches one of Baahubali's friends and convinces him that the Villain King needs to be murdered in order to protect Baahubali, Devasena, and baby. This is, of course, a trap. Queen Mother is tricked into thinking that Baahubali was behind a failed assassination attempt. She can't order him executed without facing a popular revolt, so she orders her most trusted slave to kill him.

The slave is miserable at the order--he practically raised Baahubali--but his oath to the crown cannot be disobeyed. Wrenched with grief, he is forced to stab Baahubali in the back and confess that the king ordered his death. We're both sobbing, so that's...that's happening over here.

The people swarm the palace, begging the Queen Mother to investigate Baahubali's disappearance. Kattappa, the slave, confronts the queen and tells her that Baahubali was innocent and that the Villain tricked her into ordering her own son's death. Devasena bursts in with a fresh baby in her arms. The Queen Mother is advised by her husband to kill the baby lest he lead a revolt against her.

Queen Mother, furious with her treacherous son and horrified by her sins, addresses the people and tells them that Baahubali is dead and the new king is his son. Then she Lion Kings the baby: just hoists him into the air and declares him their king. I'm not sure if she can legally do that now that Villain King has been coronation'd already, but who fucking cares. Not me and not this crowd.

Villain King orders his guards to kill the Queen Mother, and she flees with the baby. (Devasena can't run away, as she just literally gave birth. It was all she could do to stumble into the palace. I appreciate that touch of realism.) Villain shoots his mother in the back with an arrow as she climbs into a boat-- oh! Queen Mother was the woman waaaaaaay back at the beginning, who died while holding Baby Shiva aloft to safety. The flashback is done!

BACK IN PRESENT DAY, Villain King gets treated to an eyeful of a vengeful Devasena marching over the horizon at the head of an army with Baahubali at her side and the villain's son's beheaded head in her hands. (The not-very-effective Prince was killed last movie when Shiva hit a home run with his head, it was a brief thing.)


Villain King captures Devasena and rides back into the city, pulling up the gates behind him. They may have gates, but we have TREES. IT'S TIME FOR MAN-CATAPULTING! This gif is, of course, why we are watching these two movies. But I had no idea it would be SO GOOD. Note that this is not something that anyone in this army has *practiced* before or anything like that! They just innovate it ON DEMAND.

I CANNOT PROPERLY DESCRIBE THIS FIGHT SCENE. IT HAS EVERYTHING. EMOTIONS. ACTION. FEELINGS. RITUALS. FIRE. HANDS WRAPPED WITH CHAINS. This is the most emotional fight sequence I have ever seen. What an amazing, perfectly fitting end to this entire 6-hour epic.

Baahubali is crowned king by his bio-mother and foster-mother, with his wife beside him, and everything is wonderful forever. That was the best movie I've ever seen. I am a changed person.


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