BAAHUBALI and BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN


BAAHUBALI AND BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN
The last few weeks have seen two new releases BAAHUBALI and BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN, both of which have been bludgeoning and battering box office records. And in that process, reaffirmed the timeless principles of good marketing. But more of that later on.
Very interestingly, both these blockbusters appear to have nothing in common from the perspective of the genre, but under that veneer there are a number of commonalties. But more of that later on.
BAAHUBALI succeeds brilliantly in bringing the Amar Chitra Katha storyline format alive on the big screen with excellently handled computer graphics in a manner hitherto not seen on the screen. Whether it is the stunning waterfall or the battle sequence, the visual impact created by director Rajamouli is so strong that it provides a firm background to a very ordinary tale of lost children, lost kingdoms and revenge. The background music rises to the occasion to match the visual spectacle. But, alas! There seems to be little or no soul in the narration and therefore what could have been a classic sadly loses out since form virtually bulldozes the story and the storytelling aspect. The acting is average, with enough opportunities for the lead actors Prabhas (the original film is made in Telugu and dubbed into Hindi and other languages) and Rana Daggubati to display their muscular histrionics.
BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN succeeds in shaking off the expected aura of a Salman Khan starrer with a tale reinforcing how simplicity and truth can surmount the most difficult of obstacles. You could be pardoned if you thought that this movie is an illustrated version of proverbs like “Honesty is the best policy” and “Where there is a will, there is a way”. It is easier to term this as a naïve effort to drive home these points compared to what could have been a classic production if it had been given shape by someone like Raju Hirani. Nevertheless, against the background of what one has come to expect from Salman Khan films, this movie appears to be a whiff of fresh air. Ironically, Salman Khan fails to emote well to reflect this freshness of approach and the debutant child artiste Harshali’s performance more than makes up for the hero’s acting lapses. Nawazuddin Siddique once again puts in a stellar performance.
Now back to the principles of marketing. Both the B films have dared and positioned themselves in a unique distinctive manner. BAAHUBALI is positioned as an epic of sorts and BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN is positioned as unlike any Salman movie. Going against the grain works, if there is an intrinsically solid core. In the former, it was the scale of the special effects and visual impact and in the latter case, it was the universality of the message of love and simplicity. This has caused both these movies to appeal to a large cross section of audience and brought back the pattern of repeated watching.
And about the things in common: the female star cast has relatively small roles; there are no distractions in the form of comedy or violent intrusions in the storytelling; there are no overtly titillating sequences and can be safely construed as “wholesome family entertainment”. And perhaps the prime reason for this is that the stories for both these films are penned by the Telugu writer Vijayendra Prasad, who is Rajamouli’s father!!
RATING:
BAAHUBALI: 3.5 out of 5
BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN: 3.5 out of 5

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About Vijay from Muscat

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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