Art & Culture

Five epic clichés of Baahubali

Mona Ramavat
Mona RamavatJul 21, 2015 | 16:31

Five epic clichés of Baahubali

Once rendered damsels, they start behaving like damsels

We come to know Avanthika as the courageous warrior who can defend herself from a dozen soldiers in pursuit, proves her worth as the one who can be trusted with a dangerous mission and generally a refreshing antithesis of a very typical Telugu heroine.


But once she is converted into a sexed up version of herself at the expert hands of Baahubali – dexterously turning her practical battle garb into a feminine midriff baring ensemble, crushed berries rubbed on lips and hair coming undone – we see none of her previous spunk.


Her mission becomes his thereafter. But why couldn’t it have been a joint operation, instead? They’d only have had more time to spend together, with combined skill sets coming in handy. But she then goes tame, the woman he’s brought out in her, the sort of fairy he dreamed of who lured him to cross the mighty mountains. Despite the battle clothes coming back on later, the feisty Avanthika we saw in the beginning is pretty much lost.

Dark is bad and good is fair

If the good is dusky, then the bad needs to be kajal and black paint smeared black.


The blacker and darker the better. So don on some extra war paint on the baddies and while at it, why not have their hair and nails and teeth look like they’ve been ignored for eons. The caricatures made out of the chief and members of the rival army pitted against Baahubali and his macho brother Bhallaladeva, are children’s-fairy-tale-exaggerations, in case someone doesn’t get the point. Like aliens have to be little green people with elongated heads, those who fight the princes of Mahishmati, need to be barbaric to the extent of being comic, and of course, dark skinned.


Mothers are mothers only when they breastfeed

The stately queen mother, Sivagami takes to Baahubali as her own although he wasn’t born to her, but we wonder why she needs to show her large-heartedness necessarily by having the infant Baahubali suckle alongside her own son, holding both in an arm each.


In a palace court?

An infant destined for greatness always survives rough weather

Torrential rain, a raging storm, a swelling river; the little Baahubali survives it all held on one palm by the determined and brave Sivagami, who is submerged in the water the whole night with her hand raised up. Come morning and we see he is unharmed and still nestled in her palm.


If he is a hero, he needs to show it from a rather young age.

The surest way to prove goodness is by not shedding animal blood

While Bhallaledeva is totally cool with making an animal sacrifice to obtain the goddess’ blessing before heading out to war, we are dead sure Baahubali will refrain from killing an innocent calf. He’d rather fling some of his own blood from a freshly spliced palm on to the idol.


The brownie points come pouring in from all quarters. We know that too.

Last updated: April 17, 2017 | 17:55
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