We all know by now how big a fan SS Rajamouli is of the Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. A closer look at Baahubali will tell you how the characters are modelled on the superheroes from the epics. But we also realise what an immense debt Rajamouli owes to Ananth Pai of Amar Chitra Katha -- so many of the characters seem to jump out of the books of Pai, particularly in the film's imagery.Close your eyes for a moment and visualise Avanthika. It is very likely that images of Urvashi, Vasantasena, Amba with flowing anga vastrams come to the mind from the covers of Amar Chitra Katha.
So, here's looking into the world of Baahubali and admiring the parallels with the epics.That waterfall and Shivudu's romance with her
So also, Baahubali must salvage the situation with his superhuman effort, when there is no hope in sight.Sivagami and her justice
Sivagami also reminds one of the legendary queens and mother-figures of Indian history -- Jijabai (Maratha leader Shivaji's mother) and Ahalyabai Holkar (the Maratha queen of Malwa region of modern Madhya Pradesh) -- in her martial commandeering and establishing a period of prosperity and stability in Mahishmati respectively.Avantika, the part warrior, part forest nymph
Not just that, why is it that in Baahubali's insistence to eat from lower-caste Sathyaraj's plate, one hears the distant echo of Lord Rama (from Valmiki Ramayana) eating Sabari's 'sullied' berries?Why does one see the reflection of Duryodhana in Bhallaladeva?
Small wonder then one does feel that Bhallaladeva still has embers of flame burning in his chest for Devasena, despite her haggard state. And like Draupadi who refuses to tie her hair till one of her husband gets a handful of Duryodhana's blood to wash her hair, Devasena too is seen picking twigs to prepare a funeral pyre for Bhallaladeva as she knows her son will return to avenge her insult.
The only instance, through the narrative, where Rajamouli goes wrong is with the depiction of barbarians. In modern interpretation of ancient myths and legends, let the barbarian be represented by his/her mindset, not appearance, colour, ethnicity or any such categorisation.