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Baahubali - Crown Of Blood Review - SS Rajamouli’s animated spin-off feels more like a basic superhero origin story and less like Mahishmati's tale

The idea with any spin-off is to take the franchise in a branched-out direction, Baahubali: Crown Of Blood tries to run in all directions 

Baahubali - Crown Of Blood Review - SS Rajamouli’s animated spin-off feels more like a basic superhero origin story and less like Mahishmati's tale
Baahubali: Crown Of Blood Review

Last Updated: 09.21 AM, May 17, 2024


Before the events of the two Baahubali films, The Beginning and The Conclusion, Baahubali: Crown Of Blood takes place. This is the time when Shivagami is still on the throne, and Baahubali and Bhallaldeva are grown-ups. Kattapa is the senapati and Bijjaladeva is still very much evil and has vicious thoughts about Baahubali. But they all are now standing against Raktadeva, an unknown enemy who wants to destroy Mahishmati for reasons unknown. What happens when Baahubali meets a man twice as powerful as him? Will he be able to defeat him and who is the big evil behind all of this chaos?

Baahubali: Crown Of Blood Review:

SS Rajamouli’s rise to being a pan-India director rather than to a global name ranges from Baahubali to RRR in a way. Of course, he was making good films even before that, but the magnificence that came with the Prabhas-led film made everything about and in the franchise an overnight sensation. But what exactly worked? To understand Baahubali’s success, we will need another complete article, but one thing is sure what stood out in the movie was the simplistic approach to the story in a world that was visually charged. His stories rooted in celebrating machismo but not without the feminine energy left a huge impact on the audience making the franchise a massive success. But after having created a global dent, where does the franchise go?


Baahubali: Crown Of Blood is indeed a very imaginative and vibrant idea if you read on paper. There are dramatic elements sprinkled all over it. There is an infidel relationship, an outcome, one brother hating another, a struggle to keep the kingdom alive, a storyline where children are being brainwashed, and so on. But how does one justify a project as a spin-off if it refuses to take the story in any direction but chooses to run haywire? While the simplistic storytelling approach remains constant, and there are many pros of it, it is also not something that fits correctly into a blueprint that enters the superhero domain at one point.

Created by SS Rajamouli with Sharad Deverajan and directed by Jeevan J. Kang and Navin John, Baahubali: Crown Of Blood finds itself somewhere years before the events of the movies. The creators keep the setup and dynamics the same as the films with no change to the entire structure. Now here are two things, one the similar set up helps in connecting to the material quite easily because nothing really changes. Two, if nothing really changes in a show that serves as a prequel, why is it a prequel, it could literally be anywhere if the later events didn't have Baahubali die. Now this raises one question, where exactly is Crown Of Blood standing? Because of the long montage of two brothers training to be warriors and growing up into chiseled dudes in Baahubali, The Beginning was very much a complete thing. There was no mention of this episode there.

So continuity becomes a big problem. What is not problematic here is that Rajamouli and the two directors stick to creating something safe and close to home by making Baahubali the modern-day Shaktimaan who is telling kids to not get brainwashed by the people who have a vested interest in luring them. He is the most righteous man. Sharad Kelkar is still voicing him and does a fine job. For the Hindi audience he is still the iconic Baahubali voice and the first impression in the show is as fresh as the first time. What the Baahubali character lacks though is some gray. He is too pristine to be true and there is no chink in his armor. This ends up making him a character rather than a human.

But what also takes us away from the Baahubali magic is the incorporation of superhero-like elements. There is an Iron Man-like side character who has an entire lab with highly equipped war machinery. There is a villain who has crazy resources and power, there are two big villains who wear clothes like Wanda and Vision from Marvel. I understand with animation there comes a whole new room to add visual additions that the live-action world limits you to. But too much taking away from the core visual identity for a franchise that has many things coming up in and around this is a big risk. Because you are on the verge of announcing Baahubali as a mutant maybe. In one scene he even gets a transformer-like war robot made and sits on it and drives it.

What it also makes me wonder is if this was happening before the events of Baahubali the films, where on Earth were all these people during the films. Where was this machinery and technical knowledge? Okay, they destroyed the lab where it was being made, but they still had the scientist by their side who was alive by the end of the season, how did he not make anything good for the war in the movies? The loopholes make this show a full affair because the show never really commits to its timeline completely.

Baahubali: Crown Of Blood: Final Verdict

SS Rajamouli is a man with a vision that has taken us to the Oscars stage whether you like it or not. But Baahubali: Crown Of Blood is not what you expect coming out of a spin off that has his name written all over it.

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