Baahubali is an Indian movie and media franchise created by director S.S. Rajamouli. The movies are the highest grossing works of cinema in India and is followed by books and TV shows to further delve into it's lore.
Background and Premise
Baahubali focuses on a character of the franchise name, Amarendra Baahubali, the young foster prince of the ancient Indian kingdom of Mahishmati. The franchise follows the history of Mahishmati, it's significance, and the conflicts that have troubled it. A primary conflict is Baahubali's older brother Bhallaladeva, who grew up to be violent and heartless as influenced by his deranged father Bijjaladeva. Time and again Bhalla is secretly jealous of his brother, who is loved by the people for his compassion, courage, and nobility. Other members of the royal family include Bhalla's birth mother Sivagami, who rose to power as a former subject; as well as Kattappa, the servant warrior whose descent vows to protect the Mahishmati royals.
Baahubali is actually named after a legendary character from Jain culture, a revered sage and academics enthusiast . The kingdom of Mahishmati is a fictionalized version of one that's referred to in Hindu epics like the Mahabharata. The Kalakeya tribe seen in the franchise are based off of Asuras, types of benevolent gods and demon like creatures of the same name.
Baahubali borrows heavy inspiration from epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Occasionally focusing on the moral or cultural aspects, the mythical vibes and character personalities are quite clear. Bhallaladeva has similar character traits to the demon Ravana and evil prince Duryodhana. He is similar in appearence to the latter and like him, wields a mace. Baahubali also has personality similar to Rama and the Pandavas, including Yuddishtra's leadership, Arjuna's compassion, and Bhima's strength.
Critics have also noted similarities to Disney's Lion King. The characters in the movies include a good and evil brother, troubled family, and a long lost separated rightful heir who seeks his true destiny.
- Kind and compassionate royals: Baahubali/Mufasa
- Evil brothers: Bhallaladeva/Scar
- Protagonist's long lost sons: Mahendra/Simba
- Protagonist's spouse: Devasena/Sarabi
- Progatonist's son's love interest: Avanthika/Nala
- Savage malicious tribe factions: Kalakeyas/Hyaenas
- Savage tribe's leaders: Inkoshi/Shenzi
- Mentors to protagonist: Sivagami and Kattappa/Rafiki.
Rise of Sivagami/Before The Beginning
Book focused on Sivagami's rise in power from a subject to a member of the royal family, including how she lived with foster parents and hates the royal family, her friendship with the servant warrior Kattappa, how she reformed the royals and helped fight off the rebel Vaithalika tribe.
A Netflix TV series based off of the book called Before The Beginning is upcoming.
An upcoming novel that takes place after Rise of Sivagami and tells the continued story after Sivagami's position and more about Kattappa's history.
Focusing on the young adult princes Baahubali and Bhallaladeva, as they participate in a competitive tournament to find the egg of a Ratnapakshi(rare bird).
Continuation of the young princes training to become worthy heirs and how they handle conflict and caring for the subjects of the kingdom. The series further delves into Baahubali's nobility and Bhalla's treachery. The series introduces multiple conflicts faced by Mahishmati, including the Barbarian alliance, the false king Dharmaraj, and empress Kalpana Devi.
The very first work in the franchise released but is chronologically towards the end. Takes place a few decades after the series on Amarendra's long lost son Mahendra, who meets a tribe of rebels that's bent on overthrowing Bhalla who is now ruling Mahishmati. Mahendra learns about his father from Kattappa but that Baahubali was backstabbed by his brother and killed.
A direct continuation from the first movie which confirms how Baahubali met his future wife, princess Devasena of Kuntala and how Bhalla framed him for treason and turned Devasena against Sivagami. This leads to Sivagami ordering her nephew's execution at Kattappa's hands. Mahendra gathers the Kuntala rebels and lays siege to Mahishmati and killing Bhalla. He rules as the new king alongside his queen, the rebel warrior Avantika.
Mahendra's rule and resolving Bhalla's actions are possibilities to be explored.