Clash of the sequels
Such are the times that even before the body of a film has gone cold, we are forced to move on to the next. And so, we do, this week, as one sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, clashes with another, Baahubali 2. The original released in 2014 to no great hype, and yet, won over its audiences, thanks to the richness of its visual effects, some terrific characterisation, and above all, for the sheer entertainment on offer. In many ways, you could say that Guardians of the Galaxy was the anti-thesis of DC’s Suicide Squad. While Marvel managed a hit out of a comic series that wasn’t particularly popular, DC couldn’t salvage its film based on a wildly successful comic book series. Considering that the Guardians of the Galaxy is easily among the most entertaining films of this decade, you’ll pardon me for exploding with excitement about the sequel, and in particular, the portrayal of one of its beloved characters, Baby Groot.
The Malaysian connection
Among the other films willing to brave the Baahubali onslaught is the big one, Dulquer’s Malayalam film, CIA, which appears to be a politically charged subject. There’s also a Tamil film called Enga Amma Rani by debutant director Bani, who has managed to convince Ilaiyaraaja to make music for the project. The film stars Dhanshika, who, these days, is known as Kabali’s daughter. Enga Amma Rani is said to be a hard-hitting drama about a single mother of two children, and rather curiously, quite like Kabali, this film too is also shot extensively in Malaysia.
Baahubali, the invincible
But by and large, much as the people of Mahishmati bowed in deference to Amarendra Baahubali, so too it seems have quite a few of Tamil cinema’s upcoming films to Baahubali 2. At least two films that were supposed to release this week — Kalaiyarasan’s Yeidhavan and Samuthirakani’s Thondan — have decided against taking on the might of SS Rajamouli’s sequel. In fact, word is that the producers were advised against taking on Baahubali. Thondan, reportedly a film about the story of an ambulance driver, is now said to be planned for release next week… unless, I imagine, Baahubali continues to burn brightly, and monopolise the limelight.
The writer is the entertainment editor of The New Indian Express