HERE’S HOW BLACK PANTHER AND BAAHUBALI ARE SIMILAR

When I left the multiplex after watching Marvel’s latest and possibly most daring addition to their MCU lineup : Black Panther, I couldn’t help but get a sense of deja vu with its story. It’s a standard one, sure, and there is little novelty to it. But it felt way more similar than it should

That’s because I live in India, where a storm called Baahubali has hit the nation, telling a story of revenge with brotherly conflict at its core. Now where did I see the same story again?

This is not a rant on how one copied from the other, because that would be absolutely stupid to say. Both these films come from a different world and different schools of cinema. Yet, the similarities that they hold is interesting. And that is why we are here to dissect them.

Here are some of the things that I found similarities between the two. Also, possible spoiler alert. Make sure you have watched both the films (3 films, actually) before going ahead.

WAKANDA FOREVER VS JAI MAHISHMATI

1

Both films introduce us to a land which is fictitious, but based on existing places. Wakanda represents the present-age African nation which is perceived to be a third-world country but is actually the most technologically advanced. Mahishmati is a prosperous kingdom of the medieval times.

Apart from the world, both films portray the distinctiveness of their people, their culture and their traditions, which again, closely resembles the actual tradition.

THE BROTHERS AND THE CONFLICT

bro

The heart of both the stories lies in the conflict of interest between the two brothers (both related through their fathers) and one’s attempt to usurp the throne from the other.While Baahubali’s Bhallaldev was pure cunning, N’Jadaka had more meaning behind his actions. As expected, the evil brother in both dies in the end, the only difference being in Baahubali it’s the brother’s son who kills and not the brother himself.

ABANDONING GAME

siva
One of the characters lives in a far-off land (Killmonger in the US, Mahendra Baahubali in a distant village) and returns back to the kingdom to claim the throne after many years. Interestingly, both are abandoned by their elders. Sivagami had no choice but to leave Mahendra to random villagers. N’Jadaka is abandoned after his father’s death. Tragic coincidence.

PROTAGONISTS: RIGHT TO A TEE

lead
May I say, both had their own swaggering walking style!

T’Chala and Amarendra are like distant cousins, probably idolizing Lord Ram off the script. They are portrayed as flawless, just characters who are in complete love with their kingdom and its people.Life puts them through different tests and they come out victorious. Like in a good comic-book movie. Which, incidentally, both stories have borrowed heavily from.

FEMINISM DONE RIGHT

feminism

The most amazing thing about both the stories are they have equally strong female characters who bring as much heft to the narrative as the males. Shuri and Devsena were major hoot, who spoke their mind fearlessly, ready to take on whoever dared to face them. Nakia and Avanthika were level headed with their lovers, standing besides them in the event of a war.

THE RISK FACTOR

If you look outside the film, the similarity continues. With an all-black cast and crew, Black Panther was the first major production to have that. Baahubali, coming from a regional cinema, was the most expensive film ever made in the history of Indian films. Certainly, risks were huge. And, delightfully, both emerged as a raging success!


Studies and observations like these is what makes cinema and movies so interesting! Both films are awesome in its own respect, and one may prefer one over the other. This only goes on to show how the treatment can completely change a film and give you two works as different, but yet as similar, as Black Panther and Baahubali.

Which one did you like the most? Share them in the comments!

(P.S. My vote goes for Baahubali)

3 comments

  1. Haha this was a fun comparison..wouldn’t have struck me in a million years..but I’d choose black panther any day, the melodrama in bahubali drowned me. Also I don’t if it was just me, but my ears hurt a lot due to the background score of bahubali 2. It got excruciating after a certain point. Black panther was surprising on so many levels. The novelty factor of an all black cast in control of their narrative and not playing helpless poor people was very refreshing.

    Like

    • The similarities were too apparent to me! As I started listing them down, even I was in awe!

      Baahubali came from Telugu cinema where their movies are inherently expressive and melodramatic. It depends on one’s taste whether they like it or not.

      Though I would say Black Panther was no less in melodrama, certainly one of the most dramatic ones I have seen in Hollywood. Sometimes the emotions worked, sometimes it didn’t for me. Of course, the non-condescending tone was refreshing, but it didn’t connect with me much the way Wonder Woman did.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wonder Woman!!! I don’t know what that says of me, but even though it was targeted towards women moviegoers and also hailed as one of the better feminist movies of our times, I was the one who was very much affected and inspired by the universal themes of love, pain, loss and humanity that it addressed. Diana Prince trying to navigate her way in the world of men was a much better movie than the recent Superman and Batman flicks.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.