New Delhi: Director S.S. Rajamouli’s epic historical fiction film Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, starring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah Bhatia, releases worldwide on Friday amid almost frenetic energy. The first part that clocked in more than Rs500 crore across the globe paved the way for language-agnostic Indian films and set the bar high for the sequel awaited for close to two years now. The fact that the historical drama is the only release this week speaks volumes about the same.

The film is a colourful amalgamation of hit series like Game Of Thrones and archaic Indian mythological series such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, says the earliest review from Gulf Times. It’s bloody, gory and has an indefatigable hero who knows how to slay his opponents. But large doesn’t always mean better. While the scale of the second part is bigger, the soul seemed stronger in the first instalment. The mystery behind Katappa’s brutal betrayal is not really life-altering, but there is no need to give up on this special effects-laden visual extravaganza. This is a sweeping visual spectacle filled with epic battle scenes, clashes between warring troops from Indian mythology and elephants on a rampage. Prabhas, who plays a dual role in this hit franchise, does the heavy lifting. The pace picks up considerably in the second half where elements of deception and conspiracy and the epic battle scene towards the end make the film engaging.

The Indian Express isn’t entirely impressed either, wondering if the sequel was warranted at all. While Prabhas and Shetty deliver stellar performances, the film’s special effects come as a letdown of sorts after the stupendous fare seen in 2015 in Baahubali: The Beginning. As you settle in for a rollicking ride full of valour and war, palace intrigue and unanswered questions, the film suddenly takes a step back and delves into back stories. The first half goes into establishing the love story of the lead characters, due to which the historical epic’s pace suffers. The film drags and you wish the makers had been stricter at the editing table. It is only when Rajamouli starts talking about why Kattappa killed Baahubali in the second half that the film gets interesting.

The film reeks of intense drama and emotion from the word go and every frame is a visual wonder, says Rajamouli goes into areas nobody in Indian cinema has ever ventured into and makes sure the film will be remembered for years to come for its scale and execution. The much-awaited mystery behind Katappa’s betrayal may not meet all expectations and the film’s almost three-hour pace may get tedious after a while but this is the rare film the entire family needs to watch together.