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I Showed My British Friend "Baahubali" For The First Time And His Reactions Were Hilarious

And no, he did not ask me "Why did Katappa kill Baahubali?"

In 2015, S. S. Rajamouli’s “Baahubali: The Beginning” roared its way onto our screens—a whirl of weapons, war-cries, and waterfalls. Oh, and that one bald dude everyone really liked. It is fantasy epic at its best, embellished by romantic subplots of men climbing literal precipices to meet mysterious masked women, which by the way, literally sets the bar for courtship, 5000 feet up.

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“Baahubali’s” principal storyline is a tale of broken families, warring empires, rage, and revenge—which OBVIOUSLY makes it a classic Saturday night watch.

In the summer of 2019, I embarked on a six-week tour of India with five of my closest friends. We travelled across more than 20 cities and five states, and although none of those said places were Mahishmati, we did visit Ramoji Film City, which came pretty close. Ramoji houses an incredible collection of set pieces from the “Baahubali” franchise, and I remember vividly—as we squinted at the ten foot high statues of horses and regal staircases, my friend Matt turned to me in confusion and said, “What in the world is this?”

Ketki Mahabaleshwarkar

I’m *so* glad he asked. Fast forward a year later when lockdowns are the norm, and the best snooze button I know is to stay entertained with films and friends —aka forcing friends to watch the movies you like, together. Watch-parties are where it's at, and you can attend them in your pyjamas. To that end, we prepared snacks and I turned on the chat function to encourage Matt to share his honest first impressions about "Baahubali". What happened next was a combination of comical confusion, awe, and a whole lot of “How is that even possible!?”

1. Why are the opening credits almost ten minutes long? When does it even start?

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Answer: He does realise that the movie is over two hours long right? Don’t give up now.

2. Sivagami is one badass grandma. Also, does she have magical under-water breathing powers?

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Answer: The science does not exist. This is a tremendous sacrifice by a grandmother, who’s fighting for the continuation of the royal lineage. Also, her wrist strength is *incredible*.

3. We love a healthy display of parenting.

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Answer: That stick is the equivalent of an annoying fly. It’s annoying, but probably not hurting him.

4. He definitely hits the gym! Look at that bicep curl, bro.

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5. Where do you think he goes to gym? Actually, where does he even live?

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Answer: The rocks? The waterfall? He’s one with nature.

6. Why is this turning into Jim Carrey’s "The Mask"?

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Answer: That’s a duo I’d want to see. Imagine if they wore coordinated yellow outfits.

7. How is he even climbing that huge waterfall? And for WHAT?!

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Answer: Again, gravity simply does not exist.

8. No butterflies were harmed in the making of this music video.

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9. Who’s this random flying goddess? Why does the guy look like he’s about to eat her?

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Answer: The heart works in mysterious ways. Also, she’s just a figment of his imagination, duh.

10. How does his hair look so good, even after scaling a whole waterfall?

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Answer: That’s why his hair is so big—it’s full of secrets. But seriously, I need to know if Prabhas has featured in a Herbal Essences commercial yet. Someone sponsor him already!

11. Why are you climbing? Why are you climbing?

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12. How long has Devasena been stuck in those clothes?

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Answer: I guess you can call it sustainable fashion? Devasena deserves better, but a wardrobe upgrade is probably last on her list of glow-ups.

13. Kattapa is grandpa goals. How’s he still killing it at that age?

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Answer: He eats his greens. His workout of choice: beating up sword merchants and bulls.

14. What’s with these waterproof tattoos?

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Answer: Along with Shiva’s many talents of climbing, fighting, and lifting stuff, sand art and tattoo artistry are also included.

15. No seriously, how does she not notice him drawing on her?

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Answer: Avanthika may be a super warrior-woman but noticing strange men in trees is not her strong suit. Also, in her defence, she did have a snake on her.

16. Avanthika’s family really promote self-love, don’t they?

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Answer: It has something to do with keeping their anonymity when fighting, but yes, make-up, tattoos, colourful outfits are not included in this membership.

17. Is this a real city? The architecture looks incredible!

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Answer: Imagine if it was still intact today. Although Mahishmati is a fictional kingdom, historians have suggested that a similar kingdom did exist in ancient times, and it was located in modern-day Madhya Pradesh.

18. Who is this dude? Serious beard goals.

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Answer: Just you wait—Bhallaladeva also serves some serious outfit-envy. Again, someone get this man a beard-care sponsorship.

19. Do people really fight bulls like that?

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Answer: No more than people fly around waterfalls. Thank god for CGI, otherwise PETA would have a field day.

20. His anklet though!

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21. Why is Bhallaladeva’s headpiece giving me serious Lego Legends of Chima vibes?

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Answer: I told you! He’s cruel, evil, but nothing less than a fashion icon.

22. Is this what Shiva calls flirting?

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Answer: I mean, arrows, running through snow, and stabbing guys with swords IS first date goals.

23. Why is this man getting philosophical now?

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Answer: I guess getting a sword pushed into your chest really makes you contemplate the meaning of life.

24. Did they just marry and get matching tattoos? All in one hour??

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Answer: We call this love at first sight, literally. But seriously kids, do not get matching tattoos with your significant others if you’ve only known them for a day.

25. The avalanche looks like DK Summit on Mario Kart.

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26. Sooooo, he just built a giant gold statue of himself?

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Answer: That’s called SELF-LOVE! Be your own biggest fan.

27. Why is that sword hidden in paprika?

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Answer: Wrong spice, but good question. What do you call kumkum in English?

28. Why did he throw his mum in the chariot like a sack of rice?

Ketki Mahabaleshwarkar

29. So, he can break swords with his bare hands, but a log of wood knocks him out?

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Answer: It’s a classic intense Indian film fight scene. What would it be without some sword-fighting, beheaded cousins, and wooden sticks?

30. That hair flick though. That knee slide. The rain pouring down. The lightning and thunder.

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Answer: Agreed. A cinematic masterpiece!

31. I knew the Queen Mother was a badass. Feeding two babies, sitting on a throne, and ordering a massacre at the same time? Iconic.

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Answer: The only acceptable response is "Yasssss queen!"

32. Why is the exact same actor playing Baahubali and Shiva? Like surely, they could have changed his beard, or his haircut. Or it could have just been a different dude. I’m so confused.

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Answer: No comment, because I wondered the same thing. It’s wasn’t because of a budget shortage—that’s for sure!

33. Why does Bhallaladeva want to kill Baahubali so bad? Does he hate being second-best?

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Answer: In classic Mufasa—Scar fashion, yes.

34. Are fiery flying carpets a valid war technique?

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Answer: In this epic, yes. We love a creative king.

35. Is that a murderous lawn mower?

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Answer: Essentially, Bhallaladeva’s chariot = A NutriBullet Pro.

36. I wonder how hard it was to be casted as an extra in this movie – you just had to agree to get thrown around.

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Answer: Honestly, I feel like it would have totally been worth it. Look how cool this is.

37. *When Bhallaladeva doesn’t become king*: When you try your best but you don’t succeed.

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Answer: Do we ever feel sympathy for him though? TBH he had it coming.

38. THAT PLOT TWIST THOUGH! Mind = Blown! Katappa aka everyone’s favourite character killed the OG Baahubali.

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Answer: Literally a stab in the back. THE DRAMA!

We ended the film agreeing to watch "Baahubali: The Conclusion" next week. It’s safe to say, the franchise has gained another excited fan!

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