It would be an insult to say “..because she is very glamorous”. She is, but that’s not the sole reason behind our special love for her. If glamour was the sole reason audience would have loved Anushka Shetty more than Devasena but the case is reverse here which is indirectly compliment to Anushka Shetty for portraying Devasena so well.The answer is “She is perfectly level headed”. We will elaborate that in a bit but she is definitely the kind of bold character Indians were longing to see. In fact with the current trend of Indian cinema its probably too much to expect another powerful, mesmerizing character like Devasena soon.
Also, film people have a bad habit of referring to female characters with a lot of skin show as bold characters.If that’s bold character then what is Devasena? Love and success Devasena received is a reminder for them to re-visit their vocabulary. She is the personification of feminism which film world might not understand.
Coming back to our point, why did we call her “Perfectly level-headed”? Let’s see.
- She looks like a fairy-tale princess but she is powerful too.
- She likes a man for his character, not for his heroics.
In-spite of Baahubali acting dumb she falls in love with him for his honesty and innocence.
- She is very brave.
In tough times, she doesn’t wait for help. This is very obvious in her introduction scene itself. When dacoits attack, she doesn’t think twice to hit back.
- She demands respect but she never mistreats anyone.
No one, not Bhallala deva, not Sivagami, not even Baahubali can take her for granted. However, she reciprocates the same. She never mistreats even Kumara Varma who fakes heroism to impress her.
- She is not just a good leader but a good follower too.
When the enemy attacks their Kingdom Baahubali takes charge of the situation. In-spite of being a very capable warrior she compliments Baahubali and lets him execute his plans. She isn’t foolishly arrogant or drunk with power.
- She knows her rules well and also knows how to fix rule-breakers.
Scenes where Sivagami sends her messenger for the first time or when Devesena meets Sivagami for the first time, she keeps everyone in check by explaining what a princess truly deserves which includes selecting husband of her choice. When someone breaks rules or takes advantage of power, like the scene at the temple where army-chief misbehaves or the baby-shower scene when Bhallaladeva rips Baahubali of his powers, you know how instantly she fixes them.
- She is tough but never shies away from expressing love which is natural to womanhood.
- In short, she knows when to bend her head and when to walk over your shoulders.
We don’t know if SS Rajamouli made these decisions consciously or if he has right instincts but he definitely got the pulse of the majority of Indian audience very right. Baahubali gave confidence that we can one day expect to see very fresh, realistic presentation of our historical characters. SS Rajamouli sir we will wait to hear Mahabharatam from you.