‘B&B: Bujji & Bhairava’ is a smart, fun-filled prelude to ‘Kalki 2898 AD’

Animation series ‘B&B: Bujji & Bhairava’ works as a joyous prelude to director Nag Ashwin’s ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ starring Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan

Published - June 01, 2024 11:42 am IST

An animated character of Prabhas from ‘Bujji & Bhairava’

An animated character of Prabhas from ‘Bujji & Bhairava’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The year is 2896 AD, and the setting is the futuristic, albeit dystopian, city of Kasi. Bhairava is a bounty hunter and BU-JZI is an AI pilot of a cargo ship. Both suffer setbacks in their journeys and an unlikely partnership blooms, setting the stage for adventure. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, two episodes of the animation series B&B: Bujji & Bhairava are a prelude to director Nag Ashwin’s magnum opus science fiction Telugu film Kalki 2898 AD, scheduled to release worldwide on June 27. The film starring Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan, among others, has been in the making for more than four years.

While we normally come across spin-off animation series that attempt to cash in on a successful film, as in the Indian animation series following the Baahubali films, team Kalki has put forth a series as a prelude. Two episodes, each a little over 14 minutes, establish the world of Kalki. The disparity between the rich and poor is glaring; currency is measured in units, and real food has more or less vanished. In one scene, a character spots a box of pineapples and comments that there is real food at last. 

The events unfold two years before the film, in 2896. Bhairava (with voiceover by Prabhas) is characterised as a neighbourhood hero who is down and out and desperately hoping to make it big. BU-JZI or Bujji (voiceover by Keerthy Suresh) hopes to get a promotion after her 100th mission and enter ‘The Complex’, a place of privilege. The introductions of Bhairava and Bujji and how they form an unlikely alliance are narrated with a generous dose of humour. B&B is far from a serious, geeky science fiction animation. 

The highlight of the series comes in the form of an animated character of veteran actor Brahmanandam; his interactions with Bhairava are a joy to watch. The episodes are also steeped with pop culture references — from the recent Jathi Ratnalu to Chiranjeevi’s iconic dialogues, references to old melodies as well as Brahmanandam’s own fun repartees in earlier blockbusters. 

Beneath this humour, the animated series by Nag Ashwin with Green Gold Animation is spot on in ushering viewers into the dystopian city, its giant scrapyard and the possibilities of building robotic machines from scratch. A few days ago, amid nearly 20,000 fans who gathered at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad, production house Vyjayanthi Films unveiled the custom-made car Bujji. In this prelude, we get an idea of how Bhairava might have designed the car powered by Bujji and a glimpse of a few other characters, including the one played by Pasupathy.

The series will have two more episodes, which will stream post the theatrical release of the film Kalki 2898 AD. 

(‘B&B: Bujji & Bhairava’ is streaming in Telugu, Hindi and Spanish on Amazon Prime Video)

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