After waiting for two years to find out why Kattapa killed Baahubali, fans of SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus can finally get some closure. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, starring actors Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Sathyaraj, Tamannaah Bhatia and Ramya Krishnan, finally hit 8,000 screens across the world.

Aside from the distinction of being called the most expensive Indian movie ever made, what is it that’s drawing audiences to the film? Baahubali (The Beginning) and Baahubali 2 (The Conclusion) together form the most successful two-part film made in India. Someone described the two films as a franchise which seems wrong. They make up a single story that is complete in itself. Baahubali 3, if it’s ever made, will be a distributary, not part of the main flow.

If you haven’t already decided on watching the film, here are five reasons why you should take out time for it soon. No, we don’t want you to find out how somebody can spend Rs 250 crore on making a film. There are several good reasons moviegoers are flocking to theaters for Baahubali, and why you should too if the film is playing near you. Let’s start with the most important element:

1. History and mythology
Baahubali is the story of two estranged brothers, Amarendra Baahubali, the legitimate heir to the throne and one who is loved for his subject while the other, Bhallavadeva, treacherous by nature and bristling with the unhindered ambition to capture the throne. While launching the Hindi trailer of Baahubali in Mumbai earlier last month, director SS Rajamouli had told the media of how the epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana, had had a deep and lasting impression on him and how Baahubali was inspired by Mahabharata. The basic storyline seems quite close the Mahabharata; the rest of the story takes off on a fantasy mold as the son of Amarendra Baahubali returns to avenge his father’s ignoble death in the hands of his arch-rival, Bhallavadeva.     

2. S.S. Rajamouli

Writer-director  S.S. Rajamouli has established himself as one of India’s most reliable hitmakers, a rare talent who combines technical prowess with a unique storytelling flair, visual panache with real emotional depth. Both humble in personal demeanor and fiercely passionate in his artistic ambitions.

3. The larger-than-life imagination

The imagery of the film will take you to a completely different zone with gorgeous waterfalls (shot at Athirappilly falls in Thrissur district of Kerala), war sequences shot in specially erected sets (at the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad), crucial scenes shot at Mahabaleshwar amid extreme climatic conditions including fog and rain, Rock Gardens (with its natural rock formations; Indian equivalent to the Grand Canyon) in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh and finally some bit of shooting in Bulgaria.

4. Crowd-Pleasing Epic Scale

Although the $40 million that Baahubali’s producers spent on the 2-part blockbuster was modest by American standards, in India, with its low talent fees, crew wages and construction costs, that sort of amount can go a long way, and every bit of the budget shows up on the screen.

5. The special effects of Baahubali

On careful examination, it is evident that Baahubali team has put together this amazing maze of visuals through a mix of elaborate sets and some top-quality computer generated images. Visualising the film took 25 artists, 15,000 sketches and one year of pre-production to develop the final footprint of the film. A series of videos released by the team show the detailing and precise calculations done for constructing of the palaces, royal pavilions and battle formations etc, right to creating dummy models for all.

6.  Simple, Powerful Storytelling

Baahubali is steeped in Indian, and particularly Telugu, mythology, but its straight-ahead narrative and universal themes make it accessible for any moviegoer. In interviews, Rajamouli has credited classic Indian epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana as inspiration for Baahubali, but one can also find references in the film to the biblical stories of Moses and the Greek legend of Hercules.

7. Designing of the film: Clothes, fight sequences, weapons

A special note on the gear for the main cast and the cavalry; making thousands of models of swords, spears, shields, bows and arrows. National Award winning Sabu Cyril has taken great pains to make Rajamouli’s dream come true and it certainly shows. Baahubali being an action drama, Rajamouli had ensured that all the main characters underwent training – Prabhas, Rana Daggubati and Anushka learning sword fighting and Prabhas and Rana, additionally, learning horse riding under the expert eye of martial arts master, Peter Hain.

8. Crossover film: Bridging Bollywood versus regional cinema divide

While Baahubali was always meant to be big, its association with Dharma Productions has certainly given it a pan-India reach. With Telugu and Tamil versions and Malayalam dubbed version were always in the offing, it is the Hindi dubbed version that has catapulted it to a completely different realm with even international publications like Variety and BBC covering it.


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