KV Vijayendra Prasad, the writer of Baahubali, who is an established writer-director in the Telugu film industry and the father of SS Rajamouli, feels Baahubali's phenomenal success should be seen as a triumph of Indian cinema. It should not be seen from the limited vision of language and region.
"The success of Baahubali belongs to Indian cinema. Although it's being celebrated as Telugu cinema's biggest achievement, I feel it shouldn't be restricted to one industry or language," said Prasad, who is extremely pleased with the overwhelming response to the film.
Originally made as a Telugu-Tamil bilingual, the film also released in Malayalam and Hindi. Baahubali, that was released on July 10, has grossed over Rs 350 crore worldwide in just 10 days.
"The fact that the film has been accepted nationally and has done well in other languages proves that it doesn't belong to one industry. The success of the film is a big achievement in Indian cinema," he said.
He says audiences have a big contribution in this success.
"Audiences decide the fate of any film. Nobody can guarantee the success of a film. When my son started working on Baahubali, he didn't set out to make a blockbuster. He made a film that we believed will be accepted globally and the numbers have proved it," said Prasad, who has also penned the story of Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
He's pleased that both the films have been accepted unanimously.
"I'm happy that two good films have been unanimously appreciated and accepted. Even if I had not written these films, I'd have wished the same because only when good cinema gets its due credit, will we get more such films," he added.
If the Mahabharata was the inspiration behind Baahubali, Salman's Eid release, which has already raked in over Rs 150 crore in just five days, is inspired from an old Chiranjeevi film and also based on a real life story.
"Chiranjeevi's 1987 Telugu film Pasivadi Pranam moved me a lot. I wanted to rehash it and give it a contemporary touch. I had also learnt about the story of a Pakistani couple who came to India for their daughter's heart surgery because they couldn't afford it in their country," he said.
"The parents were touched by the generosity of the Indians so much that they couldn't stop talking about it. This got me thinking. I decided to work on a story that connected people over India-Pakistan border," he added.
Kabir Khan-directed Bajrangi Bhaijaan is jointly produced by Salman Khan and Kannada producer Rockline Venkatesh.
Aamir Khan was the first choice for the film.
"It was through an acquaintance we met Aamir Khan and narrated the story. He loved it, but could not sign it as he was busy with other commitments. Later, I met Kabir Khan, who made me narrate the story to Salman, who upon hearing it immediately agreed to do it," he said.
Reportedly, the project was also offered to Rajinikanth, Puneeth Rajkumar and Allu Arjun.
Prasad admits Salman was the best choice for the film.
"All the work he's been doing through his Being Human foundation, particularly, the 2,000 heart operations he recently funded, made him apt for the lead role of Pawan/Bajrangi. And thanks to his humanitarian acts, Salman gave the character a realistic touch," he said.
Meanwhile, the veteran writer is excited about his next Hindi outing.
It'll be about Baghmati's love story with a reincarnation angle. I plan to make it as a bilingual in Hindi and Telugu with a popular South star. If the bilingual idea is not feasible, I'll just make it in Hindi and release it nationally," said Prasad, who is busy wrapping up his yet-untitled upcoming Telugu directorial.
"This will be my first attempt at a thriller. It's based on some research on psychological disorder. Interestingly, the lead character in this film is a lesbian, and I'm curious to know how our audiences will react to it," he said.