It's D-day finally: the day SS Rajamouli’s ambitious magnum opus Baahubali hits the screens. Without doubt one of the most anticipated films in India in a long time (we are told there are kilometre-long queues outside cinema halls in Hyderabad and that there are no tickets available for the next few days for the film's Hindi dubbed version across Delhi NCR), Baahubali sure is much more than the fact that it is India's most expensive film made till date.
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. The sweep of 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 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 mould as the son of Amarendra Baahubali returns to avenge his father’s ignoble death in the hands of his arch rival, Bhallavadeva.The larger-than-life imagination
When it comes to Rajamouli, the scale and canvass has got to be large – from the characters to their palaces, the film spells grandeur. The characters are the first thing that comes to mind – one is struck both by the bravery and courage of Baahubali, defiance of Devasena, treachery and cunning of Bijjala Deva (minister played by Nasser; the character will certainly remind you of Shakuni) and naked ambition of Bhallavadeva.
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.The special effects of Baahubali
The real hero of Baahubali is its special effects team. Never before has the Indian screen seen such amazing scenes from palaces, ramparts of forts, royal pavilions to complex fight sequences.
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.Designing of the film: Clothes, fight sequences, weapons
As Baahubali is a period drama, tremendous effort has been taken to get the look and feel of it right–minutest of details has been accounted for -- every animal participating in battle sequences, chariots, weaponry (from smallest knifes to the biggest catapults), accessories, jewellery and clothes being sketched first, and then recreated to get the styling right all the main characters.
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.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 completely different realm with even international publications like Variety and BBC covering it.
Reason enough to book your tickets?