Baahubali 2: How Rajamouli, producer Shobu went about planning their pan-India film
SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus Baahubali 2: The Conclusion continues to shatter records day after day, and not just nationally.
It’s not just the second installment of the Baahubali franchise that has turned out to be a game changer. Even the first installment broke all the barriers and made a whopping Rs 600 crore (approx) worldwide.
But for the makers and the people associated with the movie, it was always a pan-India movie from the first day of the project.
A source close to the movie said, Baahubali wasn’t just a dream; it was a well laid-out plan. The makers of the movie were very clear before the start of the project in 2013 that it had to be made into a pan-India film. And they put efforts and resources behind it. Before the film went into shooting mode Spice PR, one of the leading Mumbai-based communications agency, was hired on the project with a specific brief: make Baahubali a national film.
Rajamouli, while present at the trailer launch of Baahubali 2 said that “we have been ignoring the epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana and all the rich history this country has got, for far too long”.
He noted, “I strongly believe the stories we have. The epics of India -- the Mahabharata, Ramayana, all the history -- have a very rich culture and history that we’ve been ignoring for so long. We have been trying to ape western films. I don’t have anything against it, but when we have such a treasure trove with us, it only makes sense to exploit it.”
Prabhat Choudhary of Spice shared that Rajamouli had clarity about the project and wanted the movie to be something that Indian screens haven’t seen before.
“The ambition on the part of the makers was clear and so was their determination. Every filmmaker thinks that he or she is making possibly the biggest film of the country, especially during the planning stage, but here things were different. SS Rajamouli and Shobu had amazing clarity about the project. In our first meeting itself, we realised the sweep and the canvas would be something that Indian screens haven’t seen before,” shared Choudhary.
He further added, “Having said that it was a task that wasn’t achieved before. We knew one thing and that was the immense power of Indian storytelling. It’s the storytelling and the Indianness of it that gave this film the pan-Indian appeal. But we extensively reached out to each and every region of India to make sure that it resonates all across. For example, the Baahubali team was in Punjab celebrating Baisakhi this year. Every Indian festival, whether it was Shivratri or Diwali was a platform for us to assert the Indianness of the film. And here, we had the first pan-India film.”
But not everyone believed in what the makers were doing. Shobu Yarlagadda, the producer of the movie, while talking to a leading magazine, said that people wrote them off, even before the release of the first film, but they did not believe them as they firmly believed in the project.
And we can see the results of their vision and hard work.
The first installment Baahubali: The Beginning had a historic run at the box office, breaking records, grossing over Rs 600 crore globally.
The second installment which is still running in cinemas have already grossed Rs 383 crore nationally in just 4 days of its release, while minting over Rs 500 crore globally.
The movie also turned out to be the first movie to emerge at number three at the US box office beating Tom Hanks-Emma Watson starrer The Circle.
This should definitely make every Indian proud.
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