this site the web

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Baahubali: A Big Beginning - Article by The Hindu

Can a regional film have national appeal? As “Baahubali” holds on in front of “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” in North India, it seems with the right vision and execution, the sky is the limit.  

When Sivudu scales the water mountain and soars from one hill to the other, he literally bridges the gap between tastes, geographical boundaries and above all vision and execution. Despite Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s onslaught, Baahubali is holding on to six to seven shows in multiplexes across Delhi/ NCR. Sitting at a multiplex in Ghaziabad, I could hear the young crowd whistling away as Baahubali and Bhalladeva scythe through the opposition. “We have found our answer to Avengers,” exclaims college student Rakesh Arya when his friend questions the improbability of stunts. 

Rakesh Rikoo, General Manager of Spice Cinemas in Noida, says that they have 80 per cent occupancy in the eight shows which is great considering Bhaijaan is here and Baahubali is in its second week. “We are running 35 shows of Bajrangi Bhaijaan but even then what Baahubali has achieved is unprecedented.” 

Varun Gupta, Senior Marketing Manager, Dharma Productions, which has released the film in North India is elated. “The Hindi dub has already crossed Rs.50 crores, which is bigger than the life time earnings of many Hindi films. It has made Rs.3.2 crores on its second Friday despite stiff competition with Bhaijaan. It is easily the biggest film from the South to hit the North. In fact you can compare its opening to the Hindi dub of Fast & Furious and Avengers:The Age of Ultron.” 

Rana Daggubati, who plays the ruthless antagonist Bhalladeva, says it all depends on the vision. “It is not the first time that a film is crossing over from the South to the North. Ram Gopal Varma achieved it with Shiva and Mani Ratnam did it with Roja. I believe Baahubali belongs to the same league,” He reminds that the film has opened at the US box office on the ninth spot suggesting sky is the limit. 

Who would have thought somebody would put around Rs.200 crores in a regional film? But the results are showing as the film is matching the imagination of an audience bred on Hollywood diet of special effects. Rana underlines though the VFX is world class, it is not just about special effects. “The effects are backed by a compelling storyline. I feel the film is working across the country because the story is from our roots and audience could identify with not just the weapons and costumes but also the motives of the characters. And the common man doesn’t have to rely on subtitles or tacky voice overs to get the gist.” 

Elaborating on his character, Rana says that for him it was like seeing “Ramayan” from the side of Ravan and “Mahabharat” from the angle of Duryodhan. “And our culture is so rich that you can find such interpretation of the mythological text. We prepped up really hard and the best part was Rajamouli had the film in his mind.” 

Seasoned Hindi film critic Ajay Brahmatmaj says the success of Baahubali is all the more important because it has no Kamal Hassan or Rajinikanth attached to it. “These are names that people still love to watch in Hindi belt. But here people are flocking to watch the VFX. I watched the film in Lucknow and there families were booking seats in advance because the action is such that you can’t enjoy it on pirated version on a mobile or a tablet.” 

Analysing the idiom, Brahmatmaj says that film uses cinematic emotions to good effect. “Real emotions are different from cinematic emotions but over the years we have begun to respond to cinematic emotions and Rajamouli's a master at it. Take the mother’s Karan Arjun kind of response or the sympathy for the king’s son, these are idioms that work in Hindi heartland.” 

Rana, who hails from a family which is into film production for years, says that it has opened gates for newer, bigger ideas. “Don’t be surprised if we come up with an announcement soon. And it is time that Bollywood should also give this kind of ambitious cinema a try.” Indeed Bollywood in its tryst with reality is staying away from such fantastic stuff. Brahmatmaj could only think of Krissh. “But its Tamil version didn’t as well as Baahubali is faring in Hindi. 

Gupta agrees. “It is lesson from young directors who feels they can’t match Hollywood’s scale and canvas with their limited budgets. But we have to keep in mind Baahubali is not just about Rajamouli’s vision. Some of the top actors of the Telugu film industry have given 2-3 years of their life to the film at the peak of their careers. If Bollywood has to achieve it, we need such kind of commitment from the production house, director and the top actors.” Game on!

Credits : The Hindu


Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Prabhas Orkut Community

Check out our Prabhas Community in Orkut for all the latest and lots of info about Prabhas

Follow me