When we arrived at the venue where the Baahubali press meet was scheduled to take place yesterday, it was buzzing. Like, literally. Journalists and camera crew, armed with their mikes and notepads clustered around a very familiar someone, who appeared to be answering questions. It was SS Rajamouli.
Soon afterward, the lead cast and crew of Baahubali – director SS Rajamouli, producer Shobu Yarlagadda, actors Prabhas, Rana Daggubati and Anushka, writer Madhan Karky and Studio Green KE Gnanavel Raja – were called on stage to address the press.
Prabhas and Rana Daggubati looked dapper in their casual wear while Anushka Shetty’s white and black ensemble was a winner. SS Rajamouli, though, was the biggest surprise of all. He was not all that serious as he looked in the photographs, as we found out yesterday.
Other things that we discovered:
1. Baahubali – while it is the name of the central character in the movie – is not integral to the plot. “Prabhas is Baahubali in the movie. Baahubali is the name of a statue in Gomateshwara, but it is not related to the movie in any other way,” said the director.
2. It is a period movie which deals with emotions. Prabhas and Rana Daggubati play brothers in the film, which is also said to have a ‘revenge element’.
3. It has strong female characters. “The characters that are essayed by Anushka, Tamannaah and Ramya Krishnan are more powerful than the roles that are played by Prabhas, Rana, Nasser and Sathyaraj.”
4. Actress Tamannaah will portray the central character in the first part, and she will appear throughout the film. Actress Anushka, who has reasonable screen time, will be seen in a completely different avatar.
5. Talking about the extensive visual effects, the director remarked, “I didn’t even know what a green-mat was at the time when director Shankar included extensive VFX in his movies. So, I consider him as a pioneer in bringing the latest technology to his projects. I can never overtake him in terms of magnificent visuals.”
6. SS Rajamouli’s father, V Vijayendra Prasad, had penned the story. “When my father told me the one-liner, I was very excited and we developed it into a full story. We tried to show the story in one film, but we couldn’t do it as a few characters and their emotional content were being left out.” The filming of the second part of Baahubali will take at least a year to wrap up.
7. The movie’s run-time is two and half hours.
8. Dialogues in the movie will be “traditional”, and Madhan Karky, who had earlier penned dialogues for Rajamouli’s Naan Ee, had initially written four different versions – in different dialects of Tamil – for an important scene. He also took inspiration from movies like Nadodi Mannan.
9. Amar Chithra Katha is a major source of inspiration for Rajamouli, with most of his stories being sourced from the series.
10. Most portions were shot in Ramoji Rao film city, while a few sequences were canned at Tirupati falls, and Bulgaria.
11. The international version of Baahubali is yet to be edited, and will release only after three or four months after the theatrical release in India, which has been scheduled for July 10.
12. More importantly, the crew also took pictures with Rajinikanth, who was shooting for Lingaa close-by.
1. SS Rajamouli cleverly dodged the question about his favorite heroine. “It was Samantha in Naan Ee and Anushka in Baahubali and when Tamannaah arrives later today, it will be her as well.”
2. He also had to tell Anushka to stop smiling. She shot back with, “That Rajamouli is a taskmaster is an understatement.”
3. According to Rajamouli, actor Sathyaraj has outdone Prabhas and Rana in the movie.
4. If Baahubali succeeds, director SS Rajamouli thinks folklore and historical fiction would become more popular.