The Baahubali craze is everywhere. Fans, especially in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, are celebrating the arrival of the film like the onset of a song-and-dance festival. There are many reasons for this hype and happening. There’s the star cast, including Prabhas, Tollywood’s handsome and dashing actor, who hasn’t been seen on screen for two-and-a-half years. There’s the theme of epic proportions (which, no doubt, creates epic excitement). There’s the fact that this is the most expensive Indian film ever, likely to break records set by Endhiran. But the single most important factor behind the excitement is SS Rajamouli, who gives Tollywood a wider reach with each subsequent film. Here we list 7 Rajamouli-quirks that will give the prospective viewer a glimpse into the director behind the fantasy epic, Baahubali:
1) Film is Family, Family Film:
Whoever said careers and family don’t mix, hadn’t met Rajamouli. His best form emerges when his family is around and working with him. Almost all his stories draw inspiration from his father’s writing. His cousin, MM Keeravani, composes the music. His wife, Rama Rajamouli, designs the costumes. His son and his sister-in-law have assisted in producing Baahubali. Rajamouli has openly declared, in interview after interview, that his main strength is his family, and they are the ones who keep him on his toes.
2) Never Underestimate the Power of the Common Man:
No, we’re not talking about Shah Rukh Khan. Rajamouli’s leading man is almost always an ‘ordinary man in an extraordinary situation’. The hero is the underdog who rises up to the challenge, and takes on the larger-than-life, far more powerful villain. Who doesn’t love to see David beat Goliath? Maybe that’s why even Rana Daggubati is so psyched about his character in Baahubali.
3) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:
Rajamouli is self-admittedly obsessed with mythology. Even in his massy-commercial films, elements of mythology and fantasy surface. He follows a template of ‘Good Vs. Evil’, drawing on his love for folklore. You know someone is crazy about mythology when they start writing their own. We wonder what Tolkein and Rowling and GRR Martin would have to say about the world of Baahubali, an epic period fantasy. And guess what ignited his imagination in his formative years? Amar Chitra Katha stories, he says, were a massive inspiration.
4) High on Emotions:
Sentiment is one of the most important aspects of Rajamouli’s films. The plot is typically driven by the fear of losing your loved one. Even in a fantasy film like Eega, the hero reincarnates into a fly to save the woman he loves. Could there be (or even, bee) any greater commitment?
5) The Interval Bang-Bang-Bang:
The above subheading is a desperate attempt to capture the exceptional excitement the interval scenes in Rajamouli films create. All hell breaks loose in theatres, with deafening hoots and whistles. Nothing beats this interval scene in Eega/Naan Ee where the fly leaves a death threat. Nothing at all.
6) Back in Time – the Flashbacks:
Rajamouli is famous for flashback scenes which lead to epic revelations. Films like Simhadri and Vikramarkudu (remade as Siruthai in Tamil) had flashback sequences which were hailed as the best parts of the film. Rajamouli took this a bit too seriously in Magadheera, and transported the audience back to the 16th century.
7) Fully Loaded – the Weapons:
The weapons Rajamouli’s heroes use have become quite the talking point, often humorously so. There was even a joke about it in Sudigadu, a 2012 spoof. From axes to swords, Rajamouli has used them all. He even armed his little fly with a needle.
BONUS : SS Rajamouli is a brand in Tollywood. Literally. He’s even got a stamp for himself. No Rajamouli film is complete without this –