Surprising fact: the most expensive Indian movie isn’t from Bollywood – it’s from Tollywood!
S.S. Rajamouli had the idea of blending local folklore with Hollywood’s advanced film technologies and this resulted in Baahubali: The Beginning, the most expensive movie ever made in India.
According to IMDb this two-part movie has a budget that’s almost $40 million. This may be a small amount to the big Hollywood blockbusters but consider that in India, the big budget movies rarely touch $25 million. Naturally, this movie is quite a big deal for India.
We came across an article by Indian film critic Shubhra Gupta from The Indian Express which stated, “you can see S.S. Rajamouli’s varied influences in places: James Cameron like dreamy vistas of hill, waterfall and greenery, Ang Lee‘s flying-through-the-air-acrobatics, Peter Jackson‘s stretching-out-for-miles crowded battlefields, J.R.R. Tolkien‘s plug-ugly trolls who talk in guttural tongues.” This was when we decided we were going to watch the movie.
Baahubali: The Beginning starts with a woman, Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan), wounded and chased by an army of soldiers while carrying a baby under a massive waterfall. As she flees after killing the soldiers, she crosses a strong current of water to get the infant to safety. This scene was enough to send chills down your spines.
Indian movie buffs, you guys know how Ramya carries her tough and strong lady roles with a great amount of intensity? Well, she nails it once again.
Baahubali literally means ‘the one with strong arms’ and it’s the perfect summation of the character played by Prabhas.
There were many scenes that would give viewers goosebumps. With the right background music, we not only had goosebumps but felt immersed, like characters in the movie. M. M. Keeravani, a cousin of Rajamouli, had the music to fit each scenes.
Some would argue that there’s too many popular daffy (unrealistic) Tamil film scenes in Baahubali but this writer believes it’s all justified given the context of the film.
People in the ancient era – an era in which people had strong belief in God and customs – pose a strength and courage that is said to be a holy gift. These scenes instead serve to reflect on the strong influence of Hinduism back then.
What was mentioned in The Indian Express article was pretty much accurate. The mountains and waterfall scenes bring to mind Avatar, while the lengthy war and the language used by the Kalakeyas gave us flashbacks of The Lord of the Rings.
We Malaysians watched the movie in Tamil (as opposed to the original Telugu version).
Dubbing a film is completely unnecessary and our audiences aren’t that lazy; we would have preferred it with the original language with subtitles. Even the names of the characters were changed. Rana Daggubati played as Bhallala Deva in the Telugu and Hindi releases but as Palvaalthevan in the Tamil release. [Ed – our writer misunderstood, the film wasn’t in fact dubbed, it just had several audiovisual syncing issues at the time of viewing.]
Luckily it didn’t look silly since the camera wasn’t focused on the characters talk most of the time.
Rajamouli has all our senses captivated with his creatively made folklore movie and we await Baahubali: The Conclusion which will be released in 2016.