Baahubali

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For statue in Karnataka, see Bahubali.
Baahubali
Baahubali poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by S. S. Rajamouli
Produced by K. Raghavendra Rao
(Presenter)
Shobu Yarlagadda
Prasad Devineni
Written by Ajay - Vijay
(Telugu Dialogue)
Madhan Karky
(Tamil Dialogue)
Screenplay by S. S. Rajamouli
Story by K. V. Vijayendra Prasad
Starring Prabhas
Rana Daggubati
Anushka Shetty
Tamannah Bhatia
Sudeep
Sathyaraj
Music by M. M. Keeravani
Cinematography K. K. Senthil Kumar
Edited by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Production
company
Distributed by Arka Media Works
Release dates
Scheduled for 15 May 2015
Country India..
Language Telugu
Tamil
Budget INR175 crore (US$27 million)

Baahubali (English: The One With Strong Arms) is an upcoming two-part Indian epic film being simultaneously made in Telugu and Tamil languages.[1] The film will be simultaneously dubbed into Malayalam, Hindi and in several foreign languages. Baahubali is directed by S. S. Rajamouli and features Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah in the lead roles.[2][3][4] Apart from them, the film features an ensemble cast of Ramya Krishnan, Sathyaraj, Nassar, Adivi Sesh, Tanikella Bharani and Sudeep in crucial roles.

The film is being produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni under Arka Media Works banner. Director K. Raghavendra Rao is presenting the film. The soundtrack for the film will be composed by M. M. Keeravani. National Award winner Sabu Cyril has been recruited as art director for the film.[5] National Award winner V. Srinivas Mohan is working as the VFX supervisor.[6]

The project is touted to be the most expensive film being produced ever in the history of Indian cinema.[7][8]and was also one of the few films featured in BBC's documentary on 100 Years of Indian cinema directed by Sanjeev Bhaskar.[9][10][11] The film was shot using Arri Alexa XT camera marking Rajamouli's first film using digital camera and the principal photography began at Rock Gardens in Kurnool on 6 July 2013.[12][13] The first part of film is scheduled to be released on 17 April 2015.[14][15]

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

"It's an enormous set with hundreds of cast and crew members, besides the presence of equipments like air conditioners and other machinery. Initially, it was very difficult for everyone to adapt to absolute silence when we shot the scenes. Since it's a period action drama, we didn't want any modern sounds in the background and hence, it was important for us to record the sound live on the location. After the shot is done, we record the sound of each room and each one has its own reverberation."

 —P. M. Satheesh, regarding the film's sound design.[16]

Prabhas, Rana and Anushka did a lot of home work and hard work for the film. All of them practiced sword fighting, while Prabhas and Rana learned horse riding.[17] It was later decided to make it a two part film which would release by 2015, due to its excessive length.[18] Tamil lyricist Madhan Karky was selected to write the dialogues for the Tamil version.[19][20] He said that his dialogues would be along the lines of yesteryear epic historical movies like Manohara (1954) and Nadodi Mannan (1958) and that they would be in chaste Tamil.[21] The film's action sequences were choreographed by Peter Hein who revealed that each and every shot was dealt carefully and there are huge requirements which are not seen in regular movies as it is a complete period film. For a particular action sequence, Peter Hein had to handle around 2000 stuntmen & elephants.[22] K. K. Senthil Kumar was selected to handle the film's cinematography.[23]

P. M. Satheesh was the sound designer of the film. Regarding his experience with the film, he said "Baahubali is one of the very few films in South where a lot of importance is being given to sound recording. We dropped the idea of shooting with sync sound since the dialogue delivery has to be modified accordingly. The sound design team embeds various types of micro-phones throughout the set to record the ambient sound, which will lend a natural feel to the film. It's necessary, because some of these sounds aren't available in the market. It's quite a challenge for everyone".[16] Sabu Cyril was the art director of the film. In an interview to The Times of India, he said "Every hour is a challenge on the sets of Baahubali. Period films are a huge responsibility as there is no room for mistakes. Everything was created from scratch : chairs, thrones, palaces, swords, armor and costumes."[24] Foley Artiste Philipe Van Leer started working with the film's crew from 5 November 2014 till 14 November 2014 at Dame Blanche complex in Belgium.[25] Rana revealed that the film is about a war between two brothers - Baahubali played by Prabhas and Bhallala Deva played by himself for a kingdom.[26]

Casting[edit]

Anushka Shetty was recruited as the heroine of the film as she was also a part of Mirchi (2013).[27] She coincidentally became the first heroine Rajamouli repeated in his films and thus made her schedules full for 2013 and 2014.[28] Rana Daggubati was recruited as the antagonist of the film and coincidentally he was also a part of Rudhramadevi.[29] Tamil actor Sathyaraj signed the film.[30] There were reports towards the end of April 2013 that either Sridevi or Sushmita Sen would be selected to play Prabhas' mother in the film which were confirmed as rumors by Rajamouli.[31][32] In the end of May 2013, Rajamouli denied the casting of Sonakshi Sinha as a replacement to Anushka in the Hindi version of the film.[33] There was news that actress Shruti Haasan would be portraying the female lead, but Rajamouli denied the news as a rumor and clarified that she was not approached for any role.[34]

Kannada actor Sudeep was selected for a small but important role in the film.[35] He shot for 4 Days in July 2013 for the film and had to fight with Sathyaraj in a sequence choreographed by Peter Hein.[36] In April 2013, Adivi Sesh was recruited for a crucial role in the film as Rajamouli was impressed by his work in the Panjaa (2011).[37] Actress Ramya Krishnan was chosen to play the crucial role in the film as Rajamatha in August 2013.[38] Actor Nassar was selected to play a supporting role.[38] On 11 December 2013, a press release stated that Charandeep is selected for one of the negative characters in the film.[39] On 20 December 2013 a press release stated that Tamannaah will be second heroine of the film which marks her first collaboration with Rajamouli and second collaboration with Prabhas.[2] In the end of January 2014, Rajamouli rubbished the inclusion of Pawan Kalyan, N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Sunil as baseless rumors.[40]

Characters and looks[edit]

Anushka's character's name was revealed as Devasena.[41] Rana Daggubati was said to be playing the role of Prabhas' brother and He too underwent a lot of physical transformation for the role he was assigned to play in the film.[29] He also underwent training in Martial arts under the supervision of a Vietnamese trainer Tuan.[42] Sathyaraj sported a Tonsured look for his role in the film.[43] Sudeep said that he would play the role of a weapons trader in this film.[44] In the end of October 2013, Rana appeared at a fashion show with a beefed up body which, according to him, was a part of his look in the film.[45] In mid-May 2014, reports emerged that Anushka would be seen as a pregnant woman for a few sequences in the second part of the film.[46]

At the same time, Prabhas posted in his Facebook page that he underwent a minor shoulder surgery a month ago and would join the film's sets in a span of a month which was also confirmed by Rajamouli.[47] In the end of May 2014, Prabhas attended a movie launch ceremony which dispelled the rumors which stated that he was in ICU battling several health issues and injuries.[48] On 1 June 2014, Prabhas and Rana's trainer Lakshman Reddy, who was the winner of 13 titles in India and abroad in bodybuilding, spoke to the media about the secrets behind the looks of Prabhas and Rana. According to him, Prabhas started his training 8 months before the commencement of shooting and after two years, both of them weighed nearly 100 kilos each. He also added that Prabhas would be seen in two attires with a heavy, bulky body for Baahubali's role and a lean physique for the second role. About the food intake, he said "Their daily diet consisted of six to eight meals – all non-vegetarian. No rice was given at all. Meals were eaten every two hours. The total calorie intake would range between 2000 to 4000 calories a day." For reduction of their weight, Reddy said "The process will be the same but you have to limit the food intake, depending on the person’s requirements. It takes four to five months to reduce".[49] For his look, Prabhas met WWE superstars in February 2014 and interacted with them about their daily regimen and workouts.[50]

Impressed with the infrastructure there, Prabhas got the equipment costing INR1.5 crore shipped to his home, where he built a personal gym. His breakfast included 40 half boiled egg whites blended and added with protein powder everyday.[50] In mid-June 2014, regarding her role in the film, Tamannaah said that she would be playing the role of a warrior princess named Avanthika and her appearance in the film is completely different when compared to her past films.[51][52] Before joining the film's shoot, Tamannaah did costume trials for the film which she confirmed in her micro-blogging page stating "I am very excited to get on to the set of Baahubali. I did some dress trials today and my look in this movie will be totally new. I have never been seen in such sort of a look till now. It will be a new role for me."[53] Rajamouli called Tamannaah and her characterization as a "value addition" to the movie.[54] She later revealed "I play Avanthika, a character from an unspecified era. A lot of thought went into the costume and jewelry to get the look right. Director Rajamouli asked me to lose 5-6 kilos to look the part, so I followed a stringent workout and diet regimen to get the look right" in an interview to Hemanth Kumar of The Times of India.[55]

Filming[edit]

The shooting of the film started at Rock Gardens in Kurnool from 6 July 2013 exactly after a year from the release of Rajamouli's Eega (2012).[13][56][57] In the end of August 2013, the film's shoot continued at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad where key scenes on the lead cast were shot.[58] The second schedule of the film ended on 29 August 2013.[59] A new schedule started at Hyderabad on 17 October 2013.[60] In the end of October 2013, the maize field specifically cultivated at Ramoji Film City for filming of few crucial sequences was destroyed by rains just a week before the start of the planned shoot there.[61] The film's shoot again continued in Kurnool in November 2013 but the schedule ended abruptly due to incessant rains. Despite taking required measures, the film's crew could not control the people and around 30 thousand people reached the spot. After they were pacified by Prabhas and Rana, Rajamouli stood on the center stage and asked all of them to scream Jai Baahubali in sync. The entire incident was captured by the sound department so that it can be used in the film's final cut to create the right ambient sound in some crucial scenes.[62] After that, the film's unit traveled to Kerala for their next schedule.[63] The Kerala schedule started on 14 November 2013.[64]

Athirappilly Falls in Thrissur district of Kerala where few crucial sequences were shot as a part of the schedule.

In the end of November 2013, the film's shoot was disrupted by incessant rains and since the portion of shoot was outdoor, the shoot was temporarily stalled.[65][66] The shoot at Kerala completed on 4 December 2013 in many exotic locales of Kerala including the famous Athirappilly Falls and Rajamouli informed to the media that a huge war sequence would be shot soon at Hyderabad.[67] A set was erected in Ramoji film city to shoot war sequences involving around 2000 junior artists and almost all the principal cast from 23 December 2013 for which groundwork began in October 2013.[68][69] There were reports that the farmers at Anajpur village close to Ramoji Film City tried to disrupt the film's shooting citing that they did not have the required permissions to shoot there which were denied by Rajamouli.[70][71] The film's unit took a two day break on the eve of New Year and the shoot of the sequence resumed from 3 January 2014.[72][73] In mid-January 2014, a massive set was constructed there at Ramoji Film City resembling the city center of the kingdom in which the story unfolds.[74] The film's unit took a break on account of Makar Sankranti and the shoot of war sequences resumed from 16 January 2014.[75] On 18 January 2014, the film completed 100 working days of the film's shoot.[76]

Ramoji Film City where the film's major parts including a huge war sequence was shot in specially erected sets.

From 28 March 2014, key scenes of the film were shot during the nights at Ramoji Film City.[77] On 5 April 2014, Rajamouli informed that the war schedule came to an end.[78] The film's next schedule started on 20 April 2014 after a brief break.[79][80] The film's unit took a small break in the end of May 2014 after shooting some scenes on Rana Daggubati and Anushka at Ramoji Film City.[81][82] Later Rana took a break from Baahubali's shooting for a couple of months.[83] In the end of May 2014, it was reported that Tamannaah would join the sets in June 2014 and would participate till December 2014.[84] Sudeep returned to the film's sets on 7 June 2014 and participated in the shoot along with Sathyaraj at Golconda Fort to start a fresh schedule which ended on 10 June 2014.[85][86] Rajamouli started re-shoot of some scenes which were originally scheduled for last year whose shoot were disrupted by heavy rains.[87] Tamannaah joined the film's sets in Hyderabad on 23 June 2014.[88] In the end of June 2014, the filming continued at Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad. Prabhas, Tamannaah, Anushka and Rana participated in the shooting and important scenes were shot.[89] That schedule ended after four days.[90] At the same time, it was reported that the film's unit would travel to Bulgaria to shoot the sequences in maize fields which were supposed to be shot in the field destroyed due to rains at Hyderabad in October 2013.[91]

Mahabaleshwar where the film was shot in extreme climatic conditions including fog, rain and cold weather.

A romantic song featuring Prabhas and Tamannaah was shot in a specially erected set in Ramoji Film City in the third week of July 2014 which was choreographed by K. Sivasankar.[92] The song was shot using ropes and trusses which are generally used in the action scenes and the film's director of photography K. K. Senthil Kumar confirmed the same and added that the song is shot with an innovative concept with rich visuals.[93] After its completion, an action sequence was shot at Ramoji Film City under the supervision of Peter Hein.[94] On 10 August 2014 the film was declared as the first Telugu film to have been shot for 200 days.[95][96] A fresh schedule started at Mahabaleshwar on 26 August 2014.[97] The cast and crew had to brave bad weather, including rain, fog and cold weather to complete the scenes.[98] After nearly two weeks, the team wrapped up the schedule and the next schedule began at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad from 12 September 2014.[99] Sabu Cyril designed a 100 feet statue which was erected by Peter Hein in late September 2014.[100] Filming continued at Hyderabad though the rest of the films shoots were halted because of the ongoing strike by Telugu Film Federation Employees as they employed the staff not belonging to the Federation.[101]

Few action sequences were shot at Ramoji Film City till 30 November on Prabhas and Rana.[102] During the film's shoot for a particular sequence, Tamannaah stood under an artificial tree designed by Sabu Cyril as a part of the set to which she was tied to make sure that she did not fly away because of the strong winds.[103] In early December 2014, the film's unit shifted to Bulgaria for a 25 day schedule. It was reported to shift to Bulgaria from Hyderabad because of the ongoing Telugu Film Federation Employees' strike though the makers refuted those reports adding that the schedule was planned long ago.[104] After three weeks of shoot, the film's unit returned to Hyderabad on 23 December 2014.[105] The film's shoot later continued at Ramoji Film City and from 22 December 2014, thousand horses brought from Rajasthan were planned to be used for shooting.[106]

Music[edit]

Rajamouli's cousin and his norm composer M. M. Keeravani composed the music for this film. After the break taken by the film's team after completion of war schedule on 5 March 2014, an official statement from the film's team stated that Keeravani is recording two songs from the film right now.[79] Madhan Karky was selected as the lyricist for the Tamil version of the soundtrack.[107] On 2 July 2014, the film's official website published that Keeravani is recording a song at Prasad Studios in Hyderabad which is sung by Deepu.[108] On 8 October 2014, Keeravani told Deccan Chronicle that the writers are working on the lyrics of the songs and he would start working on them in a week's time.[109] During the film's shoot in Bulgaria, the film's soundtrack was expected to be unveiled in February 2015.[110]

Release[edit]

The film is scheduled to be released on 22 may 2015. [14][15]

Marketing[edit]

A number of short promotional "making of" videos has been released.[15][111][112][113][114][115][116] For releasing all those videos, Arka Media Works had its own channel on YouTube and the team unveiled first look posters and videos featuring the film's lead stars on the occasions of their birthdays.[117] The film used an augmented reality application to play the trailer on smart phones and tablets.[118] The crown used by the character of Baahubali in the film was exhibited at Comic Con, Hyderabad as a part of the film's promotion. An event named Cos Play was held in which chosen winners were given a chance to visit the sets of the film.[119] The film's unit also launched a WhatsApp messenger to give regular updates about the film to the subscribers.[120]

Distribution[edit]

In early July 2014, the film first part's Karnataka and Ceded (Rayalaseema) region distribution rights were sold to a prominent distributor for INR23 crore (US$3.6 million) out of which the Ceded region, which included Kadapa, Kurnool, Anantapur, Chittoor and Bellary areas, the rights alone fetched INR14 crore (US$2.2 million)[121][122] At the same time, the film's Nizam region theatrical distribution rights were purchased by Dil Raju for an amount of INR25 crore (US$3.9 million). only for the first part.[123][124] Though he did not confirm the price, Dil Raju said in an interview to Deccan Chronicle that he purchased the first part's Nizam region rights and added that he would acquire the rights of the second part also for this region.[125] BlueSky Cinemas, Inc. acquired the theatrical screening and distribution rights in overseas.[126][127]

Title issues[edit]

Sodhe Matha sent legal notices to the film's producers in early January 2014 about the film's title Baahubali which is the name of a revered Arihant in Jainism as they were afraid that the film would portray his story in a violent manner.[128] Days later, Sobhu Yarlagadda defended the story of the film saying "The film has nothing to do with Gomatheswara or the Jain religion. The story is completely fiction written by Vijayendra Prasad and will remain so. 'Baahubali' refers to the amount of power the protagonist possesses." He also clarified that they haven't received the legal notice yet.[129]

Accusations of plagiarism and clarification[edit]

The makers were accused of copying the format and the idea of the "making video" from The Amazing Videohivers, a 123 seconds video clip, created by an Australian firm, which specializes in providing video templates for internet marketing. The video, which uses Adobe After Effects CS5 having a customizable template, depicts how film makers can use the video template to market their products. Regarding the issue, Shobhu Yarlagadda clarified "We have commercially purchased the template used in that video. We have licensed it legally. Anyone can license that template and it is not copying. We felt that the template is ideal for our video and hence we paid for it."[130]

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