They don’t make films like this anymore, or do they? Well, only if it comes from the godly hands of SS Rajamouli. When the director’s latest offering Baahubali: The Conclusion got postponed for almost an year, fans couldn’t bear the delay. But now that the film is out, making and breaking records, it was every bit worth the wait. Baahubali 2 has established a benchmark in Indian cinema by surpassing Aamir Khan’s Dangal and Salman Khan-starrer Sultan’s opening day records. It ended up earning over Rs 100 crore on its very first day.
Now, it is being said that henceforth, Indian cinema will be divided into two eras, pre-Baahubali and post-Baahubali. But what exactly ensured that this Prabhas-Rana Daggubati film becomes a phenomenon despite being made in regional languages – Telugu and Tamil – and being dubbed in Hindi, English and Malayalam, among others?
Baahubali: The Beginning was a hit, but no one really expected that the first film in the two-part franchise will become such a game-changer for Indian cinema. It is heard that the project landed in Karan Johar’s lap by chance, who gave it a shot and decided to distribute its Hindi version as a first step towards venturing out in the regional film industry. But will KJo ever stake his resources for something as big and risky as Baahubali? For that matter, will anyone from Bollywood do that for a franchise that kept its entire team committed for five long years? Definitely no. We list down some points that might prove why Bollywood could never have made a Baahubali, despite being one of the largest film industries in the world.
Baahubali 1 cost Rs 180 crore, while Baahubali 2 budget stood at Rs 250 crore. Now, if we see the money our biggest Bollywood filmmakers spend, no one can manage this heavy budget and translate it into opulence on the big screen. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is Rajamouli’s closest Bollywood counterpart, shelled out Rs 125 crore for Bajirao Mastani, his highest till date. We are sure even Padmavati won’t get any closer to Baahubali. Bollywood’s most expensive film till date is Salman Khan’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (Rs 180 crore). Any splendid Bollywood flick in terms of its highest scale, mostly stays around Rs 150-170 crore. Does that mean you need serious confidence and conviction to pool in such a massive amount?
Prabhas did not sign another film in the past five years, when Baahubali 1 and 2 were being made. This was not just to maintain the continuity of his looks, but even to ensure that he stayed in character, lived it, breathed it… So when the two films came out, the audience did not see Prabhas the actor, but Amarendra Baahubali and Mahendra Baahubali. Cut to Bollywood and we have our Mr Perfectionist Aamir Khan, who is known to work on only one film a year, sometimes in a year and a half too, to maintain his success rate. But ask him if he is ready to give five years to one project, and even he might refuse. Of course, because he would have given at least 4 films crossing Rs 200 crore each in the same time, but is it at par with the dedication Prabhas showed?
Bollywood might be boasting of having finally arrived and giving us women oriented film like Dear Zindagi, Queen and Kahaani, but nowhere do filmmakers try to show their female protagonists without any mental depression, or fighting against the social norms. Cut to Baahubali, and its three women – Devasena, Sivagami and Avanthika are actually the real heroes. They rule the kingdom, select the king, decide their partner, fight to save their kingdom and even punish the miscreants. In Bollywood, reportedly no big actor wants to sign a film opposite Kangana Ranaut because the National Award winning actor is considered too big for her shoes in the male-dominated industry. Do you really think if Baahubali was made in Bollywood, a mainstream male actor would agree to sign it opposite these three strong women who drive the entire story. The amount of screen time they have got and the power with which they were allowed to deliver their performance could only happen in an industry outside Bollywood.