Almost every movie-buff in India, by now, has watched the trailer for Baahubali – The Conclusion.
I rummaged through my memory cells to awaken even the slightest possibility of having witnessed an event such as this. But in vain.
Since the announcement of S. S. Rajamouli’s epic two-part film, the movie-going audience for Telugu films has been sitting at the edge of their seats. Soon, the word about the largeness of the movie spread, and Bollywood, along with international markets, showed interest in the project.
The ever-thinking actor / entrepreneur, Rana Daggubati, (I use the word ‘entrepreneur’ liberally to highlight Rana’s expertise in various fields), with his sound connections, brought Karan Johar and Rajamouli together. And Karan Johar, with his marketing skills, pushed the film beyond the conventional borders for a bilingual made in South India (The Beginning was made in Tamil and Telugu simultaneously).
Karan Johar is one of the main reasons for the dubbed-Hindi version to achieve the blockbuster status. It would have been a long ride for Rajamouli and team otherwise. Selling a film with faces known for their appearances in Tamil and Telugu outings in Mumbai, Delhi, and other pockets of North India is not an easy task. The makers ofKabali and Vishwaroopam would be able to relate to this. Rajamouli has managed to pull off what a Rajini, or a Kamal, couldn’t (obviously, Rajamouli, as a brand, is bigger than the male lead of his movie).
The reassuring Excel-sheet figures for The Beginning have opened many doors for films made in the South. The Superstar Rajinikanth-starrer, 2.0, is being made at a budget of Rs. 400 Crore. Many reports state that the satellite rights for the film helmed by Shankar have been sold to Zee TV for Rs. 110 Crore (for Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi versions). Don’t you see how the good luck charm of The Beginning has rubbed off on 2.0? Lyca Productions (the production company of 2.0) has taken an important leaf from the makers of Baahubali, and has added its own powerful cinematic mix to construct the upcoming sci-fi film on a grander scale.
If The Conclusion and 2.0 break the commercial boundaries of Indian movies, we’ll arrive at a bridge where more experimentation will take place.
The Telugu version of The Beginning’s trailer has so far received around 7.8 million hits. Do keep in mind that it was released 21 months ago. Whereas, The Conclusion’s trailer has received 1.3 Crore views in less than 12 hours. This goes on to prove that we’re Digital Bakasuras. The unbelievable increase in the number of views is due to the popularity of the first part and cheaper data packs. Having made a light joke about it, I’d like to bring to your attention that this movie is beyond an event in our calendar. It’s a historic movement for Indian cinema.
Producer Shobu Yarlagadda happily tweeted about his movie creating ripples on Twitter and YouTube.
In the next six weeks, the social media will be abuzz with the release of posters, soundtrack albums, fan fiction, and whatnot. And we’ll be on our toes trying to grab whatever comes our way.
The world of Mahishmati will welcome us again, this time, for The Conclusion, on April 28, 2017. Until then, sayonara!
Written by - Karthik Keramalu