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Tollywood epic is being compared to American Blockbuster 300

The Rs. 250-crore, Telugu epic movie “Bahubali” which is all set to become India’s most expensive film, has been compared to that of Hollywood blockbuster movie ‘300.’

Director SS Rajamouli explains the epic battle movie to be a simple story of a father who has been back-stabbed, a mother who has been enchained for no wrong of hers and the story of a son who takes revenge. The two parts span over two generations.

The South Indian film industry which is often overshadowed by the glitz and glam of Bollywood and Internationally bankable movies will be brought to spotlight by the release of movie ‘Bahubali.’

Bahubali poster

Bahubali poster

‘Bahubali’, which cost a fraction of the Hollywood blockbuster budget is made in two languages —  Telugu and Tamil, with dubbing version in Hindi, as the profit the ‘Tollywood’ and ‘Kollywood’ markets is very high.

Director SS Rajamouli told AFP that the movie, which cinema-goers are comparing with Hercules, will break the previous big-budget Indian film by a whopping $17 million. “There are still over a hundred days of shooting left, followed by post-production for the second part. The budget will definitely be over Rs. 250 crore ($40 million) for both parts.”

The movie with special effects tells the fictional story of two brothers who are battling to gain control over an ancient Indian kingdom. The literal English meaning of “Bahubali” is “the One With Strong Arms”.

The first part of the movie is scheduled to be released on July 10, with the name “Bahubali – The Beginning,” and the final installment is scheduled to hit the screens next year, 2016.

Speculations are high that Baahubali will overtake the 2010 Tamil movie Enthiran (Robot), featuring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, made at a cost of Rs 1.5 billion, Indian cinema’s costliest film on records.

Movie critics and fans, who have watched a short teaser released last month, say its vast battle scenes draw comparisons with 2006 hit movie ‘300’, which starred Gerard Butler.

Rajamouli describes the shooting as enormous involving 1000 soldiers with costumes on the plains for four months to shoot just a 20-minute battling scene.”We worked with 2,000 extras and about 500-600 technicians, horses, elephants and equipment. It was quite a task, but we managed,” he told the media in Mumbai recently.

Reportedly, making the Tollywood epic involved 600 artists from 17 visual effects studios across India, South Korea and China to create the film’s 4,500 visual effects and computer graphics. Producer of the film, Shobu Yarlagadda, CEO of Arka Mediaworks, said it was a calculated decision to release the film in two parts to help recoup production costs.

“We would not have been able to recover the cost even if it had been a single film because the storyline would not have allowed us to make it under three hours long,” he told AFP. “So we decided to increase the budget some more and make it in two parts and in two languages, Tamil and Telugu, which are our main markets, to make it more viable.”

The Tollywood epic movie ‘Baahubali’ took around three years and it stars Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, along with Tamannaah Bhatia and Anushka Shetty. It was filmed in Hyderabad,  Kurnool, Mahabaleshwar and even Bulgaria.

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