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Legacy of Horror in Tollywood

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Horror is one of the most interesting genres of Cinema which one can come across because it focuses on the tantalizing emotion- that is fear. A horror film is known to offer thrill and a suspense element cannot be taken for granted either. Telugu Cinema has had its equal share of horror genre right from Black and White era which had a unique set of audiences. However, the trademark Indian notion of a ghost clad in white saree, latern and scary sound effects ruled the roost for many decades. This doesn’t mean there were experimental films in the middle. Movies like Krishna starrer Ave Kallu is a wonderful horror flick which had a good dose of entertainment and songs mingled in between.

Telugu Cinema loved the aspect of infusing sentiment with ghosts as well- in which every ghost has a sad back story and a reason for why it has become an evil spirit. Being natural lovers of sentimental and family oriented films, this new formula worked quite well in Tollywood. Ram Gopal Varma brought a new era of horror films in Telugu with realistic taking, scary camera angles and stylish interpretation. However, horror films took a backlash during 90s and early 2000s until Rajnikanth’s Chandramukhi became a massive hit. The concept of psychological disorder, classical dance fused with horror was like a magic potion for a new age horror films in India!

Maruthi’s Prema Katha Chitram opened new gates for horror films which blended with the most contrasting genre to it- that is comedy! Saptagiri’s reactions to the ghost in the second half became a trendsetter for many such low budget horror comedy films later. Omkar’s Raju Gaari Gadhi , Geethanjali, and even the recent hit flick Anando Brahma fall in the same category. These films are aimed at audience to provide nonstop entertainment with a horror backdrop and the ghosts are meant to look comical instead of scaring the audience away.

It is interesting to see new wave of filmmakers trying innovative genres such as intelligent thriller to a horror film where the existence of ghosts. Anushka’s latest offering Bhaagamathie paved a new wave of horror genre which was never seen in Telugu Films. Looks like Telugu Film Industry is getting into a novel style of making and looking for impressive blends of horror genre!

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What is the main issue plaguing Tollywood: Piracy or Run of the mill stories?

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Piracy has been impacting Tollywood for last several years. Until early 2000s, film’s success was measured by the number of centers in which the movie was run for 50 days and 100 days. But it was because of this piracy, Tollywood also has changed the course and started releasing the movie in so many centers and theaters so that win less than a week, movie will break even and in 10 days, maximum potential of the movie will be recovered. However, still the Tollywood complains that piracy is impacting the industry. Recently writer turned director BVS Ravi also made scathing comments on piracy and those encouraging piracy.

However it seems Tollywood’s success ratio is very less not because of piracy, but because of run of mill stories churned out by TFI. For example, this movies released for this Pongal season failed at box office not because of piracy but because of the lazy writing and mediocre scripts. While the movies released during last Pongal like – Khaidi 150, Gautamiputra Satakarni and Sathamanam Bhavati are all hits – mainly because of the novelty they offered. But Agnyaathavaasi and Jai Simha failed to engage audience because of cliche story and screenplay. Last year all films together collected around 200 crores gross during Pongal festive season while this year, it is around 30 to 40% of what was collected last year.

While piracy issue is really a serious issue, there are still many more people who prefer to watch the movies on big screen if the movie gets a decent talk. When Magadheera movie was released, Chiranjeevi told in an interview that piracy actually helped improved Magadheera collections as the people who watched on piracy understood that it is a movie to watch on big screen and the piracy print served like a trailer for this movie.

So Tollywood should come out of lazy writing and cliche stories and come up with novel stories that will help improve success rate of Telugu Film Industry.!!!

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2.0 Impact: Tollywood set for Stringent Action

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Tollywood Producers Council meeting on dubbing movies

Rajinikanth’s next upcoming movie 2.0 release has been pushed to summer next year which didn’t go well with many top filmmakers of Tollywood. The latest happenings in Film Chamber hint that Tollywood is all set to witness massive changes in the coming days. The Producers Council is all set to impose new rules against the theatres for dubbing movies during the holiday season as per the information from a reliable source.

A limit of 100-200 theatres will be allotted for dubbing movies in the coming days and Film Chamber is even in plans to increase the taxes for dubbing films. To increase the priority for Telugu films, the discussions have been on from the past couple of days informed the source. The decision of 2.0 gearing up for April 27th 2018 release shocked Tollywood as Mahesh’s Bharat ane Nenu and Allu Arjun’s Na Peru Surya have been announced already for release on the same day.

If Tollywood steps out with such strict rules, Tamil film industry too will get ready for stringent action against Tollywood for sure. This will sure spoil the healthy bond between Telugu and Tamil film industries. However makers racing for Tamil rights will sure think twice before bagging the theatrical rights of big dubbing movies if all these come into existence. We have to wait for an official announcement on all these.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

10 Films Releasing This Week Too

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Looks like November month this year is going to be remembered in the history books of Telugu film industry for the maximum number of movies released in a single month. In November first week three films released then in the second week it was four movies, later in third week 10 films and now this week again ten movies are going to hit silver screen for Telugu audiences.

Going into details, out of ten films releasing this week Nara Rohit Balakrishnudu and Sree Vishnu Mental Madhilo are coming with strong back up from the prime producers in the film industry. Then we have Napolean by Anand Ravi, Sai Pallavi’s Hey Pillagada, Devi Sri Prasad, Baby, Lacha, Jandhyala Rasina Prema Katha, June 143 and Ippatlo Ramudila Seethala Evaruntarandi Babu movies testing their luck at the box office. Movie buffs have many choices with a different genre of films this week, make wise decision folks.

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Nani’s earnings, on par with top stars

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Nani MCA remuneration

Nani’s career is at its peak now. Ha has been giving hits consistently in last 2 years. Since Bhale Bhale mogagivoy in 2015, he has not faced any major dud, thanks to his story selection.

Now, it seems Nani’s yearly earnings are on par with Tollywood top stars. He is making around 3 movies per year. This year also he already released 2 movies and gearing up to release his 3rd movie this year. Right now he is charging almost 5-6 crs per movie. So his combined yearly remuneration of 18-20 cr is on par with heroes like PK, Mahesh, Tarak etc who are actually making only one movie per year.

This is very Impressive for someone who came to industry without any family backing. So he is not anymore a ” Middle Class Abbayi ” (MCA), considering his earnings, and ironically, he is currently making a movie with the same title.

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SIT continues questioning Tollywood artists in drug case

Telangana’s Prohibition and Excise authorities on Tuesday continued questioning of Telugu film industry personalities in connection with the Hyderabad drug racket case.

On Tuesday, art director Dharma Rao appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the racket.

SIT officials began questioning him at around 10.30 a.m., at Abkari Bhavan, the office of Prohibition and Excise Department.

Chinna is the sixth artist from Tollywood to be questioned in the case.

SIT officials on Monday grilled actor P. Navdeep for over 11 hours.

The investigating team has summoned 12 celebrities for questioning as their contact numbers were found in the call data of Calvin Mascrenhas, the kingpin of the racket.

Actors Tarun and Subbaraju, director Puri Jagannadh and cinematographer Shyam K. Naidu were interrogated last week.

Actors Ravi Teja and Nandu, actresses Charmme Kaur and Mumaith Khan are among the other celebrities who will be questioned this week.

Charmme Kaur’s petition seeking direction to SIT not to compel her to give samples of body fluids, hair and nails is scheduled to come up for hearing in Hyderabad High Court later in the day.

Enforcement, Prohibition and Excise Director Akun Sabharwal on Monday clarified that the SIT is collecting the samples only with the written consent of the persons questioned.

The SIT has so far registered seven cases and arrested 19 accused. It has questioned a total of 28 people.

The case took a new turn on Monday when SIT arrested manager of leading actress Kajal Aggarwal.

Puttkar Ronson Joseph was arrested from his house in Manikonda here. Narcotic substances were recovered from his possession.

The department has so far recovered 3,000 units of LSD, 105 grams of MDMA, 45 grams of cocaine and other narcotic and psychotropic substance.

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Selfies with Calvin: Tollywood celebrities in Trouble

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Tollywood celebrities have been facing allegations over consumption of drugs which has been shaking the Telugu speaking states. Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been interrogating the celebrities who have been issued notices. It started with Puri Jagannadh and cinematographer Shyam K Naidu has been investigated yesterday. Today Subbaraju is facing the investigation and a leading news channel revealed that SIT collected all the information after a thorough investigation.

Drug leader Calvin’s mobile phone has been cracked and the SIT officials have been left in shock after Calvin had selfies with all the celebrities SIT officials issued notices. This will sure bring huge trouble for all those who will be facing the investigation. SIT is also busy tracking the call data of the celebrities as per Calvin’s mobile. SIT officials revealed that some more celebrities will be issued notices in the coming days.

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Ajith aims back Tollywood market

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Thala Ajith has unbeatable craze across Kollywood. Some of his films in the past have been highly successful in Telugu and he is sure a known face for Telugu audience right from the start of his career. For the first time again, Ajith is quite concentrated on Tollywood and his next film Vivegam is aiming a massive Telugu release. Shouryam Shiva is the director of this high voltage action entertainer which completed shoot recently.

The movie is said to be a spy thriller and it will have three major action sequences, which are said to be the film’s major highlights. The movie has been shot extensively in Bulgaria, Croatia, Siberia, Slovenia and Austria. Kajal Agarwal is the female lead and Vivegam will feature Ajith in different looks. The movie’s Telugu rights have been sold out for a massive price of Rs 4.5 crores and Vivegam is getting ready for a huge release in Telugu along with Tamil on August 10th. TG Thyagarajan bankrolled Vivegam on Sathya Jyothi Films banner.

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Akun Sabharwal postpones leave due to severity of drugs case

Excise Enforcement Director Akun Sabharwal is hailed as the Baahubali for fighting against Gudumba. In his following stint to unearth the drug mafia in Telangana, Sabharwal now has become a household name. However, he informed the media yesterday that he was granted personal leave from 17July.

This raised eyebrow as he was going on vacation when the Tollywood individuals who received notices in the Drugs case will be probed by the Special Investigation team. Consequently, Sabharwal had to reschedule his leave to rubbish the allegations of being compelled. He said that in view of the seriousness of the case, he postponed his leave.

So far as many as 12 drug peddlers were arrested, after the drug racket was exposed. Based on their mobile phones records reveal as many as 16 individuals from Tollywood were summoned.

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Top producer trashes rumours on Drug Issue

With a drug racket busted two weeks back in Hyderabad, it revealed the association of Tollywood celebrities with drug mafia. Several Tollywood have been summoned and they have been asked to appear before CIT in this month. Though the cops showed no interest in revealing the names of the film celebrities involved, media has been speculating many names with subtle indications instead of revealing the names directly. Top producer Suresh Babu has been hit by the rumours.

He responded saying “Me and my family are not involved in any drug mafia and we did not receive any notices. We are not called by anyone as we have no connections. No one from my family is involved and keep us away from your speculations. As one needs to take an initiative, me and Allu Aravind stepped out to address the media and Tollywood”.

A section of media has been speculating that Rana Daggubati and his brother have been closely associated with drug mafia for which Suresh Babu responded. The Telangana excise department issued notices for all the celebrities involved and asked them to appear before them between July 19th and 27th.

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Scoop on Drug Addict Celebs in Tollywood

We have already reported that the Telangana Excise Department issued notices to 10 individuals from Tollywood who were found to be drug users. Irked by the continuous reports of the drug mafia being associated with the Telugu film industry, Movie Artists Association finally spoke out on Wednesday and gave a serious warning to the people involved with the drug mafia.

Among the 10 individuals, there is a Top director who is known for jet speed in making films, a young hero who has been scoring hit after hit by choosing different subjects (his last film was publicized to be based on the first-of-its-kind theme in Indian cinema), a hero who was part of an industry hit romantic entertainer in the early 2000s- he is gearing up to stage a comeback this year with the remake of a hit romantic drama, and another bearded-hero who made a promising debut five years ago and has been delivering only flops ever since.

Irony is that son of one of the Top Producers, who was in the press meet organized on Wednesday, is a huge drug addict. He has been caught earlier for taking drugs.

Movie Artists Association President Sivaji Raja, Producers Suresh Babu and Allu Aravind, actors Srikanth and Naresh, and Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao addressed the press meet on Wednesday and gave an ultimatum to those who have been taking the drugs, to either refrain from the addiction or get ready to go to jail.

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Tollywood shattered with Dasari’s Demise

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Legendary director, filmmaker and politician Dasari Narayana Rao passed away last evening in Hyderabad after he battled hard. He has been suffering with kidney related issues from the past few months. Dasari’s demise turned out to be a huge shock to Tollywood and celebrities rushed to his residence to pay the last tributes to the legendary filmmaker. Many of them took their official twitter handles to reveal about Dasari. He holds a record in Guinness Book of World Records for directing 151 films in his career. The legendary filmmaker will be remembered till cinema will be remembered. Here are some of the posts:

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Film director Dasari Narayana Rao dead

Well-known Telugu film director and former Union Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayana Rao died here on Tuesday after prolonged illness. He was 75.

Rao, who holds the Guinness Book of Records for directing 125 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi, died at a private hospital due to health complications. The National Award-winning director had produced 50 other films.

He had been in and out of hospital for quite some time and had undergone surgery for infection in the lungs and kidneys earlier this year.

Rao, who was a Minister in the Council of Ministers headed by Manmohan Singh, was also chargesheeted in the coal scam.

Some of his famous films include “Premabhishekam”, “Megha Sandesham”, “Osey Ramulamma” and “Tata Manavadu”.

Rao had planned to make a biopic on late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

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Tollywood lauds Baahubali: The Conclusion

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The biggest motion picture of Indian cinema released all over today and the film has been screened specially last night across the Telugu speaking states. This SS Rajamouli’s directorial received thumping response from the audience all over. Tollywood celebrities have been left in wow with the film and stupendous work by SS Rajamouli. Young Tiger NTR watched Baahubali: The Conclusion in a special screening last night and he left the team in heaps of praises. Several celebrities took their official social networking pages to praise the film. Here are some among them:

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Exorbitant prices for Telugu cinemas’ overseas rights

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The market for Telugu cinema in Overseas has taken an upturn after the roaring success of SS Rajamouli‘s crowd pleasing epic Baahubali. The film notched up a gross of 7 Million dollars in its full run setting up a huge overseas record. Following suit, Prince Mahesh Babu’s recent outing Srimanthudu also raked in terrific numbers. It has notched up around 2.9 Million dollars. Recently released Nani’s ‘Bhale Bhale Magadivoi’ also set the cash registers ringing with its superb collections in the first week.

One would feel that the appetite for Telugu films in Overseas has thoroughly increased and no wonder the producers of the many upcoming films are demanding unreasonable prices for the distribution rights. Take for example, the producer of Trivikram-Nithin project is claiming 4 Crores for the Overseas rights. So, has the market for Telugu cinema really increased ? Are the overseas distributors advisable to bag the Overseas rights for huge prices ? Let us find out.

For Bahubali, so many factors worked in its favor.It was directed by the most successful filmmaker and also has an ensemble cast. In fact, it is a magnum opus made out of an extravagant budget. Srimanthudu was able to notch up solid numbers as Mahesh Babu carries an enviable fan following in Overseas. Many of his previous movies collected terrific figures and so did Srimanthudu. Moreover, both Bahubali and Srimanthudu garnered positive response right from the first day and it has helped both films to register superb collections.

Nani’s ‘Bhale Bhale Magadivoi’ is an exception as not all medium and low budget movies can repeat the magic as it did. We usually find very less number of movies like ‘Bhale Bhale Magadivoi’ which can have such a tremendous run at the box office. Although it collected good numbers,due to high number of screens rented for this movie, the rentals will cut down the share and the distributors may end up with average profits. Reportedly this movie’s USA share would be less than 3 crores even though it has grossed 7 crores.

Prospective overseas buyers who are excited about back to back success of recent telugu movies,please be reminded of the fact that if any movie fails to reach the expectation of audience the distributors will suffer huge loss. In India ,even if a movie is a failure, it will recover 70% of the investment in many cases but in USA if a movie fails it is hard to recover even 10% of the investment

So, the overseas distributors must be extra cautious while buying the overseas rights of the upcoming films and it is advisable that they should not fall into the lure of the Telugu movie producers.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Tollywood’s piracy woes – Hundreds of crores lost revenue

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Every film industry in India is facing a serious threat in the form of piracy. And, an exclusive report has mentioned that Telugu film industry is the worst hit compared to the other leading industries. Going into the detailed report, the data in the exclusive report mentions that a whopping 119 Crore is what the loss accounts for Tollywood so far in 2015 due to film piracy. Every movie big or small which released so far this year has fallen prey to this menacing act and the the loss in the coming days is bound to increase at an alarming rate.

To be specific with numbers regarding on how the piracy has burned the pockets of filmmakers, let’s us take Baahubali as example. After its humongous release on July 10th, around 650 download links were found online and over 10 lakh people have viewed the online streaming and 8.5 lakh downloads have been recorded. This has resulted in a loss of around 19 Crores just in the initial days after its release. Imagine how big the number could now be …

Out of the 73 movies which released so far in Tollywood, more than 5000 illegal links were found and around 90 lakh people have viewed the movies online. Almost 31 lakh illegal downloads have been made. So, the overall loss for Tollywood so far is estimated to be around 120 Crores. This loss will multiply as we proceed to the end of this year. Analysts opined that the producers of big budget films can endure the loss but the low and medium budget film producers cannot withstand the loss.

Talking about the piracy woes, senior filmmaker Suresh Babu admitted that every producer in the industry is suffering a loss of 25 percent of the entire budget due to the piracy of films across all platforms. Although the central government has took stern measures and stringent action to curb this serous treat to the artistic work, the digitization has created a lot of loopholes and the damage is easily done before the issue is tackled.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Bahubali Review-A Modern visual extravaganza of an Old tale

The original storyline of “Bahubali” must have been exactly like it was illustrated in the Amar Chitra Katha comic by the same title (whose influence was always acknowledged by maker SS Rajamouli) – two brothers Bahubali and Bhalla born to the same king vie for the Mahishmati kingdom, the king and the queen decide to have a decathlon of disciplines in which they compete with each other and the winner is one who is the mightier, nobler, kinder and the most-skilled of the two. [pullquote position=”right”]The much-awaited “Bahubali” takes us back in time to an enchanted world of a man whose destiny drives him from wilderness to take charge of a lost kingdom. Despite shortcomings, Rajamouli weaves a visual extravaganza that will make Indian film industry proud.[/pullquote]Eventually, Bahubali wins but he becomes spiritual and renounces the kingdom in favour of the same sibling who rivalled him since childhood. This part, the spiritual part could well be the second part (“Bahubali: The Conclusion”). But the part of the rivalry between the two brothers is inter-twined with a bizarre twist of a dual role by Prabhas who plays both the legendary Bahubali – competes with Bhalla Deva (Rana Daggubati) – as well as the younger Bahubali. The story gets padded to make a neat Chandamama tale of a son abandoned by a queen mother on the ravages of an empire, rescued by a tribal village living on the edge of its waterfall.

Young  Prabhas  grows up in a hamlet ending on the riverside of a waterfall raised by Rohini. He grows up true to his name as a mighty and valiant man who can lift boulders, uproot trees and carry weighty Shiv Ling easily.[pullquote position=”left”]Prabhas looks thoroughly convincing in his title role – he has the best metrosexual looks in the South after Hrithik Roshan and makes the most of his body frame with an occasional swagger and twitch in the face to give back mouthfuls. Rana Daggubati, finally gets a role that suits his Herculean body-frame and the mischievous twinkle in his eyes [/pullquote]His destiny, she wishes is more towards Godly worship but it takes a turn towards romance with a Xena-like warrior Tamannah and eventually in the direction in which Tamannah takes – to the kingdom of Mahishmati ruled by the wicked king Bhallala Deva (Rana) in order to liberate Deva Sena (Anushka) from his clutches. Will Bahubali Jr. rescue Deva Sena, challenge Bhalla and find who his real father is and how he perished? That forms the second half.

What makes “Bahubali” tick is the extra-ordinary visual feast and the detailed presentation of the main motifs of the story. While the first half has dazzling scenic grandeur in the forestry filled with lavish waterfalls and snow-capped valleys, the kingdom of Mahishmati towards the end of the first half and the whole of the second half takes the cake for extravagant settings although the graphics tell what is real and what is surreal. Like an Amish Tripathi work of mythological fiction, Rajamouli depicts the raw energy, swashbuckle and chivalry about the men and women who fight for a cause or a kingdom’s army and their paraphernalia of steel body-shields, helmets, bows, quivers and arrows, spears, boomerang balls hoisted on adjustable metal rods, maces, helicopter chariot-cars, the whole array of infantry and artillery formations and those gun-shot spherical balls which unnerve the opposing armies. We may have seen many of these in Hollywood films but the thrills of watching them again in a kingdom not far from our native settings definitely make the film a worthy watch. In the entire duration of 159 minutes, a few action sequences stand out in the first and second half like Tamannah’s rescue act by Bahubali Jr  and the sequence of Bhalla’s men chasing Bahubali post-erection of Bhalla’s statue.[pullquote position=”right”]What makes “Bahubali” tick is the extra-ordinary visual feast and the detailed presentation of the main motifs of the story[/pullquote]But the one that steals the show and undoubtedly gets the hat-tip from the audience is the magnificent detail and cinematography of Senthil that went into the battle ground  action that comes in the climax of the film. Stretching well beyond 35 minutes, this sequence will be remembered forever as Rajamouli’s finest output in building pace and emotion in a war scenario – something that will be benchmarked for Indian films hereafter and revered until Rajamouli himself decides to outdo himself whenever he is ready with a retelling of  Mahabharat-Kurukshetra (his dream project). Most films which had even average story redeem themselves in one or two action sequences – but Rajamouli aced it up well on this count with  eye-popping imagery and action by Peter Heins on this battle sequence where a grotesque-looking one-eyed King Prabhakar is outwitted and eventually outplayed by the Trisul formation of Bahubali, Bhalla and Satyaraj. I feel kids who soak up on Hollywood action movies of the BCE era will flock to see this sequence – it is that gripping and majestic. There are at least four or five mini-action sequences which sizzle.

Action forms the nub of the film and one sees Rajamouli revel in this art – his main flaw is the fleeting romance between Prabhas and Tamannah. It is cute but not cute enough to embellish a serious tale like this which doesn’t have too many twists and more or less relies on flashback to render variety to the plot. Because Anushka’s meatier role is trapped in flashback which may be unveiled in the sequel, the romance part could have got beefed up in the second half, all we see is one rocking item song of three new “bad” girls from Bollywood. Comedy is seriously amiss but this has never been Rajamouli’s forte nor the mainstay in his films. Performances-wise and Characterisation-wise, Prabhas looks thoroughly convincing in his title role – he has the best metro sexual looks in the South after Hrithik Roshan and makes the most of his body frame with an occasional swagger and twitch in the face to give back mouthfuls – one scene rewinds you to “Chhatrapathi” but overall Prabhas delivers with a serene and supra-confident look throughout – if only his dialogue delivery improves he will outrun everybody else. A tanned Tamannah is the real surprise packet in the film – she is taut, lissome and makes the right moves to pursue her mission in the role as well as entrance Prabhas. The opening song of “Dheevara” in which she first appears makes the audience drool over her demure looks. She shows that glamour with action is the right prescription for her to go places.  Rana Daggubati, finally gets a role that suits his Herculean body-frame and the mischievous twinkle in his eyes – he gets a rare opportunity to gather some sunshine eluding him so far – by sparring with Prabhas in a never-before plot. He speaks the best Telugu in the film industry and if he can select roles like this instead of wasting his time in Bollywood as an also-ran, he can resurrect his fortunes. It doesn’t matter whether you are a hero or a villain – screen presence is all that matters and he has plenty of it, as proved in this film. Screen presence is also there for two other noteworthy characters in the film with standout performances – one is Ramya  Krishna as Sivagami, the queen mother. She is impressive and gives a dignified performance without diluting the tempo throughout. Her dialogues also uplift the main character of Bahubali in revving up heroism and bravery. Satyaraj gets the most interesting and convincing role in the story – as a slave-general who stands like a pillar of the Mahishmati Kingdom – his costumes and his transition into a trusted lieutenant adds weight and respect for his role. That one sequence of sword-fighting with a “Cameo-performing” Sudeep (“Eega” fame) is a real paisa-vasool. Satyaraj’s characterization is similar to another famous Amar Chitra Katha comic which depicts the legendary fall and rise of one of the most famous slave kings of the Delhi Sultanate – Balban. Sudeep, as an Arab trader makes a style statement even in a five-minute cameo. Nazar is forgettable. Prabhakar, as the gory and barbarian king who slugs it out in the climax battle gets a great role that will go down well with the masses – those bits of Turkish and Arabic tongue that he lashes out on the battle-field are the only comi-villain moments of the film. Anushka doesn’t have a role in the film except to show as a damsel in distress and in chains. Her best role is yet to come and those who loved the teaser of her role as Deva Sena will have to  wait longer till 2016.

Technically, the film is brilliant in all aspects except in portions where the cardboard stills of the kingdom were not shown as authentic as the SFX. Editing lags a bit. MM Keeravani’s songs looked better on-screen than the soundtrack because of some good effects. The most melodious track “Pacha Bottesinaa..” is cut short after the first line of lyrics – this is quite typical of Rajamouli who squeezes in more action than the moments that can cascade some romance and relief. He has edited out the best song of “Eega” (“Are Are Are Aree..”) likewise. [pullquote position=”left”]Bahubali is a rare treat on an Indian Canvass that made a once-in-a-generation noise and unlike other potboilers of recent past which bombed because of disparity between hype and expectations, this one has a better consistency check and good quality action-oriented entertainment. This needs to be celebrated and applauded despite its shortcomings.[/pullquote]But where Keeravani outclasses himself is in the BGM –he uses the sounds of the characters to cloud out his music sometimes, at other times, he uses bare silence to make the scene stand out. He is easily the most under-rated music composers of Indian Cinema – having got three different screen names in Tollywood (as MM Keeravani), Kollywood (Marakatamani) and Bollywood (MM Kreem). Only Rajamouli and few others like K Raghavendra Rao have used this home-grown talent called Keeravani well. The BGM for the film definitely makes the film more sonorous to watch. Senthil’s cinematography is definitely breath-taking – it uses more wide-canvass lens to make each frame pop out on-screen.

What mars the film, apart from lack of comedy and romance in full swing is the story which is uni-layered and the abrupt ending after the battle scene. Even if Rajamouli has chopped off some action sequences in the first half, the output would have delivered a knock-out punch had he concentrated on some emotions that failed to evoke – like the mother-son sentiment between Ramyakrishna and Prabhas, or the epochal moment of coronation or the pathos of Anushka or the sibling rivalry between Rana and Prabhas. But in all fairness, the output is consistent with Rajamouli’s talents and promise, it doesn’t disappoint and definitely deserves a watch once.  In Hollywood films made on the Superheroes like Batman, Spiderman and Superman are never rated but get a universal applause, even if they are under-rated. In my view, “Bahubali – the Beginning” is one such film  – it is rated for the part of the critical analysis but the rating doesn’t have to influence your decision to watch just like the Superhero films. You will not be disappointed with it. This is a rare treat on an Indian Canvass that made a once-in-a-generation noise and unlike other potboilers of recent past which bombed because of disparity between hype and expectations, this one has a better consistency check and good quality action-oriented entertainment. This needs to be celebrated and applauded despite its shortcomings.

Telugu360.com Rating: 3.25/5

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