Believe it or not, I am probably among the 2% of the audience who did not like Baahubali : The Beginning and I have been quite vocal about it with my friends and colleagues. Every single time, I have been met with baffled stares and shock as if god himself had offered me immortality and I had replied with a – “Pfft !”
Now let’s bring those risen eyebrows slowly down and let’s hear me out. True we had never seen anything like it before, true we have had some good performances and some intriguing action sequences. But then there was also that unmistakeable element of exaggerated drama and some, make that a lot of, utterly unconvincing CGI. Couple that with some bad editing and a dragged out screenplay, the very ambition of S S Rajamouli transformed a straightforward plot into an amateurish fantasy saga.
But what do I know. Baahubali : The Beginning earned a rewarding 650 crores in worldwide sales while Baahubali : The Conclusion, on the 4th day of its release as we speak, has crossed 500 crores ! This is an unprecedented phenomenon in the Indian Film Industry where a film is considered a blockbuster even if it earns half that amount throughout its lifetime.
For better or for worse, Baahubali has turned the rules of the game around. The project was not only impressive in its very attempt but also in the grounded way it approached its story. So, here’s why we think Baahubali is “really, really” bad for the Indian Film Industry:
1. It will force Directors to come out of their comfort zones
“My ass is on fire and I can’t do anything about it”
I am sure many of our “two-hundred crore club” wallahs must be sweating in their pants right now. Poor guys ! They finally thought that they had a formula in their hands which would let them churn mediocre content year after year and still get them smashing hits every time. Well, boohoo ! The audience has had a taste of grandeur now. If you want to reach the magic numbers, you better step up your game and bring us something original.
2. It will force writers to create original content
“What if I told you there are other writers too ?”
Writers are perhaps the unsung heroes in the film fraternity. Even when a film is successful, its always the actors and the director who garner the praise while the writer listens to the applause from somewhere backstage.
With the story of Mahishmati being converted into literature and animation, the age of writers and artists is dawning once again. The writers who basked in the glory of their average films would now be pushed into creating something unique. Your everyday, clichés wouldn’t work anymore. This is the time to be novel, or to perish !
3. It will force cinematographers to capture the impossible
“Can you jump from there in slow-motion please ?”
Cinematographers are those magicians behind the camera who give life to the director’s vision. However, the culture of mediocre cinema has fostered this batch of film-makers who only thrive on forced, dramatic zooms with camera movements even worse than wedding photographers.
In the post-Baahubali era, cinematographers would be demanded by directors to make a simplistic scene beautiful. Those shots which passed through without scrutiny would be viewed and reviewed to make it look artistic. Sadly, many of them would have no clue whatsoever, on how to achieve that. This will bring out the value of people who have that aesthetic and that “eye” to the fore.
4. It will force marketers to break the regional / language barrier
“Umm…not exactly what I had in mind…but…”
For years, we have heard this excuse from producers and distributors – “This film won’t work in the south sir. Culture is different, you understand?” Now, gone are those days when this pathetic ploy would be entertained.
Marketers should get used to hearing – “Art is art. It doesn’t discriminate based on language / region. How did Baahubali do it then ?”
We hung on to every rumor of “Why did Katappa kill Baahubali ?” for two years. Every social media channel brewed and buzzed until we had given up, and fell down on Rajamouli’s feet asking him to reveal the secret. Well, buckle up for that’s what would be expected and that’s how effective marketing would be done.
So you see, Baahubali has not only cracked the comfort zone of the Indian Film Industry, it has obliterated it to smithereens. Even with its very apparent imperfections, Baahubali appealed to every age-group. Even haters like me couldn’t help but be impressed on the sheer magnitude of the scenes unfolding on the big-screen. Suddenly, you feel this sense of pride that we are capable of making such films. There are no boundaries to imagination. If you have a great idea, money will flow in. We live in an age where new ideas are not only appreciated but encouraged.
It has shown us that we can move on from our epics and create our own. This makes the industry uncomfortable. Thus, Baahubali is bad, very bad for the industry. It will never be the same again and that is good !
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are the writer’s personal opinion and do not represent the perspective of screengobblr. Also, the images used in this post are the sole property of the makers of the film and are not owned by us in any form whatsoever.