Baahubali India's most expensive film yet

Non-Bollywood epic battle movie Baahubali, similar to American blockbuster 300, about to become India's most expensive film ever

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A non-Bollywood battle movie high on special effects named Baahubali is to become India’s most expensive film of all time.

Baahubali, which literally means The One With Strong Arms in English, is already being compared to 300. It is being shot in two parts in the city of Hyderabad, capital of southern Telangana state.

The movie is being shot in the Telugu and Tamil languages for the “Tollywood” and “Kollywood” markets and tells the story of two warring brothers battling for control of an ancient Indian kingdom.

India’s best known film industry is the Hindi-language Bollywood, centred in Mumbai. But Baahubali has been produced by the Tollywood and Kollywood film industry centred in Hyderabad and the far southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The two-part Baahubali costs only a fraction of Hollywood blockbuster 300 yet is still India’s most expensive production so far.

Director SS Rajamouli said "There are still over a hundred days of shooting left, followed by post-production for the second part. The budget will definitely be over 250 crore rupees [$40 million] for both parts."

A cast of 2,000 extras worked onthe movie’s battle scenes, with more than 1,000 dressed as soldiers in full costume. The crew also included about 500-600 technicians and 600 artists from 17 studios across India worked on CGI visual effects.

According to Deloitte, Bollywood is India's biggest-grossing movie industry, accounting for $565 million in box office revenues in 2013.  However Tollywood and Kollywood together raised a total of $468 million despite not being so popular abroad.

Indian cinema produces films in 39 languages and dialects. Last year, 216 Hindi or Bollywood movies were released, fewer than the 287 in Tamil and 255 Telugu-language films.

The first part of the film, Baahubali – The Beginning, is due to debut in cinemas on July 10, with part two arriving next year.

TRTWorld and agencies