Who are some good directors in Tollywood
Tollywood blockbusters"Such a great success confuses me a bit"
Love. Treason. Justice. War. Butcher. Landscape painting. Everything epic. This is "I am Bahubali". A mixture of the ancient battle epic "300" and the "Lord of the Rings". Technically complex animated. Everything "larger than life", as it is called in India. So larger than life.
"It's an old story, but it's told using a completely new technique. And that's what makes this film so successful. In India and internationally." Shubhra Gupta is one of the most renowned film critics in India. "The film delivers a spectacle, but with a heart."
The story goes like this: A king is betrayed and killed. The queen saves the son, but dies herself. The son grows up with simple people. And then he joins rebels, eventually seeking revenge for betraying his father.
A story that works
The film combines elements of old Hindu sagas with legends about an ancient Mahishmati kingdom in what is now central India. Director Srisaila Sri Rajamouli plays with these myths. It is no coincidence that Bahubali was called Shiva as a child. Shiva is the god of gods in mythology. His abilities are, as one would expect, supernatural, which helps him in his fight against the demonic ruler Mahishmatis. The whole thing reminds a bit of the king's son Aragorn, who saves Middle-earth in the "Lord of the Rings". But such stories work, says director Rajamouli:
"If we hadn't believed in success, then we probably wouldn't have invested such a large budget. But well, such a great success, even worldwide, that confuses me a bit."
Insider tip Tollywood
Bahubali cost 18 million dollars. That's a joke compared to the cost of big Hollywood productions. And yet Bahubali is one of the most expensive films in India. He can do without a superstar and without the brand "Bollywood". Bahubali was filmed in Hyderabad in southern India. Here the cinema is called Tollywood, based on the states of Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Most Germans may never have heard of it, but, says Shubhra Gupta:
"South Indian cinema has been much further than Bollywood for years. The directors and producers have managed to reach a technical level that has never before been achieved in Bollywood."
In any case, so far only a few Indian films have achieved real international success, above all "Lunchbox", a small, touching story from 2013 about an unequal couple in Mumbai.
Bahubali should become even more successful worldwide. For Shubhra Gupta, the film critic, proof that Indian cinema is more than just dance and kitsch. Director Rajamouli can only enjoy his success to a limited extent. He is working on the second part of the saga. It should be released in cinemas in early 2017.
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