Baahubali: The Beginning
Baahubali: The Beginning is a 2015 Indian epic action film directed by S. S. Rajamouli. The film was produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni and was shot in both Telugu and Tamil. This film was also dubbed into Malayalam and Hindi. The film stars Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, and Tamannaah in the lead roles, with Ramya Krishnan, Sathyaraj, and Nassar in supporting roles. The first of two cinematic parts, the film follows Sivudu, an adventurous young man who helps his love, a rebellious warrior intending to rescue the former queen of Mahishmati. In the process, he learns of his true identity as the heir to the throne of Mahishmati, the son of Amarendra Baahubali, whose tale is narrated to him by Kattappa, a loyal warrior. When asked about Amarendra's whereabouts, Kattappa reveals that he was the one who killed him. The reason behind this is explained in the follow-up Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.
|Baahubali: The Beginning|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||S. S. Rajamouli|
|Written by||K. V. Vijayendra Prasad|
|Story by||K. V. Vijayendra Prasad|
|Music by||M. M. Keeravani|
|Cinematography||K. K. Senthil Kumar|
|Edited by||Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao|
|Box office||₹650 crore|
The film was conceived by Rajamouli's father K. V. Vijayendra Prasad, who randomly told him a story about Sivagami, a woman who carries a baby in her hand while crossing a river, and a few years later about Kattappa, which intrigued Rajamouli. His fascination with mythology and the tales of the Amar Chitra Katha comics further fuelled his interest in the story. However, it took the writers three months to complete the final draft. The soundtrack and background score were composed by M. M. Keeravani while the cinematography, production design, and VFX were handled by K. K. Senthil Kumar, Sabu Cyril and V. Srinivas Mohan respectively.
The film was made on a budget of ₹180 crore (US$25 million), making it the most expensive Indian film at its time of release. The film opened worldwide on 10 July 2015, garnering critical acclaim and record breaking box office success. With a worldwide box office gross of ₹650 crore (US$90 million), it became the highest-grossing film in India, third highest-grossing Indian film worldwide, and highest-grossing South Indian film, at the time of its release. Its Hindi dubbed version also broke several records by becoming the highest grossing dubbed film in India. Both budget and box office records have since been surpassed by Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, the second highest grossing Indian film of all time.
It received several accolades. It won the National Film Award for Best Special Effects and Best Feature Film, becoming the first Telugu film to win the award. At the 63rd Filmfare Awards South, the Telugu version won five awards from ten nominations, including Best Film, Best Director for Rajamouli and Best Supporting Actress for Krishnan. The Beginning became the first Indian film to be nominated for Saturn Awards, receiving five nominations at the 42nd ceremony, including Best Fantasy Film and Best Supporting Actress for Tamannaah.
In the ancient kingdom of Mahishmathi, a woman carrying a baby falls into a waterfall and breathes her last, but before dying, she holds the baby in one hand above her head. The baby is rescued by local villagers and adopted by Sanga (Rohini) and her husband. Named Shivudu, (Prabhas) he grows up to be a strong, adventurous young man who is curious about the waterfall and the land beyond. After finding a wooden mask on the ground, he is driven to find the owner of the mask and succeeds in climbing the waterfall. The mask belongs to Avanthika (Tamannaah), a rebellious warrior of a group led by Devasena's brother engaged in guerrilla warfare against Emperor Bhallaladeva (Rana Daggubati) of Mahishmati to rescue their former queen Devasena (Anushka Shetty). Avantika is given the opportunity to rescue the queen. She falls in love with Shivudu after finding out that he climbed the waterfall for her. Shivudu pledges to help her in her mission and sneaks into Mahishmati to rescue Devasena.
Shivudu manages to flee with Devasena, but is chased down by Bhallaladeva's son, Bhadrah (Adivi Sesh) and the loyal soldier Kattappa (Sathyaraj). After Shivudu beheads Bhadrah, Kattappa drops his weapon, realizing that Shivudu is Mahendra Baahubali, the son of late king Amarendra Baahubali. He narrates the story of Amarendra's past. Amarendra's father had died long ago, while his mother died giving birth to him. His uncle Bhijjaladeva (Nassar) was deemed unfit to rule due to his crooked nature, however, he believes he was denied the throne due to the fact that one of his arms is disabled. Bijjaladeva's wife Sivagami assumed control of the kingdom with Kattappa's assistance until a new king could be selected. Amarendra was brought up together with Bijjaladeva and Sivagami's son Bhallaladeva. Both young men were trained in arts, science, disguise, politics, and warfare, but they had different approaches towards kingship. While Amarendra was gracious and loved his countrymen, Bhallaladeva was violent and achieved his goals by any means possible.
It was then discovered that Mahishmati was about to be attacked by an army of savages called Kalakeyas. Pingaladeva proposed that the prince who killed the Kalakeya king Inkoshi would be the future king of Mahishmati to which Sivagami and the chief minister agrees. Inkoshi rejected Sivagami's offer of peace and insulted her by saying he will have children with her. An enraged Sivagami ordered that his limbs be chopped off and body fed to the vultures. While Bhallaladeva used sophisticated weapons given by Pingaladeva, Amarendra used simple yet effective tactics. As Amarendra was about to slay the king, Bhallaladeva swung his weapon from a distance and killed him. Sivagami announced Amarendra as the new emperor despite Bhallaladeva killing the king because of the fact that he shielded and protected his own countrymen throughout the war.
When asked about Amarendra's current whereabouts, a tearful Kattappa reveals that Amarendra is dead and that he is the one who killed him.
— Rajamouli, on the inspiration for making Baahubali.
The following is the credited cast:
- Prabhas as Amarendra Baahubali (father) and Mahendra Baahubali/Shivudu (son)
- Rana Daggubati as Bhallaladeva/Palvaalthevan
- Anushka Shetty as Devasena, Mahendra Baahubali's biological mother
- Tamannaah as Avanthika
- Sathyaraj as Kattappa
- Nassar as Bijjaladeva/Pingaladeva
- Ramya Krishna as Sivagami
- S.S. Rajamouli as a greedy spirit seller before the song Manohari
K. V. Vijayendra Prasad, father of S. S. Rajamouli and the storywriter of Baahubali: The Beginning had revealed that he was inspired by the hero introduction sequence of the 1967 Kannnada film, Immadi Pulikeshi, based on the life of the Chalukya king, Pulakeshin II and hence incorporated a similar sequence. He had further revealed that the core storyline – where one brother is not given the throne because of his disability leading to animosity between blood relatives – was also partly inspired by this movie. In February 2011, S. S. Rajamouli announced that Prabhas will star in his upcoming movie. In January 2013, he announced that the working title as Baahubali and the actual film production started at Rock Gardens in Kurnool on 6 July 2013. The waterfall scenes in the film were shot at Athirappilly Falls in Kerala, huge sets for the Mahishmati kingdom were constructed at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad and the snow episodes in the film were shot in Bulgaria. The screen writer, K. V. Vijayendra Prasad who wrote stories for most of Rajamouli's films once again penned the story for Baahubali. The film boasts of one year pre production work where in 15,000-story board sketches for the film were created which is highest for any Indian Film as of this date. More than 90 percent of the film had visually enhanced shots and according to the producer, more than 600 VFX artists worked for the film from 18 facilities around the world led by Makuta VFX and Firefly in Hyderabad, Prasad Studios in Hyderabad and Chennai, Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad, Tau Films in Malaysia, and Dancing Digital Animation and Macrograph in South Korea. Makuta VFX which had prior experience of working with S.S.Rajamouli was chosen as principal visual effects studio. The cinematography of the movie was done by KK Senthil Kumar for 380 days using Arri Alexa XT camera with Master Prime lens marking Rajamouli's first film using digital camera.
Most of the film was shot in ArriRaw format in 4:3 aspect ratio while ArriRaw 16.9 was used for slow motion shots at 120 fps. Open Gate format, which can use the full 3.4K sensor in the camera to produce frames larger than the standard ArriRaw format was tapped in to get the maximum image quality in VFX shots. For the first time in Indian movies, 4K movie print was rendered with an aspect ratio of 1:1.88 as compared to Cinemascope at 1:2.35 to get the best cinematic experience in screens that support the 4K projection claimed the Producer. Sabu Cyril, production designer for the film created 10,000 different kinds of weaponry ranging from swords, helmets and armours required for the soldiers. To make the swords light weight Carbon-fibre was used instead of steel, the same material used in manufacture of Helicopter blades claimed the art director. 3D printing technology was used to create the head of 100-foot Bhallaladeva's character in the movie and flexi foam was used to create amours to make them light weight and to have the look of leather. V. Srinivas Mohan was chosen as visual effects supervisor and Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao was the Editor. PM Satheesh was the sound designer and Peter Hein was responsible for the action sequences. The costume designers were Rama Rajamouli and Prasanthi Tipirneni. The line producer was M. M. Srivalli.
National Award Winner V. Srinivas Mohan was roped in as Visual effects supervisor for Baahubali. The film boasts of 90% CGI work which accounts for 2500 VFX shots. Makuta VFX which is based out of Hyderabad was chosen as principal visual effects studio and was responsible for more than 50% of the computer-generated imagery in the film. The majority of work done by Makuta involved bringing the 1500 foot mystical waterfall to life, creating enormous mountains and huge landscapes including the kingdom of Mahishmati, with its massive temples and courtyards. Creating the mammoth waterfall took nearly 2 years as Makuta has to deal with a lot of complexity in fluid dynamics and simulations. Each frame involving the water fall sequence was treated as creating a new set and employed a different set of methodology claims Makuta.
Firefly Creative Studio which is also based out of Hyderabad worked primarily on the avalanche and the war sequences which accounts for nearly 25 minutes of the film. Firefly Creative was also involved in creating underwater VFX shots and in establishing backstories for Kalakeya characters. Tau Films from Malaysia was responsible for creating the CGI bison, while Prasad EFX from Hyderabad was responsible for some shots in pre and post battle episodes involving digital multiplication. Prasad was also responsible for creating a 3D image of Kattappa and mapping his head on to a duplicate actor in one of the scenes.
Srushti VFX from Hyderabad was involved in digitally creating some of the shots in the war sequence along with Firefly studios. Annapurna Studios from Hyderabad was chosen as digital intermediate partner for the film which is responsible for generating the digital feed with the best colour and audio for editing. For the first time in Indian movies, Academy Color Encoding System workflows were implemented along with Infinitely Scalable Information Storage keeping in mind the mammoth scale of digitally enhanced shots in the film. Arka Media Works, production company of Baahubali, teamed up with AMD to use the state of the art FirePro GPUs W9100 and W8100 during the post production of the film which are capable of rendering 4K content in real time and are considered the best in Industry to date.
Reacting to media reports on the same VFX team for Baahubali and Jurassic World, producer Shobu Yarlagadda denied outright any such collaboration, calling such claims an internet rumour. In an interview with Quartz, the co-founder of Makuta VFX stated, "Most of Baahubali was developed in Hyderabad, home to Tollywood, and used local talent. It was principally a homegrown feature produced by homegrown talent."
The fictional language Kilikili (also referred to as Kiliki) used as the language of the Kalakeyas – a ferocious warrior tribe, was created by Madhan Karky for the film. It is said to be the first fictitious language to be created for an Indian film character.
While Karky was pursuing PhD in Australia, he took up a part-time job of teaching and baby-sitting children. During one such interaction, he thought it would be fun to create a new language that could be easily grasped. Basic words were first made up and opposites were represented by word reversals – me was min and you was nim. The language, with 100 words, was called "Click" to highlight its simplicity. This formed the foundation for Kiliki.
- Kilikili consists of at least 750 words and more than 40 concrete grammar rules
- It was designed to be an intuitive language – Karky said he used hard consonants and soft consonants depending on the nature of the word's meaning.
- The language was created keeping in mind that the Kalakeya warriors had to be portrayed as terrifying brutes.
- The language sounds the same in all the versions – Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam – of Baahubali.
The release of The Beginning was postponed many times due to different reasons.
Screenings and statistics
The film released on 10 July 2015 in 4,000 screens worldwide in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam languages. A record number of 1600 screens in Telugu, 1500 screens in Hindi, 350 in Tamil and 225 screens in Malayalam were booked for the release. The film was released in USA a day earlier by BlueSky Cinemas in 135 screens. A premier show was also held on 9 July at Prasads IMAX Hyderabad. The film's release in Kerala was hindered amidst a close down by a section of theatres over the piracy issue of Malayalm film Premam and released only in few theatres. International version of the film which is 20 mins shorter than the original one, done by Vincent Tabaillon was screened at Busan International Film Festival . Producers of the film have planned to release the film in China in over 5000 screens in November 2015 by E Stars Films. Baahubali will be the biggest release in China for an Indian film, beating PK which was released on 22 May 2015. The film is also set to release in Japan. The producer Shobu Yarlagadda who struck the deal at Busan Asian Film Market also revealed his plans to release the movie in Latin America, Germany and European countries. Arka International, which is the sales arm for International release has made arrangements to release the movie in Germany and 70 other territories.
As the sequel Baahubali: The Conclusion was released on 28 April 2017, the producers and distributors re-released the first part (Hindi) again on 7 April 2017. The film was screened at various film festivals like Open Cinema Strand of Busan International Film Festival, Indian Film Festival The Hague, Sitges Film Festival in Spain, Utopiales Film Festival in France, Golden Horse Film Festival in Taipei, Taiwan, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, L'Etrange International Film Festival in Paris, Five Flavours Film Festival in Poland, Hawaii International Film Festival in Honolulu, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium, Cannes Film Festival in France, Transilvania International Film Festival in Romania, Le Grand Rex in Paris, Kurja Polt Horror Film Festival, Festival de Lacamo, 8th BRICS summit, and the 2016 Indian Panorama section of the International Film Festival of India, Goa. The international version of the film was released in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Timor-Leste along with some European and Latin American countries.
The Movie was marketed by a Mumbai Based company named Spice PR owned by Prabhat Choudhary. Marketing of the film started 2 years before the shoot by S. S. Rajamouli with the audition campaign in Facebook and YouTube. A number of short promotional Making-of videos were released on ArkaMediaworks YouTube channel and the team unveiled first look posters and videos featuring the film's lead stars on the occasions of their birthdays. The film used an augmented reality application to play the trailer on smart phones and tablets. The crown used by the character of Baahubali in the film was exhibited at Comic Con, Hyderabad as a part of the film's promotion. A cosplay event was held in which chosen winners were given a chance to visit the sets of the film. The film's unit also launched a WhatsApp messenger to give regular updates about the film to the subscribers. On 22 July 2015, Guinness World Records approved the poster created during the audio launch of Baahubali in Kochi on 27 June 2015 as the world's largest poster. The poster has an area of 4,793.65 m² (51,598.21 ft²) and it was achieved by Global United Media Company Pvt Ltd. This record has since been broken with a 5,969.61 m² poster for the film MSG-2 The Messenger.
A special skit was performed by the Baahubali team for the event named Memu Saitham to help the victims affected by Cyclone Hudhud. After the film's release, an interactive quiz was conducted by marketing team on storygag allowing users to find out which Baahubali movie character they were. Producers are also has planning to create a film museum at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad which will showcase the weapons, armours and costumes used by actors in the film which is first of its kind for any Indian movie as of this date. Museum is expected to be ready before or right after the release of Baahubali: The Conclusion. The film's website hosts merchandise which includes apparels, accessories and film's collectibles.
In early July 2014, the film first part's Karnataka and Ceded (Rayalaseema) region distribution rights were sold to a prominent distributor for ₹230 million (US$3.2 million) out of which the Ceded region, which included Kadapa, Kurnool, Anantapur, Chittoor and Bellary areas, the rights alone fetched ₹140 million (US$1.9 million) At the same time, the film's Nizam region theatrical distribution rights were purchased by Dil Raju for an amount of ₹250 million (US$3.5 million). only for the first part. Though he did not confirm the price, Dil Raju said in an interview to Deccan Chronicle that he purchased the first part's Nizam region rights and added that he would acquire the rights of the second part also for this region. BlueSky Cinemas, Inc. acquired the theatrical screening and distribution rights in United States and Canada.
The Telugu version of the film was presented by K. Raghavendra Rao, Tamil version by K.E. Gnanavel Raja, Sri Thenandal Films and UV Creations, Karan Johar presented the Hindi version and Global United Media presented the Malayalam theatrical version. Twin Co which is a leading distributor for international films in Japan has acquired the rights for screening of the film. MVP Entertainment is set to release the movie in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Timor-Leste countries. Sun Distribution acquired the distribution rights of the movie in Latin American countries while Creative Century Entertainment got the rights for Taiwan. In Korea, the movie is scheduled to be released via Entermode Corp.
The Tamil version of the film faced a controversy relating to a word used in the film. On 22 July 2015, activists of Dalit group Puratchi Pulikal Iyakkam hurled petrol bombs outside the 'Tamil, Jaya' multiplex in Madurai screening the Tamil version of the film. Dalit group Puratchi Pulikal Iyakkam protested against the movie featuring a line Pagadaikku Pirandhavan, words considered derogatory against dalits as they are contemptuous terms used by caste Hindus to address members of the Arunthathiyar Dalit sub-caste. Dialogue Writer of Tamil version, Madhan Karky issued an apology for offending Dalits.
Baahubali: The Beginning on the first day of its release collected ₹75 crore (US$10 million) worldwide which was the highest opening ever for an Indian film until Kabali surpassed it in 2016 by earning ₹875 million (US$12 million). The film collected ₹150 million (US$2.1 million) alone from United States on its first day. First weekend collections stood around ₹1.62 billion (US$23 million) worldwide from all its versions, the third biggest ever for an Indian film. The film grossed around ₹2.55 billion (US$35 million) worldwide in the first week of its release. It became the first South Indian film to gross ₹3 billion (US$42 million) worldwide, reaching there in 9 days, and subsequently grossed ₹4.01 billion (US$56 million) worldwide in 15 days. And has successfully crossed ₹5 billion (US$70 million) mark in 24 days. By the end of 50 days, International Business Times estimated that the film grossed an approximate ₹5.95 billion (US$83 million) crore worldwide. International Business Times later reported that overall collections of the film stood at over ₹6 billion (US$83 million) worldwide as of May 2017[update]. Baahubali: The Beginning netted ₹4.18 billion in India. Firstpost later reported that the total collections stood at 6.50 billion as of August 2017[update]. Baahubali: The Beginning grossed ₹518.94 crore (US$72 million) in all languages in India alone, and became the highest-grossing movie in India, surpassing PK's gross of ₹4.4 billion (US$61 million) from India.
The Beginning opened to 100 percent occupancy in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and close to 70 percent occupancy in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. It grossed around ₹500 million (US$7.0 million) on its first day of release in India from all four versions (Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi). The Hindi version earned around ₹50 million (US$700,000) nett which was the highest opening for any film dubbed into Hindi. Baahubali grossed ₹495 million (US$6.9 million) on the first day in India. The Hindi version grossed around ₹195 million (US$2.7 million) nett in the first weekend.
The Telugu version alone earned around ₹650 million (US$9.0 million) nett in first weekend in India. The film, from all its versions, earned almost ₹1 billion (US$14 million) nett in its first weekend. It had the fourth biggest opening weekend ever in India. The Hindi version collected around ₹400 million (US$5.6 million) nett in its first week. Baahubali: The Beginning grossed more than ₹178 crore (US$25 million) nett from all its versions in India in the first week. It added a further ₹450 million (US$6.3 million) nett in its second weekend to take its total to around ₹2.24 billion (US$31 million) nett in ten days. The Hindi version grossed over ₹400 million (US$5.6 million) nett in the Mumbai circuit.
The film collected around ₹200 million (US$2.8 million) in its first day from the international markets. The film opened on the ninth spot for its weekend, collecting around US$3.5 million with a per-screen average of $15,148. The film debuted in the ninth position for the US and Canadian box office collecting $4,630,000 for three days and $3,250,000 for the weekend of 10–12 July 2015 Baahubali: The Beginning grossed £66,659 from its Telugu version in United Kingdom and Ireland and A$194,405 from its Tamil version in Australia in until its second weekend (17 – 19 July 2015). The film also grossed MYR 663,869 in Malaysia from its Tamil version. The film grossed US$540,000 on its opening weekend in China. It has grossed a total of CN¥7.49 million(₹77.8 million) in the country. The film totally earned $10.94 million at the overseas box office.
Deepanjana Pal of Firstpost called it "Rajamouli's tour de force," terming it as "elaborate, well-choreographed and [having] some breathtaking moments." Prabhas and Dagubatti are both in their elements as the warriors who approach warfare in two distinctive styles. The outcome of the battle is no surprise, but there are enough clever tactics and twists to keep the audience hooked. The biggest surprise, however, lies in the film's final shot, which gives you a glimpse into the sequel that will come out next year." Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV India rated the film with three stars out of five and stated, "The spectacular universe that the film conjures up is filled with magic, but the larger-than-life characters that populate its extraordinary expanse do not belong to any known mythic landscape. To that extent, Baahubali, driven by the titular superhero who pulls off mind-boggling feats both in love and in war, throws up many a surprise that isn't altogether meaningless."
Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express praised the film: "Right from its opening frames, 'Baahubali' holds out many promises: of adventure and romance, love and betrayal, valour and weakness. And it delivers magnificently on each of them. This is full-tilt, fully-assured filmmaking of a very high order. 'Baahubali' is simply spectacular." In her review for The Hindu, Sangeetha Devi Dundoo wrote, "The war formations that form a chunk of the latter portions of the film are the best we've seen in Indian cinema so far. These portions are spectacular and show the technical finesse of the cinematographer (K.K. Senthil Kumar) and the visual effects teams. The waterfall, the mystical forests and water bodies above the cliffs and the lead pair escaping an avalanche all add to the spectacle. Give into its magic, without drawing comparisons to Hollywood flicks."
Sukanya Varma of Rediff gave the film four out of five stars, calling it 'mega, ingenious and envelope pushing!'. Critic Archita Kashyap based at Koimoi also gave the same ratings, "Be it the war sequences, or sword fighting; or a visual spectacle, or pure entertainment it is worth a watch. Kudos to the dedication of S S Rajamouli and his leading men, Prabhas and Rana, for spending years putting this film together. Actually, in its imagination and Indianness, Baahubali might just be a whole new start." Rachit Gupta of Filmfare gave the film four stars (out of 5) and summarised, "Baahubali is truly an epic experience. Had the story not been so jaded, this would've gone into the history books as an all-time classic. But that's not the case. It has its set of storytelling flaws, but even those are overshadowed by Rajamouli's ideas and execution. This is definitely worthy of being India's most expensive film. It's a definite movie watching experience."
Suparna Sharma of Deccan Chronicle praised the second half of the film, writing, "Rajamouli has reserved all the grander and grandstanding for later, after interval. That's when the film stands up and begins to strut like an epic." Suhani Singh of India Today pointed out that the film is best enjoyed keeping logic at bay. She added, "SS Rajamouli and his team put up a fascinating wild, wild east adventure. It takes pluck to conceive a world like the one seen in Baahubali and to pull it off on a level which is on par with the international standards. The almost 45-minute-long battle sequence at the end is not just one of the biggest climaxes, but also the action spectacle rarely seen in Indian cinema. And if Rajamouli can present another one like that in part 2, then he is on course to register his name in cinema's history books. We can't wait to revisit Mahishmati kingdom."
Critical reception penned by Shubha Shetty Saha for Mid Day rates the film with four stars out of film, exclaiming, "While watching Baahubali, you might have to periodically pick up your jaw off the floor. Because this is not merely a movie, it is an unbelievably thrilling fantasy ride." The review extends praising the aspects, "It is to the director's credit that every aspect of the film – action, mind-boggling set design and choreography – lives up to this epic film of gigantic scale. The choreography in the song that has Shiva disrobing Avantika to get her in touch with her feminine side, is an absolute gem."
Critics praised the film for its direction, technical values, and the actors' performances. Lisa Tsering based on The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "The story has been told many times before – a child is born destined for greatness and as a man vanquishes the forces of evil – but in the confident hands of accomplished South Indian director S.S. Rajamouli the tale gets potent new life in Baahubali: The Beginning." Allan Hunter, writing for Screen Daily noted that "The broad brushstrokes storytelling and the director's over-fondness for slow-motion sequences are among the film's failings but this is still a rousing film, easily accessible epic. There's rarely a dull moment in Baahubali: The Beginning, part one of a gung-ho, crowd-pleasing Telugu-language epic that has been shattering box-office records throughout India."
Mike McCahill of The Guardian rated the film four stars out of five, praising the film, "Rajamouli defers on the latter for now, but his skilful choreography of these elements shucks off any cynicism one might carry into Screen 1: wide-eyed and wondrous, his film could be a blockbuster reboot, or the first blockbuster ever made, a reinvigoration of archetypes that is always entertaining, and often thrilling, to behold." Suprateek Chatterjee of The Huffington Post wrote, "However, all said and done, Baahubali: The Beginning is a remarkable achievement. What Rajamouli has pulled off here, despite its flaws, is nothing short of a miracle, especially when you take into account India's notoriously risk-averse filmmaking environment and when the film ends on a tantalising cliffhanger (paving the way for Baahubali: The Conclusion, due to release next year), one can't help but applaud his singularly brave vision. As the cliché goes, a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step, but it doesn't really matter if that first step is shaky as long as it lands firmly and confidently."
At the 63rd National Film Awards, The Beginning won the Best Feature Film, becoming the first Telugu film to win the award, and Best Special Effects. At the 63rd Filmfare Awards South, the Telugu version won five awards from ten nominations, including Best Film, Best Director for Rajamouli and Best Supporting Actress for Krishnan. Both the Tamil and Telugu versions won several awards in their respective categories, including Best Film, Best Director for Rajamouli, and Best Supporting Actress for Krishnan at the 1st IIFA Utsavam. The Beginning became the first Indian film to be nominated for Saturn Awards, receiving five nominations at the 42nd ceremony, including Best Fantasy Film and Best Supporting Actress for Tamannaah.
The Beginning is one of the films featured in BBC's documentary on 100 Years of Indian Cinema directed by Sanjeev Bhaskar. The second part, entitled Baahubali 2: The Conclusion was released worldwide on 28 April 2017.
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