S S Rajamouli’s Baahubali, said to be India’s costliest film, is releasing this Friday. While some trade experts seem gung-ho about its box-office prospects, others are not that confident.
Says Taran Adarsh, “There are tremendous expectations from Baahubali, first and foremost because it is directed by S S Rajamouli, a name synonymous with blockbusters. Secondly the trailers have been the talk of the town. The grandiose sets, the scale of presentation, the VFX have been widely discussed ever since the first teaser was launched.”
Taran admits the stars of the film are not known well enough to make a pan-India impact. “Not many people may be aware of its principal stars (Prabhas, Anushka Shetty) in North India. But I am very confident that the content, Rajamouli’s deft direction, the performances and every other aspect would work wonders.”
Another prominent trade analyst Atul Mohan is somewhat guarded in his optimism. “The potential for success of a South Indian film dubbed in Hindi is limited, unless it is a Rajinikanth film. But Baahubali is an exception. It is India’s costliest film. From the promos we can feel the visual spectacle is on a par with any Hollywood big-ticket film.”
Atul also feels positive about Karan Johar’s involvement with the Hindi version of Baahubali. “With Karan associated with the film, a first for a dubbed South Indian film, peoples’ curiosity is whetted. I feel Baahubali will do as well as the dubbed Hindi version of Rajinikanth’s Tamil film Robot, or maybe even better.”
However, Amod Mehra seems to have little hope regarding Baahubali’s box office potential in the Hindi belt. “Like all dubbed films, this one too seems doomed, as both the look as well as the music appear very South Indian.”
When asked about his feelings on the eve of his opus’ release, Rajmouli laughed, “Am I nervous? Yes. Nervous and confident. Only a filmmaker can experience such contrasting emotions together. I do feel the weight of the audiences’ expectations. I am trying not to think about it.”
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