The pressure to deliver more of everything—drama, spectacle, razz dazzle and mystery—in the second segment of Bahubali, entitled Bahubali 2: The Conclusion, shows in the trailer which was finally released on March 16.
There is a surplus of spectacle in the trailer. The arrows fly fast furiously and blood flows in a tempestuous torrent as ‘Bahubali’ Prabhas and Rana Daggubati take on one another in a game of death. What one immediately notices in the trailer of the second and concluding part of Bahubali is Prabhas’ substantially enhanced confidence level.
His swag is supremely on display in the trailer.
Says a very reliable source from the film’s core team, “Prabhas received some very tempting offers after the release of the first Bahubali film. He turned all of them down to concentrate on the sequel. For the last two years, he has lived the role, going as far as to remain in costume even at home, so as to not lose his hold over his characterization.”
Prabhas not only turned down plum roles in Telugu, he also turned down several Hindi offers.
All his attention went into preparing for Rajamouli’s epic. Says the source, “Prabhas learnt rock climbing for the romantic songs, kick-boxing, horse-riding, sword-fighting…everything. He also had to change his physical appearance. Before Bahubali, he was really thin. Every morning and evening, he worked out to gain a lot of muscles. He had to bulk up. A thin warrior was not acceptable to Rajamouli or to the audience. He had to look larger than life, like someone who could kill. He specially worked on his arm muscles since ‘Bahubali’ is supposed to be most powerful in his arms. Prabhas was training for almost three hours every day for six months before the shooting started. Once the shooting started, there was no time. He’d wake up at 5 am to get ready for a 7am shoot and the shooting went on till 10 pm. He had to learn a whole new way of living to play the role. He had to play two different characters of the prince and the warrior. He has tried to bring in two different body languages for the roles.”
When I had asked Rajamouli why he chose Prabhas, the director had said, “I needed an actor with whom I have a very good rapport. One who has faith in my way of handling the project. Prabhas gave me two years of his dates, when I asked him for one year. Without him, this project wouldn’t have happened.”
In an interview to me, Rajamouli named K.V. Reddy, the legendary Telugu film director who made the all-time classic Maya Bazar as a huge inspiration. He also named Mel Gibson and Ridley Scott as his all-time favourite directors.
But, in Rajamouli, Indian cinema has clearly found its Cecil de Mille.