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Baahubali: The Conclusion took the nation by storm, surpassing all records with its overwhelming box office collection of more than 1500 crores. Prabhat Choudhary of Spice, a premier PR agency which handled both Baahubali 1 and 2, reveals his take on the magnum opus called Baahubali and why it struck a chord with all the segments of such a diverse nation.
Having met the country’s biggest director SS Rajamouli and producer Shobu Yarlagadda, Choudhary realized that the distant dream that he thought was Baahubali, was turning into a reality he never thought was possible. The idea was to deliver the best they could in each of their field of expertise.
With Baahubali, the basic crux of how to sell the film was to make it pan-India, rather than a film that caters to only the South. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but with unique strategizing, this was achieved at several levels.
Choudhary’s take on why Baahubali became a record breaking film that will be remembered for all eternity.
1. India responds to Indian-ness
A Telugu film dubbed in several languages is blowing the box office in states like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Why you ask? Because Baahubali goes beyond the language it was made in. It has got to do with the way the story has been told and that story caters to pan-India. It is the most Indian story you will here and that is what attracted an entire nation towards the film. Something like BR Chopra’s Mahabharat. There are several films that do well in South Mumbai and South Delhi but they lack the larger Indian ethos that would make them work with a larger audience across the country. Indians connect to festivals, it is a major aspect of Indian culture. SS Rajamouli cracked that code with Baahubali.
2. India is not one set of audience
Every Hindi film has a certain audience it caters to, and the audience depends upon the content of the film. A Kapoor and Sons, for example, has a smaller geographic sector it will cater to. When compared to a film like Dangal, the difference in star cast itself defines the geography it caters to. Younger actors too, who are struggling with geographic appeal and consequently box office numbers, can wider their reach with proper planning and strategizing when it comes to choosing films whose content can go beyond just a section of India and targets the entire nation. Just like our young Prabhas.
3. Hype breeds more hype
The biggest question any Indian ever asked was Why did Kattapa kill Baahubali? Had this not been the climax of the first instalment, the realities of Baahubali 2 would have been a lot different. Our honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi himself, used this phrase at the Uttar Pradesh elections. The marketing team carried forward this essential question for the campaign of the second instalment and kept the hype alive. As you know, money breeds more money and hype breeds more hype.
Well, we wish film makers in all spectrums strategize and plan films in such a way that they can cater to a multi-lingual, multi-cultural nation like India.