A sneak peek into the world of Mahismathi
It was the culmination of five years of hard work, perseverence, commitment and passion as Team Baahubali came together for one last time before their fans to thank them for their support and seek their blessings in a special pre-release event that took place at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad on Sunday.
Amid chants of "Prabhas we love you", an emotional Rajamouli along with his crew, reflected on the incredible journey of Baahubali and gave fans a sneak peak into the world inside the Mahismathi Kingdom.
With the entire cast and crew present, including Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah and Karan Johar, the event was live-telecast on television channels as well as on YouTube in a 360 degrees angle.
It was also the first film event in India to be live-streamed using Virtual Reality (VR) technology. "Along with the regular live stream, for the first time, we are streaming the pre-release event in 360 degrees with 4K res to give the best experience (sic),"Rajamouli posted on Twitter, before the audio launch took place. The move worked, and it became one of the most-watched film event in recent times.
And once the event began, the entire crew took a trip down memory and celebrated the phenomenon that is Baahubali.
"I had always wondered what I had given to Prabhas that he dedicated five years of his life to this film. But when I went to Mumbai for the trailer launch, fans were screaming for Prabhas. This was not in Andhra Pradesh but in Mumbai, and that was the answer to my question," an emotional Rajamouli said.
Thanking each and every member of his crew, Rajamouli said that it would not have been possible to make this film without the combined effort of the entire production unit.
"We are delighted with the success of the trailer, because there was so much hard work that was put behind it. The technicians even worked on individual songs for each important character over the last 10 days. I would also like to thank the production boys, who took care of the food, pack-up and everything," the director shared.
Rajamouli, who spoke for about 20 minutes, also shared how there were moments where he stumbled, but his crew lifted him up. "I would like to thank Sabu Cyril for giving my ego a jolt, when I fell asleep during the narration. He made sure that I had my eye on the ball and never slacked off. My choreographer Prem not only choreographed a dance sequence, but also something called an arrow dance, which is a fight sequence," he said.
While Baahubali turned out to be the highest grossing Telugu of all time and one of Indian cinema's biggest box-office hits, producer Shobu Yarlagadda said that money was not the biggest driving factor behind making this two-part epic.
"Prabhas spent five years on this project with a smile and no questions asked. Rana carried the film on his shoulders and ensured it reached the global audience. None of us worked for money. Passion for cinema was the driving factor for all of us. If it was just money, we wouldn't have been able to stand together and achieve what we had done," Shobu expressed.
He also believed that it was thanks to Karan Johar that the project could do well in Bollywood and internationally, and thanked Karan for his tremendous foresight.
"Baahubali, 67 years later, has beaten the magic created by Mughal-e-Azam on screen. Rajamouli's cinema has soul, his personality has gumption and I don't think I even have ten percent of it," Karan said, humbly.
Tamannaah, who plays princess Avanthika in Baahubali, said that working on the film was an experience she'll never forget. Anushka Shetty, said that there was something everybody could learn from others during the filming of the two-part series.
Rana Daggubati, who plays the iconic Bhallala Deva, was equally proud. "After it was all over, I felt sad that I won't be going back to Mahismathi. I don't think I will ever get to play a character like Bhallaladeva again," he said.
Finally, fans got their wish when Prabhas took over the mike and appreciated their support and contribution to his and Baahubali's success. "As long as you are by my side, no person can kill me," he said, in a clear reference to the iconic 'Katappa kills Baahubali' situation.
Baahubali: The Conclusion will hit screens worldwide on April 28.