‘Baahubali’ director S.S. Rajamouli says ‘Mel Gibson is his major influence’

Toronto, Sep 15 (IANS) S.S. Rajamouli, director of India’s biggest blockbusters ‘Baahubali’ and ‘RRR’, says he is working on his next film which would be a “globe-trotter adventure movie – bigger and better” than his previous works.

Speaking during an interaction at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Rajamouli, who is known for his penchant for using visual effects in his films, said his technique is meant not only to enhance the drama but also the emotional impact during crucial moments in a movie.

He said over a period of time, he started using visual effects in his movies to enhance the emotional impact of certain moments on the audiences. Then “I started pushing the boundaries and gradually I got a knack for it”.

Speaking about how his ‘Baahubali’ became India’s biggest blockbuster, Rajamouli said he took the risk to push the boundaries and it worked.

“India has a great history of story-telling and Indians have a penchant for telling everything in the form of stories. Even our deepest philosophies are told in stories. Our biggest epics are Ramayana and Mahabharta and I grew up watching them. In fact, the Telugu film industry makes more films on Ramayana and Mahabharata than any other Indian film industry and I liked it from my childhood because these (epics) have so much drama and action.”

Rajamouli said he started with the thought that if he could take the same stories (not as they are) with so much drama and action, and translate them on to the screen, then the Telugu film industry could go beyond its regional boundaries.

That’s how, he added, the Telugu film industry has grown beyond Andhra and Telangana and India and gone global.

Asked where he picked his taste for action, the Telugu director said, “I had a penchant for action from my childhood. As I started watching action movies, many moments stuck with me. When I analysed why those particular moments stuck with me, I found it was their emotional impact.”

He singled out Mel Gibson as his major influence. “Mel Gibson pushes the boundaries when it comes to action. How he does it is related to a strong emotional drive.”

In his context, he explained why he uses long action sequences in his movies. “It is painstaking but beautiful at the same time. I see the most heroic moment…once I get it right, it (action) will be followed in the rest of the movie.”

Rajamouli said since he came from a family in films, it was axiomatic that he would end up in the business of entertainment.

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