Five years is a pretty long time to make a film and its sequel. Well, not for art director Sabu Cyril who’s already on a nostalgic trip as he opens up about the second part of the movie Baahubali, The Conclusion.
If the movie’s director S.S.Rajamouli had a third eye, it was none other than Cyril. Rajamouli only had to visualize and Cyril would bring alive those mental images, far surpassing the limits of imagination, aesthetics and visualization. Rajamouli’s art director had begun experimenting with the limitlessness of his craft.
If Baahubali, The Beginning opened up a picture-perfect world of ancient splendor with its mammoth sets of palaces, kings and a world of valor, its second part, Baahubali 2 is all set to take visualization to a never-before-seen high, if the trailer is anything to go by.
Cyril reconstructed the splendor of an ancient kingdom, along with its fearless princes for generations of viewers whose knowledge of Indian mythology and her royalty were gleaned apparently from Amar Chitra Katha.
Opening up on the movie’s spectacular show, Cyril turns emotional for the simple reason that he knows he will miss the extensive research, the camaraderie and the hard work that went into the making of the masterpiece.
Sabu found time to shed some light on the forthcoming second part. We share his thoughts with our readers.
How do feel now that the project is finally over?
Five years went by in a jiffy. All through, all of us lived and breathed only Baahubali and Mahishmati. Right from the first shoot of the first part till the conclusion, the only talk on the sets was about Baahubali and nothing else. In those five years, I found time for only two movies… Ajay Devgan’s Shiva and Rajinikanth’s Lingaa. As Lingaa was shot in Hyderabad, I did not have to stay away from my dream project for long. Doing Baahubali was akin to working in 10 movies. The Baahubali project was one fulfilling joy ride all because I could try and turn into reality all that I had learnt and wanted to experiment with.
How different is Baahubali, The Beginning from Baahubali, The Conclusion?
You are introduced only to the characters, the kingdom and its layout in the first part. The true story begins in the second part. However, the complete research into the characters, the costumes, ancient weapons of war and all other minutiae of the period got completed in the first part itself. The second part sees the research coming alive. Part one had more focus on graphics. All the sets have been painstakingly built and it’s here that the action takes place.
The climax has been shot in the granite quarries of Andhra Pradesh. We initially thought of moving up to the Chambal ravines, but the harsh weather there was a deterrent. This time around, you will see graphics only in those scenes where the action is on in places above 100 ft.
Another little known, yet striking truth is that no live animal was ever used in any scene. The elephants, horses, the buffaloes, were all crafted to perfection…even the ones you saw in the battle scenes. Do you remember the scene of 10 men atop an elephant with several others pulling it from behind in the first part? That was one of the finest scenes in the movie. Part two has much, much more to offer. But I cannot disclose more now.
How about the locations of the sequel?
The second part has the stellar distinction of being shot entirely in India. A major part of the movie was filmed in Ramoji Rao Film City. Over 400 people toiled day and night to build an ancient kingdom. The forest scenes were shot in Kerala. Trees in Andhra forests are short and stubby, but the lushness and diversity of Kerala’s forests was an ideal backdrop.
To Punjab, where I’ll be working on the sets of a new Bollywood flick.