'Cinema is a complex puzzle'

Ace storyteller

'Cinema is a complex puzzle'

The master storyteller is at it again. Director SS Rajamouli, who set a benchmark that everyone dreams to emulate with fantasy films like ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’, confesses that his deep imagination comes from his carefree childhood.

The key to Rajamouli’s success is to experiment and innovate constantly. From fantasy-comedies like ‘Eega’ and ‘Yamadonga’ to action-dramas such as ‘Chhatrapati’ and ‘Vikramarkudu’, historical drama like ‘Magadheera’ and the rib-tickling 'Maryada Ramanna’ — his body of work is something that has few parallels in Indian cinema.

In an interview with Nina C George, Rajamouli takes time off to talk about his experience in the world of cinema and his decision to bring ‘Baahubali’ into the world of comics, novels and gaming.

Your projects like ‘Magadheera’ and ‘Baahubali’ have set new benchmarks in Indian film industry. Do you agree?

I don’t know if you can call it a ‘benchmark’ but we have definitely tried to break a lot barriers that seem to exist.

What are the subjects that make you feel that you have to tell a story?

If there’s a story or a character that I deeply empathise with then I won’t rest until I have told the story or given a form and shape to the characters I have in mind for the big screen. I must be able to feel for the subject and the character before I tell the story.
    
How did you take a liking to making fantasy films?

As a child, I used to daydream a lot and I can say that I used to live in a fantasy world of sorts all the time. I always dreamt of accomplishing something different, however far-fetched it may have seemed. I would often try to imagine how real people would look in my imaginary world. I would always look at small and simple things in a larger context.   

Why did you decide to launch ‘Baahubali’ into comics and gaming?

We have joined hands with Arka Mediaworks and Graphic India to take ‘Baahubali’ to the world of comics, novels and gaming. We have decided to release the story in the form of graphic novels, gaming and animated series because what we have shown on the silver screen is only a small part of Baahubali’s life. There’s so much more to explore. Stories from Baahubali’s childhood and adulthood are yet to be told.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

Anything and everything around me inspires me to create something new.
The sight of a cluster of trees inside a building, for instance, could trigger a train of thoughts in my mind or just sitting beside a lake and watching the water flow by also unleashes ideas. 

What does cinema mean to you?
Cinema is a big part of my life. It is a complex puzzle that you never tire of trying to decipher and solve. There’s so much to do and I can never sit back, relax and say that my job is done.

Any plans to make a film in Kannada?
Yes, I have always wanted to direct a Kannada film. I’ve been planning to explore the life of Sri Krishnadevaraya but somehow I never got down to it. The Kannada film industry has some amazing actors and wonderful people.

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