SS Rajamouli, who has impressed the audience across the globe with films like "Eega" and "Magadheera" in the past, has taken his popularity to the next level with his latest blockbuster "Baahubali" (Bahubali).
The international media sat up and took notice when Rajamouli's two films--"Eega" and "Magadheera", both in Telugu--released. Foreign entertainment journalists have since been closely observing the filmmaker's moves.
BBC even documented the making of "Baahubali" in its short film on the 100 years of Indian cinema. The channel's 'The Kumars at No. 42' fame Sanjeev Bhaskar interviewed Rajamouli and some members of "Baahubali" cast and crew. The Indian media reported it widely and photographs featuring Sanjeev on the sets of "Baahubali" went viral on the social media as well.
Moreover, some international filmmakers visited the sets of "Baahubali". French filmmaker Claude Lelouch was one of them. In January 2014, the Oscar winning director met Rajamouli and his team at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad, where the shooting of "Baahubali" was in progress.
On 20 January 2014, an elated Rajamouli tweeted: "Team #Baahubali received a pleasant and unexpected visit on the sets last Saturday! It was none other than the two-time Oscar winning French director, Claude Lelouch who has directed around 50 films."
After a wait of two-and-a-half years, the first part of "Baahubali" released in theatres around the world on 10 July. The Guardian, CNN, The Hollywood Reporter, BBC and some other leading foreign media houses reviewed "Baahubali - The Beginning" and heaped praises on Rajamouli and his team.
"Baahubali", made with a whopping budget of Rs 250 crore, is the country's costliest period movie. It has now also turned out to be the biggest Indian money spinner not just in the domestic market, but also in key international markets such as the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Malaysia.
"Baahubali" collected approximately $4.5 million (Rs 28.6 crore) at the US box office in the first weekend. The film has become the biggest opener Indian movie in North America, beating the previous record of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan's "PK" $3.08 million (Rs 19.53 crore) in the opening weekend.
The huge success of "Baahubali" saw leading international business magazines, dailies and movie portals such as Forbes, The Hollywood Report, Variety, CBC, MBCTV, Deadline, Daily Mail reporting widely about the film's box office collection.
Many international film critics and trade experts also praised Rajamouli for the impressive making, promotion and marketing of the movie. Some of them even opined that "Baahubali" should be dubbed in popular foreign languages, including Chinese and German, saying it would take the film's success story further.
The response from international viewers, critics and trade analysts shows that "Baahubali" has won their hearts and Rajamouli has created many more new fans abroad, which started developing since "Eega" and "Magadheera" happened. After seeing such a huge response to the latest super hit, the obvious question comes: "Is it not time for the director to make a Hollywood debut?"