SS Rajamuli celebrates its 48th anniversary today. For 20 years he has directed 11 films. And they all became the biggest commercial hits of their time. They say the true depth of a director’s genius and tenacity may not be known unless that director fails and returns with a blockbuster that wipes out critics and audiences alike.
However, this may not happen in Rajamuli’s career. With 11 big hits, including the world’s two biggest earners in India (Baahubali 1 and 2), the director shows no sign of error. With his upcoming RRR film set to hit the screens, he’s ready to take the box office by storm again.
His films so far have proven that he deeply understands the pulse of Indian moviegoers. And in this sense, he is incomparable. So how does Rajamuli shoot one blockbuster after another?
Read. Read. Read.
Rajamuli’s most ambitious goal is to make a film based on the Indian epic Mahabharat… And his vision for this film is so ambitious that he considers himself insufficiently qualified at the time to bring it to life. And he considers all films, including Baahubali, to be just his training films, so to speak, to achieve his ultimate goal, the Mahabharata. Rajamuli’s charm with our epics penetrated him at a very young age. He grew up on a constant diet from the Amar Chitra Katha books. He noted that his mother, Raja Nandini, encouraged him to read many storybooks rather than forcing him to read school textbooks. And comics filled with colorful portraits of Indian epic characters have expanded the imagination of young Rajamuli and shaped his sense of storytelling. “Amar Chitra Katha, Ramayanam, Mahabharat, Bala Ramayanam – this is my foundation. I value the education they gave me the most that I have done in my career, ”Rajamuli recalls.
Find the right team
Filmmaking is a democratic process. Even those directors who fall into the category of authors are influenced by the team they work with. Putting together a team of people who understand your vision and shortcomings and help you realize your vision is a halfway victory. “I have a sense of drama. But in order to get this drama to the audience, I need great techniques that can find flaws in my storytelling, correct me, set me up, and project my idea to the audience correctly. I’m a very good storyteller, but not a great director. To become a good director, I need appropriate techniques that can understand my shortcomings, cover them up and improve my ability to tell stories, ”said Rajamuli.
Difference between script and plot
What’s the point in making a good story if you can’t tell it in a compelling way? And who knows this better than Rajamuli, the creator who turned a simple housefly into a superhero (Yega)… “The story consists of a series of emotional scenes. A script is when distributors complain that the second half’s storytelling is a little slow. The plot and the script don’t like each other. We must join them by force. Let’s say after 10 minutes of the movie you have to hook the audience with your emotions. This is what distributors want. And distributors don’t care how and why this is needed in this story. All he cares about is whether you will hook the audience with emotions within 10 minutes of the beginning of the film or not. So you can tell the story at that pace, explained Rajamuli.
Don’t make films for the markets
Filmmaking is a very personal process. And if you don’t believe in what you are doing, it’s better not to do it at all. Because that’s how Rajamuli works. “The size of the market doesn’t inspire me to make a film. History does. Some character or incident that makes you leave, ah, there is a story here to be told. If the story is like Baahubali, it’s a pan-Indian film, okay. Or it could be a story about a simple guy (Maryada Ramanna), I’ll do it. Or it might just be a story about a housefly (Jeha). After I finished shooting the film, I look at its economy, ”said Rajamuli.
Story, story, story.
When it comes to filmmaking, your story is king. You can find out the dates of the biggest star of the time and spend huge amounts of money on promotions to attract audiences to theaters. And once you get the audience into the theater, nothing but the plot matters. “What is a USP star? He can bring the audience to theaters. Once they enter the theater, the story must take over and start the show. A star cannot run the show, ”reasoned Rajamuli.