Baahubali: The Beginning is a 2015 epic action film directed by S. S. Rajamouli and produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devineni under Arka Media Works. The movie was made in the Telugu and Tamil languages simultaneously. It stars Prabhas in a dual role alongside Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, Ramya Krishna, Sathyaraj, and Nassar. The film tells the story of Sivudu, a courageous young man who assists Avantika in rescuing Devasena, the former queen of Mahishmati, held captive by the tyrannical king Bhallaladeva. The story continues in Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.
The film’s plot was conceived by Rajamouli’s father, V. Vijayendra Prasad, who shared anecdotes about Sivagami and Kattappa, intriguing Rajamouli. Inspired by Mahabharata and Amar Chitra Katha and Chandamama stories, Rajamouli further developed the narrative. The script took three months to finalize. The music was composed by M. M. Keeravani, while K. K. Senthil Kumar, Sabu Cyril, and V. Srinivas Mohan handled cinematography, production design, and VFX, respectively.
Baahubali: The Beginning was made with a budget of ₹180 crores ($28 million), becoming the most expensive Indian film then. It was released worldwide on July 10, 2015, with dubbed versions in Hindi and Malayalam. The film received critical acclaim for Rajamouli’s direction, storytelling, visual effects, cinematography, themes, action sequences, music, and performances. It became a record-breaking box office success, earning praise from audiences and the film industry. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest Indian epic action films. With a worldwide box office gross of ₹565.34–650 crore ($93–100 million), it became the highest-grossing South Indian film and the second-highest-grossing Indian film worldwide. The Telugu version was nominated for the American Saturn Awards and won several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film and Special Effects.
At the 63rd Filmfare Awards South, Baahubali: The Beginning received five awards out of ten nominations, including Best Telugu Film, Best Director – Telugu for Rajamouli, and Best Supporting Actress – Telugu for Ramya Krishna. It was a groundbreaking film that broke records and set new benchmarks, although its sequel, Baahubali 2, later surpassed its records: The Conclusion, the highest-grossing film in India.
Sivagami emerges from a cave beneath a massive mountain near the kingdom of Mahishmati carrying a baby. She eliminates two pursuing soldiers and tries to cross a turbulent river but is swept away in the strong current. Before she drowns, she raises the baby and prays to Lord Shiva, expressing her willingness to sacrifice her own life and wish for the baby, Mahendra Baahubali, to live as a way to atone for her sins. The local Amburi tribe, who worship Lord Shiva and reside near the river, saves the child. Sanga, the chieftain’s wife, adopts the boy and names him Sivudu.
Sivudu grows up with a strong ambition and mischievous nature, obsessed with conquering the mountain. Despite Sanga’s pleas, he repeatedly fails in his attempts to scale the cliffs. However, as a young man, he demonstrates extraordinary strength by lifting a Lingam of Lord Shiva and placing it at the mountain’s base. A mask falls from the cliffs, revealing feminine features. Sivudu finally succeeds in climbing the mountain to find the woman connected to the mask. At the mountain’s summit, he encounters Avantika, a beautiful woman engaged in a battle against Mahishmati soldiers. Avantika is a member of a local resistance group dedicated to overthrowing the tyrannical King Bhallaladeva of Mahishmati and rescuing Princess Devasena, who is held captive by the royal family. Sivudu instantly falls in love with Avantika and secretly follows her, even drawing a tattoo on her hand while she sleeps. When Avantika discovers Sivudu, she attacks him, but he outmanoeuvres her and returns the mask. Realizing the extent of Sivudu’s journey to find her, Avantika reciprocates his feelings, and they declare their love for each other.
However, Avantika soon remembers her responsibilities to the resistance group and leaves Sivudu unconscious. She is later attacked by soldiers but is joined by Sivudu, and together they defeat their assailants. After the battle, Sivudu vows to rescue Devasena and sets off for Mahishmati. He secretly enters the city on Bhallaladeva’s birthday and helps erect a massive statue of the king. A worker recognizes Sivudu, leading the others to chant ‘Baahubali,’ much to Sivudu’s confusion and Bhallaladeva’s displeasure. Disguised as a soldier, Sivudu infiltrates the royal palace and distracts Bhallaladeva and his guards long enough to rescue Devasena. Bhallaladeva dispatches his son, Bhadra, and the loyal slave Kattappa to recapture Devasena. In the ensuing battle, Sivudu beheads Bhadra, and with the arrival of the Amburi tribe and resistance warriors, Kattappa recognizes Sivudu’s true identity. Kattappa kneels before Sivudu, acknowledging him as “Baahubali.”
The following day, Kattappa discloses to Sivudu that he is, in fact, Mahendra Baahubali, the son of Amarendra Baahubali, a renowned warrior prince from Mahishmati. Amarendra Baahubali, an orphan, lost his father, King Vikramadeva before he was born, and his mother passed away during childbirth. Bijjaladeva, Vikramadeva’s scheming brother and the rightful heir to the throne was denied his claim due to his deceptive nature. Instead, Lady Sivagami, Bijjaladeva’s wife, assumed power with the intention of raising both her son Bhallaladeva and the orphaned Baahubali equally to determine the future ruler. Bhallaladeva retained his father’s power-hungry traits, while the amiable Baahubali garnered love from the kingdom through his upbringing and extensive training.
A betrayer named Saketudu, who turned out to be a spy for the savage Kaalakeya tribe known for toppling kingdoms, caused trouble. The Kaalakeya chief, Inkoshi, declared war on Mahishmati. Lord Bijjaladeva announced that the one who killed Inkoshi would be crowned king and secretly aided Bhallaladeva with additional weapons and troops. Despite this, Baahubali outperformed Bhallaladeva by defeating more raiders using innovative tactics and inspiring his soldiers. While Bhallaladeva succeeded in killing Inkoshi, Baahubali’s bravery and genuine concern for his kingdom’s people persuaded Sivagami to name him the heir to the throne.
Sivudu’s adoptive parents, impressed by Kattappa’s account, express their desire to meet Baahubali. Sadly, Kattappa, feeling despondent, reveals that Amarendra Baahubali is deceased. In response to Sivudu’s probing, Kattappa admits that he himself was the traitor who murdered Baahubali, setting the stage for a sequel.
Kiliki, also known as Kiliki, is a fictional language developed by Madhan Karky for the film Baahubali. It is considered the first fictional language created for an Indian film. Karky, while pursuing a PhD in Australia, came up with the idea of creating a new language that would be easy to understand. He started by inventing basic words and representing opposites through word reversals, such as “me” becoming “min” and “you” becoming “nim.” This initial language, called “Click,” served as the foundation for Kiliki. The final version of Kiliki comprises over 750 words and more than 40 concrete grammar rules. Karky designed the language to sound intimidating and brutal, aligning with the portrayal of the Kalakeya warriors. Interestingly, Kiliki sounds the same in all versions of Baahubali, including Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, and Malayalam. On International Mother Language Day, which took place on February 21, 2020, director Rajamouli launched the official website for Kiliki and referred to it as the “world’s youngest and easiest language.”
|Director||S. S. Rajamouli|
|Screenplay||Vijayendra PrasadS. S. Rajamouli|
|Dialogues||C. H. Vijay Kumar|
|Cinematography||K. K. Senthil Kumar|
|Music||M. M. Keeravani|
|Cast||Prabhas Rana Daggubati Anushka ShettyTamannaah Bhatia|
|Production||ARKA Media Works|
|Box Office||565.34–650 crores|
|OTT Platform||Disney+ Hotstar|
|OTT Release Date||December 26, 2015|