What the stars of India’s biggest movie got up to in Dubai
From film festivals to movie sets, Dubai plays the perfect host to movie makers par excellence, and it was no different when the cast and crew of India’s magnum opus, Baahubali, jetted into Dubai.
Made at a budget of 2.5 billion Indian rupees, the epic is said to be the most expensive Indian movie ever made. The fantasy film’s first instalment released in 2015 and became the highest grossing Indian movie in the country, earning positive reviews and making it to several international film festivals.
Actors Prabhas, Rana Daggubati and Anushka Shetty, director SS Rajamouli and producer Shobu, were given a grand welcome in Dubai ahead of the release of their much-awaited sequel, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. Here’s what they had to say:
“Dubai is like Baahubali”
That’s the word of director SS Rajamouli. “Fifty years ago if anyone told you that this desert city is going to develop into a metropolis, no one would have believed it. Similarly, five years ago when we announced Baahubali, no one believed us. Dubai is such an audacious city. It dares to dream big and work on its dreams.”
Why did he choose Dubai to promote his movie? Rajamouli said the huge Indian population in the city was the deciding factor. “In India, we are releasing the movie in four languages,” he said. “In each state, we are releasing [it] in the language the majority speaks. But in Dubai, we are releasing the movie in all four languages. That is the kind of market we have here.”
“Dubai is like an extension of India,” chimed in Rana Daggubati. “It is really a home away from home. This is my 67th time in Dubai - I come here a lot - I usually stay on the Palm because all my friends are there. I am a complete foodie and I love the food culture in Dubai.”
“They are foodies too,” Rana said, as Prabhas and Anushka Shetty nodded in agreement.
So where’s the best place to eat? “Nobu and Lima are two of my favorite restaurants. I also like to walk down Deira and eat the kebabs and grilled meat at the restaurants there.”
The perfect holiday
With the majestic Burj Khalifa gleaming in the background, the team looked relaxed and fresh, despite their hectic schedules. Earlier, they struggled for several minutes to get a selfie with the whole tower in one frame - a familiar conundrum.
“I remember coming to Dubai for the first time a few years ago,” reminisced Prabhas. “I thought ‘Wow, this city is big.’ The airport, the buildings, the malls…everything is so huge and so stylish. I find the city quite fascinating.”
“I always recommend Dubai as the perfect holiday spot,” said Anushka. “It is the place where you come when you want to do a bit of everything. Shopping, sport, spa…you can do a little bit of everything in Dubai.”
“And of course a lot of dune bashing,” added Rajamouli. “I am not a foodie like these people but I particularly enjoy all the desert activities. I have gone dune bashing and I really love it. I also like horse riding and camel riding on the desert sands.”
We rounded off the chat with the one question on every Baahubali fan’s mind. Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali? “Because Baahubali didn’t take him to Dubai,” laughed Prabhas.