S. S. Rajamouli
- Director, Writer, Producer, Screenplay
Oct 10, 1973 in Raichur, Karnataka, India
Oct 10, 1973 in Raichur, Karnataka, India
Known for directing the historical fiction movies Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, S. S. Rajamouli, born Koduri Srisaila Sri Rajamouli, is an Indian film director and screenwriter. He gained prominence in Telugu cinema with blockbuster movies like Magadheera (2009), Eega (2012) and Baahubali: The Beginning (2015). His other notable directorial ventures are the sports drama film Sye, the social problem film Vikramarkudu, drama films Maryada Ramanna and Chhatrapati. Most of his movies are either dubbed or remade in various Indian languages with successful reviews. He received the Star World India, "Entertainer of The Year" in 2012. He is a recipient of several awards including National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards, state Nandi Awards, and IIFA Utsavam Awards. In 2016, he was honored with the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honor for his contributions towards the field of Art.
Rajamouli was born in Raichur, Karnataka, in a Telugu family. His father K V Vijayendra Prasad is a noted script writer for Baahubali : The Beginning and Salman Khan starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and mother is Raja Nandini. His brother Kanchi Rajamouli is also a writer. Music composer M.M.Keeravani and music director Kalyani Malik are his cousins. Rajamouli studied up to 4th class at Kovvur and then graduated with an engineering degree from C.R.R. College of Engineering, Eluru. He also worked in AVM recording theatre, post which he joined his father as an assistant for about six years, when he used to narrate his stories to several directors.
Rajamouli is married to Rama, who is the sister of singer Keeravani's wife, and the couple has two children - SS Karthikeya and SS Mayookha. Rama was a divorcee with a son, when Rajamouli proposed to her. The director’s wife is a costume designer for his films.
Rajamouli started his career as a director with Telugu soap operas on Eenadu Television, under the guidance of K. Raghavendra Rao.
Rajamouli ventured into films with directing the Telugu film Student No.1 in 2001, starring Jr. NTR, Gajala and Rajeev Kanakala. This coming of age musical film was a big hit and was dubbed in Hindi as Aaj Ka Mujrim and was remade in Odia in 2008 as Mate Ta Love Helare. His second movie Simhadri, even though was released two years after his first, was a blockbuster hit. This action masala film once again starred Jr. NTR alongwith Ankitha and Bhoomika Chawla in lead roles, and Mukesh Rishi, Nassar and Rahul Dev in supporting roles. It was dubbed in Hindi and Malayalam languages, and was remade as Gajendra in Tamil and Kanteerava in Kannada.
The director's third venture was the sports drama Sye with actors Nithin and Genelia D'Souza in the lead. Based on a rugby game, it was first the time Rajamouli collaborated with cinematographer K. K. Senthil Kumar. This movie too was dubbed in Hindi as Aar Paar - The Judgement Day, Malayalam as Challenge, and Tamil as Kalugu. His next was the 2005 action drama Chhatrapati with Prabhas in the lead role with Shriya Saran, Bhanupriya, and Pradeep Rawat in other pivotal roles, loosely based on the Hollywood film Scarface. The movie is about Shivaji (Prabhas) and his family who are uprooted from their community in Sri Lanka and they end up as bonded labourers in Vizag, and Shivaji fights to save the oppressed. This followed with Vikramarkudu in 2006, an action-masala film, starring Ravi Teja, Anushka Shetty and Vineet Kumar in the lead. The movie received positive reviews and was screened at the International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section. This huge blockbuster hit was remade in Tamil as Siruthai, in Kannada as Veera Madakari, in Hindi as Rowdy Rathore, in Indian Bengali as Bikram Singha, and in Bangladeshi Bengali as Ulta Palta 69. The Hindi remake Rowdy Rathore , which was about to be directed by Rajamouli himself, starred Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha, and was also a hit.
In the consecutive year, Rajamouli’s next direction was Yamadonga, a socio-fantasy film starring Mohan Babu, Jr. NTR, Priyamani and Mamta Mohandas. The movie received critical praises and was a box office success.
The romantic-action film Magadheera (2009) was the director’s next, which was one of the highest-grossing Telugu films and gained worldwide claim. The huge success of the film shot up the lead actors Ram Charan and Kajal Aggarwal to stardom. It is the first Telugu film to have a home media release in Blu-ray. It won the National Award for Best Choreography and Best Special Effects at the 57th National Film Awards, and was dubbed in Tamil as Maaveeran and Malayalam as Dheera: The Warrior. It was remade in Bengali as Yoddha – The Warrior. Based on reincarnation, the film won Rajamouli Filmfare Award for Best Director - Telugu - Magadheera (2009), Nandi Award for Best Director - Magadheera (2009) and CineMAA Award for Best Director - Magadheera (2009).
His next was a light-hearted comedy thriller film Maryada Ramanna in 2010, starring Sunil and Saloni Aswani. It was a remake of Kannada movie Balagalittu Olage Baa and garnered moderate to favorable reviews. The movie was remade in Hindi as Son of Sardar, in Tamil as Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham, starring Santhanam and Ashna Zaveri, and in Malayalam as Ivan Maryadaraman with Dileep. Subsequent to this, Rajamouli directed Eega in Telugu, a 2012 bilingual fantasy film, made simultaenously in Tamil titled Naan Ee. This movie was written by this father K. V. Vijayendra Prasad and starred Sudeep, Nani, and Samantha Ruth Prabhu. The director once again collaborated with K. K. Senthil Kumar for the cinematography of the film. The movie is based on a fantasy bedtime story a father tells his daughter to put her to sleep. His movies Eega and Magadheera were inspired from Karan Arjun as he was deeply moved by the concept of reincarnation in the Salman-SRK starrer.
One of the biggest successes in Rajamouli's career was the epic historical fiction film Baahubali: The Beginning produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devinen. This was the first of the two cinematic parts and was simultaneously made in Telugu and Tamil. The movie featured a star cast comprising Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Tamannaah, and Anushka Shetty, in the lead roles, while Sathyaraj, Ramya Krishnan, Nassar, Adivi Sesh, Tanikella Bharani and Sudeep played supporting roles. It was one of the highest grossing Indian films, globally. This non-Hindi film also grossed a lot in the dubbed Hindi version. Director Rajamouli states Amar Chitra Katha comics to be the inspiration behind creating Baahubali. The movie won the Best Feature Film and the Best Special Effects at the 63rd National Film Awards and was also nominated for five categories at the 42nd Saturn Awards. For brilliant direction of the movie, Rajamouli won Filmfare Award for Best Director - Telugu - Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), IIFA Award for Best Director (Telugu) - Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) at the 1st IIFA Utsavam, and Best Director - Baahubali: The Beginning (2015). His 2017 directorial venture includes the fantasy drama Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, starring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah Bhatia. It is the sequel to Rajamouli's Baahubali: The Beginning. According to reports, Rajamouli plans to make the third installment of the Baahubali series.
As an actor
Rajamouli has made cameo appearances in several films such as Sye (2004), Rajanna (2006), Eega (2012), Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), and Majnu (2016).
As a writer
Rajamouli has also worked as a writer for several films like Simhadri (2003), Sye (2004), Rajanna (2006), Yamadonga (2007), Magadheera (2009), Maryada Ramanna (2010), Eega (2012), Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), and Baahubali: The Conclusion (2017).
As a producer
He was the producer for the 2012 film Andala Rakshasi.