Baahubali Effect: B’desh Fans Fly To Kolkata To Watch Film

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Kolkata: The frenzy over SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali 2 has reached epic proportions, with fans across the globe queuing up in massive numbers at theatres to watch the magnum opus. Not just in India, where the film has reportedly been released across 6500 screens.

The film had already registered record advance bookings (tickets in core markets like Hyderabad were sold out till Tuesday, 2 May, as soon as bookings opened) and leading online portal Book My Show had reported 3.3 million ticket sales 12 tickets every second over Friday.

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Not surprising then, that more than 40 Bangladeshi fans have travelled to India to watch the film in its very first week. The group flew down to Kolkata in a chartered flight on Monday from Dhaka to catch the evening show of the film at a south Kolkata multiplex. “We have been waiting for two years to know why Kattappa killed Baahubali! I’m a diehard Bollywood fan. We took the morning flight to get here to Kolkata to watch the evening show,” said Tasleen, one of the fans who travelled from Dhaka to watch the film.

“Baahubali 1 was a huge hit. Even we were wondering why Baahubali was killed in the first part of the series. So we had to watch part two for the answer. Many of our friends who have watched it in India wanted to tell us the answer but we asked them not to since we wanted to watch it ourselves,” another Bangladeshi fan, Farzana Brownia, told India Today.

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Ebne Hasan Khan, a businessman from Dhaka, has come with his teenage son and daughter to watch the film. Khan says, while most in Bangladesh love Bollywood films, they barely had any idea about films from south India. “We didn’t have much idea about films made in south India. After watching the Hindi version of Baahubali 1, we were mesmerised. We could not differentiate them from any of the Hollywood films,” he said.

Khan says his 11-year-old daughter Athoi, who has grown up on a heavy dose of Hollywood films, is equally thrilled after watching the concluding part of the Baahubali franchise. “We are in a complete trance. The storyline was captivating and it felt like a better version of The Gladiator. The costumes were fascinating and royal! I feel immense pride as a south Asian that we could achieve this level of cinematic expertise,” the teenager said.

Not just cine fans, but exhibitors are also thrilled with the unprecedented cross-border response. “We haven’t seen such craze for any film in recent memory. It’s a complete frenzy and the box office numbers are insane. We are starting every day with a morning 7.30am show since the release, and even that’s housefull,” claimed Subhasis Ganguli, Regional Director of Inox in east India.

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