Recognized 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 movie director and screenwriter. He earned prestige in Telugu cinema with blockbuster movies like Magadheera (2009), Eega (2012), and Baahubali: The Beginning (2015).
His other significant directorial endeavors are the sports drama film Sye, the social crisis film Vikramarkudu, drama films Maryada Ramanna and Chhatrapati. Most of his movies are either dubbed or remade in several Indian languages with successful critiques.
He received the Star World India, “Entertainer of The Year” in 2012. He is a recipient of numerous awards including the National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards, state Nandi Awards, and IIFA Utsavam Awards. In 2016, he was praised with 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 full of artists. His father K V Vijayendra Prasad is a noted scriptwriter for Baahubali: The Beginning and Salman Khan starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and his 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 wrapped up 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 associate for about six years, when he used to recite his stories to miscellaneous directors.
Rajamouli got married to Ms. 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 now remains a costume designer for his films.
Like every other person, the director had his own struggle. Rajamouli commenced his career as a director with Telugu soap operas on Eenadu Television, under the guidance of K. Raghavendra Rao.
Rajamouli wagered into films by directing the Telugu film Student No.1 in 2001, starring Jr. NTR, Gajala, and Rajeev Kanakala. This coming of age lyrical film was a huge hit and was dubbed in Hindi as Aaj Ka Mujrim and was remade in Odia in 2008 as Mate Ta Love Here. His next movie Simhadri, even though it was acquitted two years after his first, was a blockbuster hit. This action masala film once again starred Jr. NTR along with Ankitha and Bhoomika Chawla in lead parts, 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 project was the sports drama Sye with actors Nithin and Genelia D’Souza in the lead. Based on a rugby sport, it was the first time Rajamouli worked together 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 Kaluga. It was a great success in all languages.
His following was the 2005 action drama Chhatrapati with Prabhas in the lead role with Shriya Saran, Bhanupriya, and Pradeep Rawat in other climactic roles, loosely established on the Hollywood film Scarface.
The movie is about Shivaji and his lineage who are uprooted from their constituency in Sri Lanka and they turn out as bonded breadwinners in Vizag, and Shivaji fights to protect the oppressed.
This followed with Vikramarkudu in 2006, an action-masala film, starring Ravi Teja, Anushka Shetty, and Vineet Kumar at the forefront.
The movie earned encouraging critiques and was screened at the International Film Festival of India in the mainstream category.
This enormous blockbuster hit was remodeled 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 continuous year, Rajamouli’s next direction was Yamadonga, a socio-fantasy film featuring Mohan Babu, Jr. NTR, Priyamani, and Mamta Mohandas. The movie received significant applause 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 earned the worldwide privilege.
The huge victory 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 received 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. Established 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).
Rajamouli faced years of success but what bestowed him the major recognition was one of the biggest successes in his career, the epic chronological fiction film Baahubali: The Beginning produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devine. This was the first of the two cinematic parts and was simultaneously made in Telugu and Tamil. It was one of the highest-grossing Indian films, globally. This non-Hindi film also grossed a lot in the dubbed Hindi version. 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 the 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, the sequel to Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Beginning.