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Spectacular action: A box-office success mantra

Spectacular action: A box-office success mantra
Highlights

In one of the most lauded action pieces in ‘Baahubali 2’, palm trees are used as catapults and soldiers are launched from them to penetrate a sealed fortress.

In one of the most lauded action pieces in ‘Baahubali 2’, palm trees are used as catapults and soldiers are launched from them to penetrate a sealed fortress. Once launched the soldiers form into a human cannon ball mid air and safely land on the boundary wall of the fort - spectacular isn’t it! But going by the box-office records across the world, the big bang action is making huge money for filmmakers.

Not just ‘Baahubali’, the eight installment of ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise – ‘The Fate of the Furious’, which is minting money across the world has over- the-top set pieces. In the climax of the film, Vin Diesel’s Domenic Torreto chases a missile, outruns it and rams the car into a submarine creating a huge explosion and escapes scar-free.

This was another over the outlandish action sequence and audience were glued to their seats for the entire episode. Let alone the latest installment, the entire franchise saw global success only because big-bang action seqquences. Justin Lin, who directed four films from third installment to sixth installment, can be solely credited for the creating a successful franchise. The sincerity with the conceived the action sequences, won over not just street racing enthusiasts but action lovers across the world.

Extragavant sets has always been a formula for box-office success. The famous chariot race in William Wyler’s ‘Ben Hur’ (1959), at that point of time was an extravagant action sequence and it contributed a lot to the film’s success. It was said that people thronged the theatres to just watch the amazingly-choreographed chariot race.

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is thrown from an open top truck by villain’s henchmen. He falls on the bumper of the truck, fails to get any hold gradually slips on to the road.

He lies flat as the truck passes over him, uses his whip to catch the tail-end of the truck and gets back into the truck to beat the henchmen to a pulp. This spectacular action piece was a rage, when Steven Spielberg’s ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ was released in 1981 and Vic Armstrong, who was Ford’s double and performed the stunt, carved a place for himself in the annals of the Hollywood history.

Coming to Bollywood, action sequences in the movie ‘Sholay’ (1975) also played a key role in film’s spectacular success. Ram Gopal Varma in one of his interviews said that even if the stunt was seemingly impossible and not practical, it would work, if it has strong emotion building up to the scene.

Taking about his epoch-making film ‘Shiva’ (1989), “Nagarjuna tired with the taunts and behaviour of JD retaliates by breaking a cycle chain and beating the baddies to pulp with it. After I conceived the scene, I tried to see whether it is possible to break a cycle chain. All I managed to do was cutting my hand but the chain was intact.”

Coming to the case of ‘Baahubali 2’, which was just released in 450 screens in US managed to beat Tom Hanks and Emma Watson starrer ‘The Circle’ which was released in 3,216 screens in terms of weekend collections. The Rajamouli’s magnum opus lies third in US box-office with $10.3 million, while ‘The Circle’ managed to mint only $9 million. You might have guessed, which was topping the box-office charts, it was ‘The Fate of the Furious’, which was released two weeks ago.

By Aditya Parankusam

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