Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||S. S. Rajamouli|
|Written by||K. V. Vijayendra Prasad|
|Screenplay by||S. S. Rajamouli|
|Music by||M. M. Keeravani|
|Cinematography||K. K. Senthil Kumar|
|Edited by||Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao|
|6 July 2012|
(US$3.99–6.14 million) [a]
|Box office||₹1.25–1.3 billion|
Eega (transl. The Fly) is a 2012 Indian fantasy action film written by K. V. Vijayendra Prasad and directed by his son, S. S. Rajamouli. Produced by Korrapati Ranganatha Sai's Varahi Chalana Chitram with an estimated budget of ₹260 to 400 million (US$3.99–6.14 million), it was filmed simultaneously as a bilingual in Telugu and Tamil languages, the latter titled Naan Ee (transl. I, Housefly). The film stars Sudeep, Nani and Samantha Ruth Prabhu. M. M. Keeravani composed the soundtrack and score. K. K. Senthil Kumar was director of photography and Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao edited the film. Janardhan Maharshi and Crazy Mohan wrote the dialogue for the Telugu and Tamil versions, respectively. The film's narrative is in the form of a bedtime story told by a father to his daughter. Its protagonist Nani, who is in love with his neighbour Bindu, is murdered by a wealthy businessman named Sudeep, who is attracted to Bindu and considers Nani a rival. Nani reincarnates as a housefly and tries to avenge his death and protect Bindu from an obsessive Sudeep.
The idea for the film originated in the 1990s from a conversation in which Prasad joked with Rajamouli about the idea of a fly seeking revenge against a human. Rajamouli reconsidered the idea after finishing Maryada Ramanna (2010), and Prasad developed it into a script. The film's production began on 7 December 2010 at Ramanaidu Studios in Hyderabad. Principal photography began on 22 February 2011 and continued until late February 2012. Makuta VFX and Annapurna Studios oversaw Eega's visual effects and digital intermediate process, respectively.
The two versions of the film, alongside a Malayalam-dubbed version titled Eecha, were released on 6 July 2012 in approximately 1,100 screens globally. The performances of the principal cast, Rajamouli's direction, and visual effects received critical acclaim upon release. Eega was one of the highest-grossing Telugu films of the year, earning more than ₹1.25 billion (US$19.2 million). Its Hindi-dubbed version, Makkhi, which was released on 12 October 2012, had not achieved equivalent commercial success as of June 2015. Eega won two National Film Awards (Best Feature Film in Telugu and Best Special Effects), five South Filmfare Awards including Best Telugu Film, Best Telugu Director, Best Telugu Actress (Samantha) and Best Telugu Supporting Actor (Sudeep) and three South Indian International Movie Awards. It was screened at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, the Shanghai International Film Festival, and the Madrid International Film Festival.
A young girl who is unable to sleep asks her father to tell her a bedtime story. Although reluctant at first, he tells her a story of a fly named Nani.
Nani is a young man who specialises in preparing fireworks. He is in love with his neighbour Bindu, a micro artist who runs Project 511, a non-governmental organisation (NGO). Bindu also develops feelings for Nani though she does not express them. Seeking to raise money for her NGO, Bindu visits the office of a rich, powerful industrialist named Sudeep, who also finds her attractive. He befriends her, donates ₹1.5 million (US$23.03 thousand), and gains her trust. Sudeep sees Nani as a rival and plans to kill him. One night, Nani helps Bindu to finish a piece of micro art—a locket made from a pencil. While returning home, he is kidnapped by Sudeep, who kills him, making his death look like an accident. Unaware of the incident, Bindu proposes to the dying Nani by telephone; it is the last thing Nani hears before he is reincarnated as a housefly that cannot remember its previous life.
The fly's memory is triggered when it encounters Sudeep and Bindu. Sudeep asks the heartbroken Bindu to accompany him to New Delhi to meet the education minister; if she can impress the minister with a presentation about the NGO, he might help it gain national recognition. The fly causes Sudeep to have an accident on his way to the airport and writes "I will kill you" on the windshield; this makes Sudeep paranoid. The fly, who sees Bindu mourning Nani's death in her bedroom, reveals itself to be Nani by writing on the desk with her tears. It conveys the circumstances of Nani's death to Bindu, and they join forces against Sudeep. The latter's obsession with the fly affects his professional and personal life. In a chain of events, his money is burnt to ashes, leaving him almost penniless.[c]
Sudeep learns from a sorcerer that Nani is reincarnated as a fly and seeks revenge. Sudeep arranges to kill Nani but the fly escapes and causes a short circuit, killing the sorcerer and leaving Sudeep unconscious. Nani and Bindu assume Sudeep is dead but he is saved by his business partner. Sudeep is enraged when he learns that Bindu is helping the fly. Sudeep kills his partner to collect a ₹7 billion (US$107.49 million) insurance policy.
Sudeep takes Bindu to his home and Nani follows them. Nani seriously injures Sudeep with a needle. The latter clips Nani's wing and fatally stabs him with the same needle. Nani jumps through the flame of a burning match then into a loaded cannon, which fires. The projectile passes through Sudeep and hits an oxygen cylinder, which explodes and kills him. Bindu takes the fly's wing and makes an amulet with it. One day when travelling to work, an eve teaser bothers her; Nani, again reborn as a fly, attacks him with a needle before announcing his return.
The young girl is impressed with the story of the fly her father narrates.
The idea for Eega originated in the late 1990s in screenwriter K. V. Vijayendra Prasad's mind. At that time, he was joking about a housefly seeking revenge on a human in a conversation with his son S. S. Rajamouli. Prasad later developed the idea as a script for an English-language film set in 1830s America, in which an African-American boy dies in an attempt to free his family from slavery and is reincarnated as a fly. After completing Maryada Ramanna (2010), Rajamouli reconsidered the concept after thinking of directing a film that was distinct from any other. He decided to make Eega a bilingual film in Telugu and Tamil – each scene including speech was filmed twice, once for each language. The Tamil version, titled Naan Ee, was Rajamouli's directorial debut in Tamil cinema. The film was presented by Daggubati Suresh Babu of Suresh Productions.[d]
For the first time in his career, Rajamouli began casting after the script was completed because he felt the story required actors who were suitable for the roles. Nani, the protagonist, was the first of the three of the main cast members to be chosen; he completed filming his scenes in 25 days.[e] Samantha Ruth Prabhu, the second actor cast, was signed as the female lead. Rajamouli chose Sudeep to play the fly's human adversary after being impressed with the actor's performance in Rann (2010), and cast rapper Noel Sean as Nani's friend in the film. Sudeep drew inspiration for his role as the villain from the 1983 Kannada film Bhakta Prahlada; he was portraying a character he considered to be a "bad guy" with "grey shades" rather than an antagonist.
The script was doctored by Rajamouli's brother, S. S. Kanchi, while Janardhan Maharshi and Crazy Mohan wrote the dialogue for the Telugu and Tamil versions respectively, marking their first collaboration with Rajamouli. James Fowlds was initially chosen as the film's director of photography, but was replaced by K. K. Senthil Kumar due to creative differences and scheduling conflicts. M. M. Keeravani composed the film's soundtrack and score,[f] Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao edited the film, Ravinder Reddy was its art director, and Rajamouli's wife Rama worked on the costume design.
Production of the film began with a formal launch ceremony on 7 December 2010 in Hyderabad. The original version was filmed over a six-month period and cost nearly ₹110 million; Rajamouli felt the quality of the material was poor and started again.[g] The film's final budget was estimated at between ₹260 and ₹400 million.[a][h]
Principal photography began on 22 February 2011 in Hyderabad; ninety percent of the film was shot at Ramanaidu Studios in the city. A sequence was filmed at Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple in Ammapally near Shamshabad, in early March 2011. Scenes with Nani, Samantha, and Sudeep were filmed during the first shooting schedule, which was completed on 16 March. Shooting was disrupted in April by an ongoing labour dispute between film workers and producers. Rajamouli considered moving Eega out of Hyderabad if the strike continued. Filming continued in Kokapet in early September 2011, and principal photography was completed in late February 2012 as post-production began.
According to Rajamouli, the film unit consulted a 3D video of the storyboard before shooting a scene each day. After the filming of each scene was completed, the editing and re-recording procedures were done with simple greyscale animation. An Arri Alexa camera, a prime lens, and Scorpio and Strada cranes were used for the principal photography, while a probe lens and high-intensity lighting were used for the macro photography. Senthil Kumar had to use a special lens with a minimum f-stop of f8.0; the wide apertures required high-intensity lighting to get acceptable shots. He used GoPro cameras as they were the smallest possible ones that offered close to professional resolution. Phantom Cam was used to film extreme slow motion sequences; certain scenes were shot at 2,000 frames per second.
Digital intermediate (DI) was conducted at Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad. A high-end DI system was imported and the process took six months to complete. Singer Chinmayi, who dubbed for Samantha in Eega, found the process difficult because the footage did not contain the animated fly. Rajamouli approached Anuj Gurwara to write the dialogue for the Hindi-dubbed version titled Makkhi. The Hindi dubbing began in Hyderabad, and Gurwara dubbed for Nani in the film. Ajay Devgan and his wife Kajol, acting as parents telling the film's story to their child at bedtime, provided voiceovers during the opening credits of Makkhi. The visuals accompanying the closing credits were altered to show the fly mimicking the antics of Devgan, Salman Khan, and Akshay Kumar.
R. C. Kamalakannan and Pete Draper of Makuta VFX oversaw Eega's visual effects, and Rahul Venugopal was the film's set supervisor and matte painter. V. Srinivas Mohan, who later collaborated with Rajamouli on Baahubali: The Beginning, worked on a short sequence for the film. Rajamouli planned to complete work on the fly imagery in four months, but it took fourteen.
Ninety percent of the animation-related work was done in Hyderabad; the remaining ten percent was completed in the United States. In an Indo-Asian News Service interview, Draper said he collaborated with thirteen experts and a large team of animators to design the fly. Because the film's fly's eyes comprise 80 percent of its face, Rajamouli felt they could make it expressive; he used the 1986 Pixar American short film Luxo Jr. for inspiration. The output of the first team of animators, using the reference material prepared, was unsatisfactory and Rajamouli reworked the fly's detailing. Using a powerful lens, the film team conducted an arduous photographic shoot of unconscious flies in a bottle stored in a refrigerator. After enlarging the details, Rajamouli made cosmetic changes to the fly's face to make it look appealing onscreen. A new team including Draper, three concept artists, three modellers, two shader designers, two hair and fur designers, three riggers and several animators, designed the animated fly in two months. Its head and fur were designed after shaping its body and wings. The fly was refined daily using clay models to expedite the process. The animators found the sequences between Sudeep and the fly much more difficult to execute because the latter had to express emotions only though its slender arms rather than its face.
Some of the special effects could not be designed in India, so Makuta VFX engaged animation consultants in Armenia, China, Iran, Israel, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The company's 30-member team underwent a training programme on acting theory and insect formats. Eega is the first Indian film to use computer-generated imagery for nearly 90 minutes of its length; the film had 2,234 live-action animation shots. By mid-June 2012 Rajamouli had approved 1,970 shots; the final version was shown to the film unit after the approval of 226 pending shots. The visual effects cost an estimated ₹70 million.
The film's main theme is revenge; the soul of a murdered man is reincarnated as a fly and seeks revenge against his killer. Rajamouli identified some similarities to David Cronenberg's The Fly (1986), in which a scientist becomes a fly when his experiment malfunctions, and thought of Eega as a "socio-fantasy" rather than a science fiction film. At a meeting with students at the Annapurna International School of Film and Media Campus (AIFSM), he compared the battle between the fly and Sudeep, which the underdog fly wins, to David's triumph over Goliath and India's victory in the 1983 Cricket World Cup. Crazy Mohan compared the film with Apoorva Sagodharargal (1989), a revenge drama whose protagonist Appu (Kamal Haasan) is a dwarf.
Mohan told Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu that although the film's script may resemble those of Stuart Little (1999) and Shrek (2001), the use of the plight of someone tormented by a housefly was an original idea. According to Tamil film historian and actor Mohan Raman, Naan Ee—unlike the animal-centred films Nalla Neram (1972) and Neeya? (1979)—lacks a human protagonist. Film critic Baradwaj Rangan found Eega's protagonist realistic, contrary to the ones in the animated films by the Walt Disney Company, except when it displays a few anthropomorphic traits. Mid Day compared Eega to Cockroach (2010), an Australian short film about a man who is reincarnated as a cockroach after he is accidentally killed on his wedding day.
The film's secondary theme is the survival of love beyond death. Rangan has likened Eega to a ghost film because a dead protagonist returns to his loved ones as a troubled soul. Malini Mannath of The New Indian Express found the scene where the fly foils Sudeep's attempt to get close to Bindu reminiscent of one in the film Ghost (1990). Mayank Shekhar criticised the relationship between the lead pair, which he said advocates stalking as an accepted form of romance. Malathi Rangarajan said the antagonist took the "extreme step" of murdering the hero early in the film, in contrast with the stereotypical antagonist whose lust for the female lead has just begun and threatens the hero.
Commenting on the usage of Tantrism, The New Indian Express' Kruthi Grover found the death of the sorcerer similar to the story of Bhasmasur, a demon in Indian mythology to whom Shiva gives the power to reduce a person to ashes by touching her or his head. When Bhasmasur tries to touch Shiva's head, Vishnu assumes the form of Mohini and makes Bhasmasur touch his own head, killing him. According to Malathi Rangarajan, the film's themes of Tantrism and black magic are reminiscent of the use of the occult as a plot device in films directed by B. Vittalacharya.
The soundtracks of Eega and Naan Ee, each consisting of five songs—one of which is a remixed version of the film's title song—were composed by M. M. Keeravani.[f] Keeravani said because the film's theme of revenge and the protagonist (a housefly) are universal concepts, his "only challenge" was ensuring the music did not have a "distinct ethnic or regional flavour" and "appeal". He incorporated the buzzing sound made by flies into the score and exaggerated or reduced it according to a scene's emotional nature. Rajamouli approached Madhan Karky to write the lyrics for Naan Ee's soundtrack after the release of Enthiran (2010), explaining the importance of each song in the film's narrative. As well as providing detailed profiles of the characters, Rajamouli enacted a few scenes, which helped Karky write the lyrics.
Eega's soundtrack was released on 30 March 2012 at a promotional event at Shanti Sarovar, Brahma Kumaris' academy in Gachibowli, a suburb of Hyderabad. The soundtrack for Naan Ee was released on 1 April at another promotional event at Sathyam Cinema in Chennai. Eega's soundtrack release on iTunes was delayed until 3 April to avoid piracy and illegal downloads.
Writing for The Hindu, Sangeetha Devi Dundoo called the soundtrack "melodious ... sharply contrasted by the background score, which seamlessly moves from sober to playful to pulsating". Another critic for The Hindu, S. R. Ashok Kumar praised Vijay Prakash's rendition of "Konjam Konjam". Kumar appreciated the use of violins in "Eedaa Eedaa" and called "Lava Lava" "a good number". Karthik Pasupulate of The Times of India wrote that Keeravani "just seems to reserve his best for [Rajamouli]", calling the soundtrack "one of his finest".
Eega, with Naan Ee and Eecha, was released on 6 July 2012 on approximately 1,100 screens.[i] The Government of Tamil Nadu levied entertainment tax on Naan Ee at the rate of 30%. Eega's Hindi-dubbed version, titled Makkhi, was released on 12 October 2012. The film was further dubbed into Chinese and Swahili as Kungfu Housefly and Inzi, respectively; the latter was released with the slogan "Kisasi Cha Mwisho" (Fly: the ultimate revenge). Inzi was released in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Republic of the Congo, making Eega the first Telugu film to be released in Africa.
Global distribution rights for the Telugu version were sold for ₹340 million, and PVP Cinema acquired Naan Ee's distribution rights for ₹50 million.[h] Outside India, 14 Reels Entertainment distributed Eega and Naan Ee in association with Ficus, Inc. Reliance Entertainment acquired Makkhi's distribution rights.
Weeks after Eega's release, its pirated version was released; it was illegally filmed in a theatre in Varadaiahpalem, Chittoor district. A forensic watermarking investigation on the pirated copies determined that a camcorder was used in the process. The digital watermarking also helped investigators locate the source of the piracy of Naan Ee to a theatre in Coimbatore.
According to Rajamouli, Eega was illegally downloaded 655,000 times within a week of the pirated version being leaked on the Internet. Rajamouli added that a database of IP addresses of non-resident Indians who frequently download content was shared with immigration authorities which could affect their potential US residence permit applications. The anti-piracy cell delinked more than 2,000 links to the pirated versions of Naan Ee on the Internet.
Naan Ee's satellite television rights were sold to Sun TV for ₹33.5 million—a record price for a Telugu director's film, exceeding Rajamouli's initial expectations.[h] Makkhi's television-broadcast rights were sold to STAR Gold for ₹80 million.[h] According to STAR Gold general manager Hemal Jhaveri, Makkhi's television premiere had a target rating point rating of 3.5; trade analyst Sreedhar Pillai called its performance "phenomenal".
In November 2012, Aditya Music released Eega on Blu-ray with English subtitles and DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround sound. The release also contained a two-hour DVD about the making of the film. J. Hurtado of Twitch Film reviewed the Blu-ray version, writing, "The most egregious mangling of the film comes in the form of a severely fucked contrast scale, which leads to absurdly crushed black levels rendering nearly all shadow detail completely obliterated". Hurtado called the audio a "thing of beauty, giving good separation and a booming low end that puts you in the middle of the Eega action in a way that even my theatrical experience couldn't do".
According to trade analyst Komal Nahta, Eega netted ₹170 million in South India on its first day of release.[h] On its opening weekend, it grossed US$538,996 from 31 screens in the United States—a per-screen average of $17,387.[h] In ten days, Naan Ee grossed ₹130 million from 208 screens in Tamil Nadu.[h] On its second weekend, Eega grossed $253,334 from 42 screens in the US, bringing its ten-day total in that country to $913,046. By then, Naan Ee had grossed a total of $14,259 in the United States.[h] Naan Ee earned ₹180 million in three weeks at the Tamil Nadu box office—a record for a bilingual, Telugu-Tamil film.[h] By early August 2012, the combined distributor share for the Telugu and Tamil versions was ₹570 million.[h]
According to Bangalore Mirror, the film grossed ₹1.15 billion globally as of August 2012.[h] Its final global gross is estimated at ₹1.25 to 1.3 billion.[b][h] Eega grossed nearly $1.08 million in the United States; it was one of the country's highest-grossing Telugu films.[h] It was declared the highest-grossing bilingual film in Tamil Nadu after it earned ₹246.6 million, with a distributor share of ₹85 million, in 50 days. The film broke the record held by Arundhati (2009), whose Tamil-dubbed version earned a distributor share of ₹65 million.[h]
Indo-Asian News Service stated that Eega was the highest-grossing Telugu film of 2012, but Bangalore Mirror said it was the second-highest (after Gabbar Singh) in box-office revenue. According to Deccan Herald, Eega and Julai were the only 2012 big-budget Telugu films to break even and have a positive audience response. Makkhi opened poorly, despite positive word-of-mouth, eventually ending up as an average grosser. Regarding the performance of Makkhi, Rajamouli felt the film was poorly presented and did not reach its theatrical audience even though it was better received on television,[d] and so later on collaborated with filmmaker Karan Johar – whom he considered the "one missing link" – on the presentation of the Hindi-dubbed version of his later film, Baahubali: The Beginning.
Baradwaj Rangan, writing for The Hindu, said without a human protagonist, only a villain and a heroine, the audience is "led through a story that's funny, sentimental, action-packed, romantic—there's even a bit of the occult thrown in". Also for The Hindu, Malathi Rangarajan wrote, "Let's celebrate the figment of [Rajamouli's] imagination that has made the housefly appear as invincible as any of our muscle-flexing heroes". Karishma Upadhyay of The Telegraph called the film "a winner from the first frame to the last" and praised Rajamouli's screenplay, writing that it made "the absurd seem real, willing you to accept anything that he throws at you". J. Hurtado of Twitch Film called Eega the "best, most insane, most inventive film of the year", and praised Rajamouli's scripting, the visual effects and Sudeep's performance, calling the latter "legitimately hilarious". V. S. Rajapur, Indo-Asian News Service gave Eega four stars out of five, and praised the performances and music; Rajapur was particularly appreciative of the visual effects, saying the hard work put in by the entire team was "clearly visible onscreen". A reviewer from Sify called Eega an "escapist, comic book-like fantasy" that "throws you into an experience so profound that nothing else really matters".
Radhika Rajamani of Rediff.com awarded Eega four stars out of five; she praised its visual effects, performances and cinematography and said Sudeep "is such a delight to watch on screen". Karthik Pasupulate and M. Suganth of The Times of India both gave Eega four stars out of five; Pasupulate said it offers a "mind-bending thrill-a-second ride of the season, probably the decade". Suganth called it a "bravura piece of commercial filmmaking that is an unqualified triumph in every aspect". Rajeev Masand of CNN-News18 gave the film four stars out of five and praised its concept, and said Sudeep played his role with a "true comic book flair" and a "cartoonish tinge". Writing for Bollywood Hungama, Subhash K. Jha praised Eega's "sharp clenched narrative", which overshadowed the "shaky plot". He further wrote, "Gutsy sly and original, this is the entertainer of the season". Anupama Chopra gave the film four stars out of five in a review for Hindustan Times and called it a "mad roller coaster ride that's worth taking" and the "most outlandish film [she has] seen in years". Shabana Ansari rated Eega three stars out of five in a Daily News and Analysis review and called the animated fly a "new-age Indian hero" with "lofty ideas".
Kruthi Grover of The New Indian Express wrote that Eega lacks a proper structure despite having effective visual effects and editing. She added that the film turns into a "silly animated movie for kids" after the fly's birth. Reviewing Makkhi for Dainik Bhaskar, Mayank Shekhar said the film's premise is stretched beyond its potential and that as a result it "just goes on and on and on" in its "original, tacky, raw form".
Eega received the Best Feature Film in Telugu and Best Special Effects awards at the 60th National Film Awards. It later received a B. Nagi Reddy Memorial Award as Best Wholesome Entertainment from the Government of Andhra Pradesh. At the 60th Filmfare Awards South Eega received seven nominations and won five awards, including Best Film – Telugu, Best Director – Telugu, and Best Supporting Actor – Telugu (Sudeep).
Samantha received Filmfare Best Actress awards in the Telugu and Tamil categories for her performances in Eega and Neethaane En Ponvasantham, becoming the second Indian female actor to win these awards in both languages in the same year (after Revathi, who won 1993 Best Actress awards for Thevar Magan and Ankuram). At the 2nd South Indian International Movie Awards, Eega received seven nominations and won three awards; Best Film, Best Cinematographer, and Best Actor in a Negative Role. Ravinder Reddy won the Best Art Direction Award at the 2013 Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival in Brazil for his work in Eega. The film won nine awards, including Most Original Film, Best Film to Watch With a Crowd, and Best Special Effects at the eighth annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival in November 2013. At the 7th Vijay Awards in 2013, Sudeep won the Best Villain Award for his performance in Naan Ee. Eega won eight awards at the 2012 Nandi Awards, including Best Director, Best Villain and Best Music Director for Rajamouli, Sudeep and M. M. Keeravani respectively.
The film's Telugu version was shown at film festivals worldwide. In December 2012, it was shown at the annual Chennai International Film Festival. After showings at the L'Étrange and Sundance film festivals, it was the only Telugu film screened in the Marché du Film section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and the panorama section of the 2013 Shanghai International Film Festival.
Eega is the only Telugu film to receive six nominations at the Madrid International Film Festival, and is the first Indian Best Film nominee. Nominations at the 2013 edition of the film festival included Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Sudeep), and Best Cinematographer (Senthil Kumar). The film was invited to the 2013 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea, and was the fifth foreign-language film shown at the 18th Busan International Film Festival in October 2013.
Sudeep received national recognition for his performance in Eega; Rajinikanth told him, "I thought I was the best villain to date. But you beat me to it". His performance was appreciated by other celebrities such as Akkineni Nagarjuna, Mahesh Babu, and Ram Gopal Varma; Varma said he recognised Sudeep's potential after watching Eega, adding, "Many take his acting in that film for granted, with respect to his expressions when interacting with the fly, but as a director, I know how difficult it is to act when you are imagining the fly to be there". Sudeep's performance in Naan Ee impressed filmmaker Chimbu Deven, who cast him as the antagonist in Puli (2015).
Speaking about the centenary of Indian cinema at the CII Media & Entertainment Summit 2012, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said regional cinema is surpassing Hindi cinema in content and story, and cited Eega as an example. Kapur said he was impressed with its story and use of technology, and called it "no less than a Hollywood superhero film". Shah Rukh Khan called Eega an "awesomely original" film and a "must watch" with children. Lavanya Tripathi cited Nani's performance in Eega as one of the reasons she worked with him in Bhale Bhale Magadivoy (2015).
Eega was parodied twice in Bhimaneni Srinivasa Rao's comedy film Sudigadu (2012); when a young girl asks her father to tell her a bedtime story in the opening credits, and in a scene in which the protagonist threatens to kill a female crime boss with weapons designed by Rajamouli, including the fly's needle. In December 2012, Eega and Sudeep topped Radhika Rajamani's Rediff.com "Top Five Telugu Films of 2012" and "Best Telugu Actors of 2012" lists; according to her, Sudeep left an "indelible" mark on the film and gave an "exceptionally good account" of himself as the antagonist. Shobha Warrier of Reddif placed Sudeep on her list of "Top Tamil Actors of 2012", writing that his performance was "so superlative and far superior to any other actor's in Tamil" that it "has to be termed as the best performance of the year". Radhika Rajamani ranked Rajamouli first on her "Top Telugu Directors of 2012" list, which was published in January 2013.
In August 2015, Pooja Darade of The Times of India included Eega in her list of "Telugu movies one must watch before dying"; she said it "has set a high standard of how creativity can be used effectively". In an April 2016 interview with The Hindu, Tamil actor Suriya said films like Sagara Sangamam (1983), Eega, Baahubali: The Beginning, and Manam (2014) are remembered much longer than more conventional films.
I felt Makkhi was not presented well even though it had a great run on satellite TV. Considering the movie had done well in other parts of the country, I felt it odd that it didn't do well in Hindi. I realised that it is not just enough to have good content. Unless it is presented well, the audience won't come.—S.S. Rajamouli