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SS Rajamouli is a celebrated Indian filmmaker known for his grandiose and epic storytelling. I became his fan when I watched his movie “Magadheera” many years ago. His latest offering, RRR, is a tour-de-force of action, drama, and emotion that takes the audience on a breathtaking ride. The film features two of South India’s biggest superstars, Jr NTR and Ram Charan, who play the roles of Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju, respectively. These characters are loosely based on the lives of two real-life Indian freedom fighters who fought against the British Raj in the early 20th century.
RRR is an imaginary tale of what would have happened if these two legendary figures were to meet. The story is set in the 1920s, a time when India was still under British rule and the freedom movement was gaining momentum. Rajamouli weaves a complex narrative that explores themes of brotherhood, loyalty, sacrifice, and heroism. He creates a rich, detailed world filled with larger-than-life characters and jaw-dropping action sequences.
Even though the movie was released in March 2022, I never really got around to watching it until recently, thanks to it dominating the news again due to the RRR song “Naattu Naattu” winning the oscar award for the best song. Here is my review of RRR, and spoiler alert: I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the film moved me physically and emotionally.
The film opens with brilliant set pieces and character introductions of the two protagonists separately. It intersects their character arcs while trying to rescue a child trapped in water after a bridge accident. Lo and behold, a friendship blooms between the two of them, and their “bromance” is central to the movie and its narration. It’s a brilliant way to introduce the characters and establish the world they inhabit.
The story is fantastic and novel, and Rajamouli’s vision is fully realized on the screen. The screenplay is very lovely, even though some dialogues were corny. The screenplay served the story well, was well-paced, and was able to move the story forward at a swift pace. The film runs for three hours but never feels slow or lagged.
Jr NTR and Ram Charan deliver outstanding performances as Komaram Bheem and Alluri Sitarama Raju. They infuse great charisma every time they occupy the screen, but they also have great chemistry with each other, and their “bromance” is believable. They infuse their characters with passion, energy, and raw emotion, making their journey genuinely captivating. Alia Bhatt and Ajay Devgn also did their parts well despite having short roles. Unfortunately, the British characters weren’t well-etched out and weren’t given much to work with; hence, their acting fell flat.
The Action Sequences
The action sequences in RRR are the best part of the film. Each action sequence is character-driven and moves the story forward. Every action set-piece has an intention, beginning, middle, and completion. It’s exhilarating, over-the-top, but pure fun. Keep physics and your need for realism out of your mind when you watch this, and I assure you, you will enjoy it much more that way.
The action sequences were very well choreographed. Good use of wide-angle shots and close-up shots to show the emotions of the actors and the spectators to drive home the intensity and the stakes. Many parts were in good slow motion, and the action was clear, understandable, and did not dissolve into a blur. The CGI was “passable,” and I understand how the Indian movie budget does not allow you much in terms of that.
MM Keeravani’s music is a standout aspect of the film. As a long-time fan of his work, I loved the music in RRR. The “Komma Uyyala” song is my favorite. “Naattu Naatu” won the 2023 Academy Award for best original song, which I thought was very well deserved. The dance choreography is flawless, and the visuals are stunning. “Komuram Bheemudo” had fantastic lyrics and was a pivotal part of the story. The music adds depth and emotion to the already captivating story.
My Verdict: Is RRR Worth Watching?
Overall, RRR is a tour-de-force of filmmaking that showcases SS Rajamouli’s vision and creativity. The film is worth the three-hour time commitment. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling and how it can transport the audience to a different world. We need more movies like RRR that are purely fun, overkill action but deeply rooted in story, emotional motives, and stakes. If you would like to watch RRR, it is now streaming on Netflix in Hindi or Zee5 in other Indian languages