‘RRR’ Review

To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, RRR is an Indian Telugu-language epic action-drama film directed by S. S. Rajamouli (Magadheera) from a screenplay written by Rajamouli and V. Vijayendra Prasad (Mersal). Featuring N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Shriya Saran, Samuthirakani, Ray Stevenson, Alison Doody, and Olivia Morris, the film is a fictionalized account of Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem, and their fight against the British Raj. Set in 1920, the story follows Komaram Bheem, guardian of the Gond tribe, as he attempts to rescue a young girl that was kidnapped from his village. On his journey, he forms an unlikely friendship with Alluri Sitarama Raju, an ambitious officer in the Indian Imperial Police, who was sent to locate and capture Bheem.

In 1920s India, Governor Scott Buxton (Ray Stevenson) and his wife Catherine (Alison Doody) visit a forest in Adilabad, where they spend time with the Gond tribe. Enamored with her singing ability, Catherine abducts a young girl named Malli (Twinkle Sharma) from the tribe. Malli’s mother Loki (Ahmareen Anjum), pleads for them to return her daughter, but she is struck by a large tree branch and left on the side of the road bleeding. Enraged by the act, the tribe’s guardian, Komaram Bheem (N. T. Rama Rao Jr.), embarks to Delhi with the intent of freeing Malli and bringing her home.

Elsewhere, at a police outpost in Anangpur, a pro-independence gathering protests the arrest of their leader Lala Lajpat Rai. When an angry protester throws a rock destroying a framed picture of King George V, DSP Philip Green (R. Bhakti Klein) orders him to be arrested. A. Rama Raju (Ram Charan), an ambitious officer in the Indian Imperial Police attacks the mob and captures the man responsible for breaking the picture. When the special advisor to the Nizam, Venkat Avadhani (Rajeev Kanakala) warns the police that Bheem is coming for Malli, Mrs. Buxton enlists the assistance of Raju to capture him first, with a promotion to Special Officer awaiting him if Bheem is brought in alive.

The title RRR is interesting as it says nothing about the movie. Similar to the American Vin Diesel-led action film series xXx, Rajamouli felt that a universal title across all languages was essential for a blockbuster of such scale. During production, the title originally stood for Rajamouli, Ram Charan, and Rama Rao, the names of the director and the two main actors. However, the letters were eventually given meaning in various languages throughout India. “Raudraṁ, Raṇaṁ, Rudhiraṁ” in Telugu, “Rattam, Raṇam, Rauttiram” in Tamil, “Raudra, Raṇa, Rudhira” in Kannada, and “Rudhiram, Raṇam, Raudhram” in Malayalam. All of which translates to “Rage, War, Blood.” The Hindi title “Vrddhi, Garjan, Vidroh” translates to “Rise, Roar, Revolt.”

I’ll admit, I did not wish to watch this movie for the longest time. I would see many people post on Twitter about how fun RRR is and how great the actors are. I also saw them post that it was over 3 hours long which was an immediate turn-off for a foreign film. Eventually, I gave in and sat down to watch and found myself intrigued by the story and overwhelmed at how great the fight sequences and action scenes were. Also, I have no problem watching movies with subtitles although it’s never my first choice – unless it’s an anime. RRR however has a lot of English spoken throughout, so If you don’t like reading subtitles, just know you won’t have to do it for the entire three hours.

This movie has something the entire family can enjoy. There are explosions, car chases, animal attacks, dance sequences, singing, hand-to-hand combat, and romance. The film is carried by the two main actors, Rao Jr., and Charan. The chemistry they have on screen is the best example of bromance I’ve ever seen. Like real friends they have fun together and occasionally fight, but by the end, their friendship proves to be stronger than anything. Both actors are also incredible physical presences with physiques rivaling any Marvel or DC superhero!

The fight choreography rivals that of John Wick. You feel every blow that is landed and can hear the snapping of bones and tearing of flesh. The characters are very creative using whatever they can get their hands on as a weapon whether it be a gun, a chain, or a set of antlers. M. M. Keeravani (Rajanna) does a fantastic job with the score. The music goes hand in hand with the combat making the viewer feel the same emotion that the characters are feeling. The individual themes for Raju and Bheem are like candy for the ears. The cinematography is also top-notch. K. K. Senthil Kumar (Vijetha) crafts scenes that are beautifully stunning. The environments are colorful and vibrant. There were many times I paused the movie just to enjoy the image I was looking at for a little longer.

At its heart, RRR is a story of friendship and revolution disguised as a superhero epic. While the runtime is hefty and the VFX a little sloppy, the music is great and the acting is phenomenal. I give RRR an Excellent 9/10. A film of this stature merits worldwide recognition and hopefully will get its due come award season. I also wouldn’t be upset if S. S. Rajamouli is given the opportunity to direct a Hollywood Blockbuster with a bigger budget.


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