TL;DR – This is a film that is a slow burn right up to the point that it goes from 0 to 1000km in a second and does not stop for its entire runtime.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to watch this film
RRR Review –
In 2020, I started dipping my toes into the mammoth that is Indian Cinema. However, as the pandemic erupted, that was one area that slipped away. Now that things are sort of coming back to normal, it is time to begin this chapter again, and what a film to start on.
So to set the scene, in Adilabad forest, the Governor of India Scott Buxton (Ray Stevenson) has been out hunting. In contrast, his wife Catherine Buxton (Alison Doody) has the whole village on a show for her entertainment. As the village looks on, the young Malli (Twinkle Sharma) sings while painting on her hand. The governor throws Malli’s mother (Ahmareen Anjum) some coins that she things were for the song, but they were to buy her daughter. The tribe is distraught at the crime and calls on their protector Komaram Bheem (N. T. Rama Rao Jr.), to travel to Delhi and rip it apart to get the girl back. Hearing that Bheem is on the way and not knowing who they are, the colonial police force gets Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) to hunt him down before he can succeed.
Now, I need to be clear before diving into this review properly while I have an introductory understanding of Indian history. This film delves into a lot of iconography and people that clearly have a lot of meaning to people if my screening is anything to go by. From my understanding, Bheem and Ram were real people who played roles in the Indian Independence. However, this is a fictional story of real people. Also, I have to mention that this is a film initially in Telugu, but the cinemas near me only showed the Hindi dubbed version, which did have issues in the dubbing.
Of RRR’s many attractions are its action scenes that permeate throughout the film. One of the opening scenes is Bheem trying to capture a wolf using himself as bait, only to get pinged by a tiger halfway through. Or how Ram, takes down an entire mob of people with just a stick. Every moment the action is filled with energy that just permeates the screen, and you can feel it. Like many films out of India, gravity and physics are optional, but then who cares because the rule of cool is always in effect. It is hard to talk about the action too much because if you really want to explore it, you will need to spoil one of the best moments in the film, which is so bonkers that it is almost hard to process.
From a structural perspective, you need to be prepared that this is a three-hour film, even without the intermission. That is a big commitment, but like the recent The Batman, it never felt like it was running long. Structurally, it feels like what we got was a film and its sequel all bundled together, and frankly, I am here for it. I think part of it was that it was always engaging, and the part that the moment before the intermission had me audibly gasping in the Cinema. Also, the 2nd half loses none of the energy of the first half. Indeed, the energy in the room only escalated as it went on. Though of the many things this film is, subtle is not one of them.
While the action and structure help RRR shine, none of that would work if you didn’t care about the two leads and their unlikely friendship. Both N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan entirely embody their characters and complicated motivations. Look, the fact that they become friends makes no sense whatsoever, but they perfectly sell it. You could not help but smile during their friendship montage, even more so when one of those moments gets brought back in the final act. Also, I feel contractually obliged to mention that Ram Charan has a tier-one level moustache. Now, does all the film work? No. The villains are so overdone that they fall into a weird caricature. Also, if the film were not as good as it was, some of the contrived coincidences would be annoying. However, none of those takes away from what is a stunning film.
In the end, do we recommend RRR? Absolutely. There was a moment when my jaw hit the floor, and then it stayed there for the entire run. If you liked RRR, I would also recommend to you Gully Boy.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of RRR
Directed by – S. S. Rajamouli
Story by – K. V. Vijayendra Prasad & Sai Madhav Burra
Screenplay by – S. S. Rajamouli
Music by – M. M. Keeravani
Cinematography by – K. K. Senthil Kumar
Edited by – A. Sreekar Prasad
Production/Distribution Companies – DVV Entertainment
Starring – N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Varun Buddhadev, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Spandan Chaturvedi, Shriya Saran, Samuthirakani, Ray Stevenson, Alison Doody, Olivia Morris, Chatrapathi Sekhar, Makarand Deshpande, Rajeev Kanakala, Rahul Ramakrishna, Edward Sonnenblick, Ahmareen Anjum, Twinkle Sharma & Chakri
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: 14A; Germany: 16; New Zealand: R; United Kingdom: 15; United States: PG-13