There is nothing new for an S. S. Rajamouli film to witness people in long queues outside theaters in the southern region of India. But after The Bahubali he has won fans all over India and today at the cinema hall I completely felt the craze.
As the opening credits read, Screenplay & Direction S.S. Rajamouli, the background score plays. A piece of music so otherworldly, loud, throbbing that it fills the whole hall as well as my ears. Slowly as the music develops, it starts capturing your mind as if persuading every individual to get involved in what’s being told on the screen to come and be a part of the director’s world.
Then with the first scene itself, we are teleported to India before Independence. We see the injustice of the British Raj and their inhumanity. I was in tears just 2-3 minutes into the movie. (On Watching a scene that showed the cruelty of Britishers on Indians.)
We see 3 titles that introduce us to the protagonists of the film, which are divided as: 1. Story – Malli (Catalyst); 2. Fire – Raam; 3. Water – Bheem. Initially I didn’t understand the reason behind calling Ram Charan aka Ram, ‘Fire’ & Jr. NTR aka Bheem, ‘Water’. Is the theme well-served throughout the film? Yes. Did this idea work for the film visually? Yes!
The entry of both of our heroes is magnanimous. They fight 100s of people alone, even win over a tiger! The endless series of fighting sequences starts from both of their entries and doesn’t stop till the end.
The music of the film is extremely good. It binds the whole film so well. But none of the songs are to be remembered or sung along, except the Nacho song which is already famous. And when those verses come in the movie it feels just right.
A period drama of an India before independence i.e before 1947 and the environment is created very keenly, the sets are huge, cinematic but never cross the mark of irrational anywhere. Costumes are very realistic & authentic. The tribal costumes & makeup are impressive too. The casting is on point but what I didn’t like was Alison Doody as Lady Scott. Her face and her way of talking, her behaviors looked more American than English.
From the outset to the end you see just imaginary and overwhelming events, reactions, human strength, etc, but Rajamouli constructs an ambiance that grabs you in tightly and drives belief in everything for that brief period. Otherworldly humans and their strength. Hundreds of people gathered for any and every occasion. Nothing was regular, it was just extravagant.
The VFX and animation done here are exceptionally good and finer than other Indian films, whether it be the entry of Bheem at the party with the animals, or Rama Raju’s establishment as Lord Ram in the climax. You can’t keep quiet, you will shout and whistle. And the picture that comes on the screen is amazing.
The film is full of emotions. You are drawn to feel the pain of the ones suffering. That little girl playing Malli will break you down to tears with her acting. The feeling of nationalism engulfs you. In a scene where Malli’s mother was targeted by a gun of a British official, Scott says not to waste a 15-pound bullet over a filthy brown woman. It hurts me to the core that he thinks using a bullet to kill a brown would be a waste of money.
Ram Charan & N.T. Rama Rao Jr. were perfect for their parts, from working on the physique to actions to their acting, their effort shows up. They both are amazing actors. Even in over-dramatic situations, they have performed subtly & their acting was just on point.
It has a stellar star cast. Alia Bhatt as Sita has done her small part very well. Ajay Devgn has done his share of cameos, first in Gangubai and now in RRR, as Ram’s father. But he is so good at his craft that wherever he appears he just steals the show. Varun Buddhadev as the young Rama Raju is brilliant. In addition, Ray Stevenson, Makarand Deshpande, Rahul Ramakrishna, Shriya Saran, Ahmareen Anjum, everyone has done their part with finesse.
The film tries to be inclusive but in a very unpretentious way. It tries to show how every person be it hindu, muslim, or sikh was together in India’s fight for independence. And while displaying this theme, at no point does it offend any person of any region & religion. As a silver lining, we see a good Britisher Jennifer played by the beautiful Olivia Morris, who’s also Bheem’s love interest who has done her part very well.
Writing the review I am just trying to find different adjectives to convey the magnitude of the film and how everything was over the top but not boring, monotonous, or irritating. RRR is everything fantasy and enormous to the level that you may disbelieve it. But you don’t! And this factor works for it in every way. I think it is because the core of this film was truthful & honest. The friendship and love towards family & devotion towards our country is what threads this world (of the film) and audience together.
It is a film tailored for big screens. Watch it with all your friends and family to get an amazing experience. A 3 hour 6 mins long film is worth every minute, because RRR is a tale of a dream-like world with the core of our weeping motherland (before independence), revolution, and a lot of heart.