BENJAMIN BARRETT WRITES – If you haven’t already seen it, you have probably heard of it. RRR is one of the most globally successful movies today. Released in theaters across the world in March 2022, it has only in the past few months become popular in the United States. Directed by S.S. Rajamouli, this Indian film is truly something special.
RRR, standing for “Rise, Roar, Revolt” was produced in Telugu cinema, also known as Tollywood, a part of Indian cinema that caters to the Telugu language, which is the main language in two Indian states: Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Although the movie runs over 3 hours, it is truly spectacular throughout. RRR was released twice – first on March 24, 2022, but it wasn’t until rerelease in June 2022, that the movie became immensely popular in the United States. This relaunch included both another theater release across the US and a Hindi-language version on Netflix, which ranked in the top 10 most watched titles in America for nine consecutive weeks.
If you love action movies, this one is definitely for you. Set in Delhi during the 1920’s, the movie follows the friendship of two young adult heroes, (Raju and Bheem). The two rescue a little boy from a raging oil fire and are virtually unstoppable when working together. Yet India is under British occupation at the time, and the rescuers eventually find that fighting for different sides leads them to become enemies. The end, however, provides quite the twist, leaving the audience shocked and emotionally overwhelmed.
RRR has intense action that keeps you on the edge of your seat, a roaring Indian film style soundtrack and beautiful character development throughout.
According to “Box Office Mojo” run by IMBd (Internet Movie Database), RRR ranks 27th out of 1,800 films in the 2022 world box office– higher than many extremely popular movies here in the United States, including both Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and Robert Eggers’ “The Northman.” (This info gives a comparative sense of superstars).
Director S.S. Rajamouli has focused on getting RRR into the Oscars. Unfortunately, the Academy has never been very favorable towards Indian films, let alone Telugu films. In the history of the Academy Awards, very few Indians have received nominations, and none have won. Just this year, though, there seem to be two such films: RRR and “Shyam Singha Roy,” a romance film directed by Rahul Sankrityan. Coincidentally, both films are Indian Telugu-language movies, showing just how hot the Telugu cinema is right now.
The importance of an Oscar nomination to the Telugu cinema cannot be understated. It would show that, unlike the United States where Hollywood predominates, India is able to have multiple different sources of globally recognized films. Such diversity would benefit all.
Benjamin Barrett is a contributing writer to Asia Media International.