I love this movie.
S. S. Rajamouli is a beautiful man. He directed one of my favorite Indian duologies of all time, that being Baahubali: The Beginning and its sequel, The Conclusion. As a fan of Bollywood movies, RRR has everything you could want out of a film. Big set pieces, amazing actors, fantastic costumes, beautiful women, and over the top action sequences. And of course we can’t forget the dance numbers with ridiculous choreography and dancing. Michael Jackson would be proud if he saw the movies they pull off in this movie.
The film is centered around two people who actually existed in real life. Komaram Bheem (N. T. Rama Rao Jr.) is the titular hero of the movie, the tribal leader of the Gond who sets out in search of a young girl who was stolen from her tribe by a group of evil white British people. Meanwhile Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) is an officer in the British military who has his eyes set on becoming a special officer and proving himself of value to the British army. But maybe there’s more to him than meets the eye? Who knows. The movie knows. I know. And you’ll eventually know as well.
It’s worth noting that the movie is over three hours long and boy howdy is it an adventure to behold full of big sets, big moments, and tons of interesting characters and action pieces. Do you want to see two men use a horse, a motorcycle, and a big flag to save a child from a burning lake caused by an exploding train? You got it. Want to see a man use a bow and arrow to shoot a driver off of his motorcycle, catch the motorcycle, and throw it at someone else? You got that too. Two men harnessing the power of fire and water in an epic showdown? You got that too.
One thing I love about modern Bollywood is that it combines 80s Hollywood passion with mid-aughts technology. I’ve often said that you can easily look past a film’s lesser qualities when it’s very obvious that the director and people creating it did so with a lot of passion. And these movies are very clearly made with a lot of love and passion. The actors have fantastic chemistry on screen, and I’d probably watch a movie consisting entirely of Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan putting together Ikea furniture because the two work off of each other so well that I can’t imagine anything the two doing not being entertaining. You can tell that the actors in this film are having a great time.
Being set in pre-independence India, RRR also doesn’t play games with its portrayal of the British rulers, most of whom are comically exaggerated mustache twirling villains. The British villains in RRR revel in their evilness, and you love it when they are finally defeated. But the ruthlessness feels organic, and the British were absolutely brutal in real life during colonial times. The plot has a lot of twists and turns, and for every moment where the film is whimsical and silly it gets very serious and dramatic. It’s a very deep film with excellent actors and a lot of twists in the plot during the three hour run time.
Most surprising of all to see in this film is Alison Doody, aka Elsa from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Ray Stevenson is here as well, aka Volstagg from the Thor movies.
RRR may be quirky and a bit out of the norm for what viewers in the west are used to, but in my opinion that’s all the more reason to watch it. It’s a film about the enduring bonds of friendship and the lengths people will go to for their country, their friends, and their family. Just don’t watch it with English dubbing, for God’s sake.