Rise! Roar!! Revolt!!!

Keeping Hollywood aside, it was only back in 2017 when Indian audience got a taste of what a cinematic event film truly is. After the cliffhanger ending of Baahubali: The Beginning, the entire nation waited with their bated breath for it’s sequel Baahubali: The Conclusion. And who should we thank for it? Director S.S. Rajamouli; who with his terrific screenplay, brilliant storytelling & larger than life characters delivered a mega blockbuster hit that is not only loved by south-Indian but also by pan-Indian audience. The Baahubali fever was unmatched. The character names, the dialogues are still at the tip of the tongues. It’s lead actors had become household names. It set an unprecedented benchmark for Indian cinema. In March 2022, Rajamouli returned with his next biggie RRR. The anticipation was high. Let’s see if Rajamouli has managed to fulfill the expectations……

Junior NTR as Komaram Bheem

Set in 1920s, RRR is an anti-colonial tale & buddy drama about the imaginary combo of two real-life freedom fighters; Alluri Sitaraman & Komaram Bheem. Bheem; an avenging shepherd of the Gond tribe visits Delhi to rescue a young girl who was abducted by British Governor & his wife. Rama Raju; police officer appointed by Scott to track & stop Bheem from taking her.

Ram Charan as Officer Rama Raju

Rajamouli fluently packs crazy ideas into the story with a hard hitting emotion that makes the viewers relish the grandeur. Along with writer Vijendra Prasad, he sets a believable world with a lot of enjoyable cinematic touches. The core sentiment of this film is conveyed effortlessly that makes us instantly attached to the story. It leaves us with the real & terrifying questions about the nature of courage & morality.

The male leads get powerful introduction scenes. Junior NTR as Bheem is sweet-natured but possess brute strength. He defeats a tiger into submission. He is a messiah to his tribe & the only hope of bringing the girl back. Ram Charan as Rama Raju is a dashing, peerless police officer who in spite of being an Indian is loyal to the Brits. He has his own hidden agenda. He is incredibly superhuman as he single-handedly cracks down upon a rioting mob to arrest a particular protester. He befriends Bheem while trying to save a young boy in a river on fire. Both are unaware of their secret identities. Both have their own secret mission. They have broader ideals for which they fight but their sense of duty becomes complicated by their love for each as individuals. Their bromance is perfectly elated by flashy musical ‘Naatu Naatu’ infectiously injects joy in the film with its catchy tune that will make you groove on the beat.

Ajay Devgan has an impactful role in the second half. Alia Bhatt also has a small cameo. Olivia Morris as Jennifer is the only kind British woman among the ruthless Governor Scott (Ray Stevenson) & his equally bloodthirsty wife Cathy (Alison Doody).

But this film belongs to Raju (Ram Charan) & Bheem (Junior NTR). Rajamouli has perfected the way he works with & uses his actors as a part of his signature shock & awe style melodrama. The bombastic action sequences involving them such as gravity defying fight scenes, roaring tigers, flaming arrows, revolutionary fervour creating some of the most imaginative set pieces one after another. By the time the film reaches its fieRRRy climax, both men are imbued with a sense of holy mythicism. Are they really superheroes? It doesn’t even matter. The soundtrack by M.M. Keeravani with A. Shreeker Prasad’s propulsive editing provides a serious level of goosebumps everytime. It’s audacious enough to give Marvel & DC a run for their money.

With RRR, Rajamouli has taken Indian cinema to global level. The western audiences went gaga over it because of its freshness & not based on franchise or any comic-book. It brought back the thrill of original action blockbuster having enough of cheer worthy moments. It received a standing ovation in U.S. with Rajamouli’s work finally getting recognised by the Academy. Rajamouli has established himself as a visionary director whose level of showmanship keeps on increasing with his each & every film. His love for experimenting on a larger canvas is evident from his over the top filmmaking until it pushes the line of believability while being grounded in emotional context.

Overall, RRR is a dazzling work of historical fiction; a pulsating action spectacle powered by electric performances from it’s male leads with deeply affecting tone. It’s exactly what the audiences wanted in this post pandemic era – making the cinematic experience great again!

S.S. Rajamouli – Director of RRR, Baahubali & Makkhi- The ultimate revenge story

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