I follow some people on social media that love alternative and non-Hollywood movies. One kept popping up called RRR. It’s an Indian movie, although not a Bollywood production, and yet it has dancing in it. Confused? If this is already putting you off then it might not be for you, but let me tell you that you are missing a pretty spectacular movie.
The movie is directed by S S Rajamouli and written by Vijayendra Prasad, Sai Madhav Burra, and Madhan Karky. It stars N T Rama Roa Jr, Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Olivia Morris, Ray Stevenson, and Alison Doody, the same Alison Doody from The Last Crusade. The official story is:
“A fictitious story about two legendary revolutionaries and their journey away from home before they started fighting for their country in 1920’s.”
RRR starts in a small Indian village where an English couple are visiting. He is the tyrannical governor of the area and she is his sadistic wife. There is a young girl putting henna on the wife’s hand and singing. Everyone in the village is scared of the couple and the soldiers that accompany them.
They go to leave and throw a couple of coins, which the family thinks is for the henna tattoo and song, but no! The wife wants the child and after throwing the money just takes her. As the family and the village realise what is going on the loving mother gives chase. One of the soldiers is about to shoot when the governor explains that the bullets were made in England and transported on English ships, so to waste a bullet on a peasant isn’t worth it.
The mother is beaten with a tree branch and left for dead as the couple drive away with the little girl. It was a brutal opening to a movie.
We then meet Raju, a Indian guy working as a policeman for the British. Surrounded by a stone-throwing and angry mob Raju ends up giving John Wick a run for his money.
The action and the choreography was pretty amazing throughout this whole section. I was honestly really impressed.
Deep in the jungle we meet Bheem who is trying to capture a wolf. Everything is going well until a tiger joins the chase as well. The CG here was pretty impressive. It wasn’t perfect, but you do get the sense that Bheen is fighting a real tiger. It also sets up a pay off later in the movie.
Bheem is the village protector and heads to Delhi to bring back the little girl. The police in Delhi get wind of this so Raju is tasked with finding the ‘shepherd’, as the villagers call him.
Raju and Bheen end up meeting, not knowing who each other is, and become best of friends. That is where I’m going to finish the story summary as an epic journey awaits them. The movie is 3 hours long, but it is also non-stop. The story is really engrossing and I genuinely loved every minute of it.
I honestly have only scratched the surface of the story with this. You find out why they are on the sides they on, the conflict it causes and how enemies can be made. The story plays out really well.
The movie has the feel of Fast & Furious about it, in that physics don’t seem to work, but unlike F&F you can still believe everything that’s going on. It’s over the top action, but done in a very beautiful way that makes you really believe at the same time as saying ‘Holy shit!’ at most of it.
Just to clarify, I say this has a feel of F&F about it, but honestly RRR couldn’t more different. This was pure entertainment, but made so incredibly well, but it does demand a willing suspension of disbelief every now and then.
The fighting is brutal in places. There are lots of guns, arrows and other ways for people to get killed. I did wince at a couple of scenes. Also the main protagonists get hurt, a lot, but they always seem to be fine 10 minutes later. This wasn’t a distraction. It feels like it might exist in the same universe as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, where it’s in this world, but there is a touch of fantasy about it.
There are a number of songs, but I wouldn’t say this was a musical. The songs help the story along and there’s one scene where someone is being tortured, but the song he sings riles up the crowd and makes their hearts burn with passion to take on the English. Here is one of the musical numbers.
The one thing that did annoy me about scene like this were the subtitles for the songs. I was trying to watch the amazing dancing and read the subtitles, but it was difficult. Maybe it’s just me? I wish I spoke the same language.
Oh, the English are utter bastards all the way through this movie so I started to hate myself.
I think there was an underlying politic message in the movie if you are Indian. I don’t know much about Indian politics, but there are moments where flags are flown, and in the final end credits song certain historical figures are displayed.
Overall this didn’t distract me from what is, and I’m going to say it, an epic movie! The entire thing was spectacular with a gripping story, great main actors and just really well made.
RRR is going in my Top 5 of 2022 at the moment, since it was such a treat to watch something just so well done.