A joyful, frequently absurd, and air-punchingly brilliant film is created by telling the epic story of two Indian revolutionaries in all its plot-twisting, tiger-fighting, action-packed magnificence.
Quantity can sometimes equal quality. This rousing Indian epic is told in such broad strokes that every other action film this year seems weak and unambitious in comparison. A hero ambushing his enemies’ palace by crashing a truck through the gates and leaping out the back, a flaming torch in each hand, alongside a menagerie of tigers, leopards, and other wild animals can all be found in this film. Where else could you find an anticolonialist dance number, a prison breakout involving a man wielding two rifles while being carried on his friend’s shoulders, or a hero ambushing his enemies’ palace This and other similarly bizarre yet masterfully planned moments are abundant throughout the film, which makes it an absolute joy to watch.
RRR has no tiny parts, whether it be the enormity of the crowd scenes, the scope of the fights, the sadistic British villainy, or the three-hour running time. Given that it cost an estimated $72 million to produce, it was the most costly Indian film ever. The story takes place in the 1920s, at the height of the British Raj, and follows the parallel paths of two individuals who, despite holding opposing political ideologies, are comparable in their unwavering resolve and superhuman athleticism. One is Komaram Bheem (NT Rama Rao Jr.), who travels to Delhi looking for a girl the British took from his village. The other is Alluri Sitarama Raju, a member of the Indian Imperial Police who is driven to succeed by locating Bheem (Ram Charan). Ironically enough, they end up becoming great friends after taking on secret identities for their respective missions! However, the bromance is doomed to fail.
The plot has more twists and turns than a Liz Truss administration, but RRR is primarily about the action. You name it: foot chases, fistfights, brawls in the middle of crowds, gunfights, duel with bow and arrow, tiger battles, etc. It is true that it adheres to its own set of physical laws and probabilities, and director SS Rajamouli uses CGI liberally and flagrantly, but fortunately, he also has a keen eye for style, choreography, spatial clarity, and narrative purpose. When all of these elements come together, it creates moments of absurdly brilliant brilliance that render your critical defences useless.
The Russo brothers, James Gunn, JJ Abrams, and Edgar Wright have all praised RRR, a big hit in India that also enjoyed a significant cinema release in the US. The worldwide audience it so richly deserves has now been attracted by Netflix.