RRR (2022) :
Movie Review -
High and Low. No, I'm not talking about Akira Kurosawa's Japanese flick from 1963, but I'm talking about SS Rajamouli's RRR. Actually, that's the best brief for the film I can think of. SS Rajamouli has been making mass-friendly commercial films for a long time, but Bahubali brought him pan-India popularity. He became a household name and a BRAND! So naturally, anything he would do after Bahubali was meant to look smaller or look comparatively less because the bar was set too high for any filmmaker and for himself too. The same happened with Prabhas when he came after Bahubali with "Saaho" and "Radhe Shyam". Let's just accept the fact that a film like "Bahubali : The Conclusion" (2017) can't be made again and again. Not just because it was a Massive Blockbuster, but also because the kind of extraordinary commercial cinema it presents is almost impossible nowadays. When I saw Bahubali 2, I called it the Greatest Commercial Entertainer of this millennium after Gadar (2001). Surprisingly, these two films are the only ones in this century to sell 5 crore+ tickets in the Hindi belt. It was acceptable to see such heroic characters in Bahubali because the film is set in an ancient period, which makes it reasonable. But with RRR, it can't be held reasonable enough because the film is set in the 20th century, where you expect some humanly possible stuff. It doesn't matter how big (fictionally) your character is, it has to make some sense when it comes to on-screen persona, as we have had so many legendary personalities during this period, who have served the nation till the last drop of their blood, and it all came with human restrictions. RRR looks problematic in that sense, but if you talk about mass cinema, then RRR is simply phenomenal.
RRR is a fictional tale set in the 1920s. Two Indian revolutionaries, Rama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Jr. NTR), try to fight the mighty British Empire and Nizam of Hyderabad in their own ways, which are interestingly opposite and unknown to each other. Bheem is after a little girl who has been abducted by British officer Steve (Ray Stevenson) and his wife, Lady Scott (Alison Doody), while Rama is a British cop who tries to stop him. Two powerful heroes, one fiRe and one wateR, are pitted against each other, and then you get to know about their agendas in the second half when the story unfolds the past events.
RRR presents Ram Charan and Jr. NTR in never-seen-before avatars. Rajamouli makes sure that their crazy mass fan following gets enough content to have a big mass party in the cinema halls. Ram Charan enters with a 5-minute long action scene, which does look a little too extraordinary for an ordinary mind, but that's what "mass cinema" means, right? On the other hand, Jr. NTR has got a crazy mass entry that has a class too. That entire forest sequence will blow your mind. A good happy warning to all Tarak fans: please keep your expectations high because Bheem is going to exceed all of them. The pair of Rama and Bheem work like a fireworks display during all those large-scale action sequences. Talking about the supporting cast, especially two Hindi actors, Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt, both have small but important cameos. Ajay Devgn does the speaking with his intense eyes again, and in other news, the sky is blue. This man has some charisma of his own. It's only a matter of a genius filmmaker who can use it correctly. Alia Bhatt as Sita looks gorgeous in every single scene, and her character plays a vital part in the narrative. Olivia Morris sparkles the screen with her beauty, and her accent is too cute. Alison Doody is the exact opposite of that, but that's what the villainous characters do. Both Samuthirakani and Shriya Saran appear in small roles, and both pass with good grades.
RRR's basic script is as good as any Telugu action drama (mind you, some call it mindless), but the screenplay doesn't match that certain level you are expecting. The second half may bore you with outdated melodrama and may cause a little irritation too. All those flaws will be forgiven when you witness the Big-screen extravaganza in 3D. The action sequences of RRR have set the benchmark for all the filmmakers in India. Rajamouli outperforms himself from wherever he has done Bahubali. That film still had battlefield references to help a bit, but RRR, despite being driven by two characters, provides a better visual spectacle than Bahubali. That's not a small thing, mind you. The music of RRR is going to create some hysteria in theatres. If you don't feel like dancing while "Naacho Naacho," I'd say please consult a doctor. You are not normal. "Dosti" has got nice tunes for a situational song, and "Komuram Bheemudo" will take you all by surprise. I'm not sure if you can hear "Raamam Raaghavam" clearly because there will be a lot of noise, including big screams and whistles, going around at the time. But you'll ask for a repeat viewing after reaching home.
It's been more than two years since we haven't had a big pan-India event film and SS Rajamouli brings back that much needed "Big-Screen Experience" for us. Undoubtedly, the best director in India when it comes to commercial cinema. The name is SS Rajamouli! His extraordinary vision of looking at ordinary things is what makes him better than other filmmakers in India. Bahubali was an ordinary script, but it's Rajamouli who made it an extraordinary film. No matter how many resemblances you find between it and "The Lion King" or its original source material, Shakespeare's Hamlet, it's a story every Indian can relate to. That's the same case with RRR, despite some flaws in the writing. But that's where Rajamouli's genius mind works overtime. He presents the high-octane mass hysteria that is sure to make the masses go crazy. The hardcore patriotism will please a certain section too. Whether it be the introduction scenes of the two lead actors or that train bridge action scene or that pre-interval rampage or even that mind-boggling climax in the forest, SS Rajamouli has outdone himself. He has reached a level that other commercial directors in Indian cinema can never reach or even dream about. Give this man a weak script and he will still make a strong mass entertainer out of it. That's what he has done with RRR. Every single viewer is going to hail him for his superlative vision of how to look at period action dramas. Every filmmaker who wants to make a great mass film should learn from him. As a whole, RRR packs a solid punch of out-and-out commercial entertainer that we have been missing since the Bahubali juggernaut. Just don't mind the below average writing, and you are going to LOVE IT!
RATING - 6/10*
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