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What Made RRR Such a Big Deal?

How did the Tollywood film from India manage to gain traction worldwide?

By Rupam TalukdarPublished 11 days ago 6 min read
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The movie delivers an unbelievable but engaging narrative. | Image by the author.

What Made RRR Such a Big Deal?

RRR failed to get the nod at Bafta 2023 but grabbed a few accolades at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. It has also made it to the final list of Oscar nominations. What led to igniting the pan-Indian movie's spark to universal glory?

Why Did It Conquer the World?

Tollywood's grandest offering oversaw a theatrical release in the spring of 2022 on the South Asian subcontinent. It remains the most expensive piece of Indian cinema ever made and has witnessed steady global fame from the United States to Japan in less than twelve months.

The cast of RRR. | Image by Dani Charles, Silverscreen Media Inc.

The pseudo-historical action flick oversaw production on the back of a meager $72 million compared to American standards but has effectively pocketed over $12 billion worldwide in its theatrical run.

Critical acclaim glitters over its premises, propelling it to one of the ten best movies to binge over the year, according to the National Board of Review.

Intricacy behind the central plot revolves around two real-life revolutionaries from the peninsular part of India and their contribution to the nationwide struggle for independence against the British Empire.

In This Article, You Will Find:

1. It Does Not Champion Woke Culture

2. The High Stake Towards the Emotion

3. Good Relationships Survive All Odds

4. The Background Score Is Breathtaking

5. The Steady Fall of Bollywood

"This is not a Bollywood movie. This is a Telugu film from the south of India, where I come from."

— S. S. Rajamouli, the director of RRR.

Let us extrapolate why this peculiar South Indian movie struck tremendous fan rapport and appreciation on a global level.

One of the characters wrestles with a tiger. An effin' tiger! | Image by the author.

01. It Does Not Champion Woke Culture

Modern cinematography has evolved to focus on delivering to every individual's taste. Hollywood bears prime accusation for the sudden change in scenario, and many of America's moviegoers remained troubled by the industry's latest stance.

"RRR serves as a reminder of how much modern action usually follows a formula. If wonder is to be consistently found on the big screen, then Hollywood has plenty of new lessons to learn from its best competitor."

— David Sims, the Atlantic.

While most filmmakers are busy catering to every kind of audience under the same roof and focusing on filtering down content to be universally acceptable, Rajamouli's vision steers his movie in the opposite direction.

"Inglourious Basterds is one of the biggest inspirations when it comes to my films, specifically RRR. I was shell shocked when Hitler dies in the film, and how the film brings it off as a big surprise."

— Rajamouli.

The director's narrative does not deviate from the harsh, nullified truths of India's brutal service period under the machinations of the British. Neither does he hold back his breath in expressing a profound illustration of the nation's cultural references.

People who worked behind the camera stuck to their beliefs through thick and thin with the sole intention of refraining from a geopolitical storm.

On a side note, the production team oversaw profound stories of Indian folklore mirrored in abundance throughout the movie. Such stories are the kind of bedtime anecdotes an Indian grandmother narrates to lull her grand-baby to sleep.

One of the protagonists adorns the personification of the Indian deity Rama. | Image by Pavan Kumaar on Unsplash.

Part of what propels a cinematic piece of art to greatness is its USP, and in the case of RRR, it achieved this by selling what it promised to deliver. It vehemently refrains from political inclusions or attempts to execute poor attempts to win over diverse moviegoers.

A bold move of this precedence in film-making explains the measure of love and respect the movie has earned as a reward from a global audience.

02. The High Stakes Towards the Emotion

Humans love drama. The legendary tales of woe and misfortune woven by the likes of Shakespeare are consistently brimming with the genre. It is impossible to dilute public interest where a story is enriching with abnormally high stakes. A defeat on either side of the battle may lead to catastrophic consequences.

Rajamouli's (left) movies consist of larger-than-life, well-written characters. | Image by Bollywood Hungama via Wikimedia Commons.

RRR exploits the emotion behind such scenes on a grander scale. It subtly introduces its two characters to an emotional understanding, only to foreshadow an inevitable war that will tear their ideals and their ambitions apart.

The person in the audience can predict the outcome thirty minutes into the movie, but he remains hooked because of an obligation to see how the rest of the story will pan out.

03. Good Relationships Survive All Odds

The movie is a testament to unadulterated friendship.

We live in a world plagued by territorial wars and perpetual distrust. Yet, the filmmakers advocate for a general sense of culpable goodness in the lives of citizens throughout the three hours of run-time devoted to their masterwork.

"This is the craziest, most sincere, weirdest blockbuster I've ever seen."

— C. Robert Cargill, writer of Dr. Strange.

The message is clear; the initiative lies in accepting the responsibility of keeping human relationships stable and free of ill will. The story's moral roots stress the need to value humans and human lives more often than materialistic desires.

Compassion is the central theme of RRR, and its diverse set of characters follow it with utter loyalty.

Beneath all the personal goals we strive to achieve, a little warmth from our peers molds us into better human beings.

04. The Background Score Is Breathtaking

Rajamouli breathes life into his movies. His characters display a unique sense of grandeur, and his stories lend to the tenacity of magnificent art.

However, the thread holding all his works together and exhibiting them on the silver screen lies in the magical composition of his background music, curated by the underrated M.M. Keeravani.

Keeravani is one of the most underrated composers in India. | Image By Silverscreen Media Inc.

The Andhra-born composer's works are exhilarating to listen to. The lyricism he weaves into his catchy songs is a fresh breath of air, and such vibrant composition is evident throughout the soundtrack of RRR.

Naatu Naatu, a dance number from the movie composed under his supervision, garnered global praise for its energetic rhythm. It bagged the Best Original Song award at the 80th Golden Globe Awards, effectively establishing it as the first Asian song to take the prestige home.

05. The Steady Fall of Bollywood

Recent times are vindictive of how Bollywood has struggled to carve out its superiority in the subcontinent for quite some time. It may seem minute in scale and proposition to the oblivious outsider, but half of India's moviegoers are seething in rage against the country's primary film industry.

"Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. There’s no formula to it."

— Salman Khan, one of the highest-paid actors in Bollywood.

The suicide of a struggling young actor has aggravated the cause, and additional scenarios of celebrities being rude to the common folk have put fuel over the fire.

There is also a conspiracy theory laid out by blatant nationals that Bollywood has become a clubhouse for promoting anti-regional sentiments to disrupt communal harmony.

All these accusations may fade in the face of time but work together in droves now to boycott Bollywood movies for the time being and deliver more biased but overdue importance to regional industries.

Bollywood is struggling to retain its viewers. | Image by Tumisu on Pixabay.

There Are Critics of RRR, Too.

Art is subjective, which solidifies the truth that all people are not in lovable unison regarding the cinematic execution of RRR. Many social accusations plague its presence, and much more criticism lies in the method of handling its white characters.

"To portray British officials and soldiers roaming the country casually committing crimes is a sign of absolute ignorance or deliberate dishonesty."

— Rob Tombs, University of Cambridge.

A Few Problems RRR Is Accused of Promoting

1. The historical inaccuracy of the movie leads the cause for criticism.

2. Blunt exhibitionism of toxic masculinity portrayed is another prime factor.

3. RRR bears an ignominious label of being socially regressive as well.

4. The filmmakers suffer the verdict of promoting excessive Hinduism via cinematic entertainment.

"Films like RRR are so popular today. But it’s a regressive film. It looks backward while we should look forward."

— Ratna Pathak Shah, a veteran Indian actress.

The mysteries of art always lie in the eyes of the observer, after all.

The protagonists are jumping left and right across your screens! | Image by the author.

Did you watch RRR yet? If not, it is available on Netflix right now!

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About the Creator

Rupam Talukdar

Hey!

I'm new to Vocal and remain oblivious to the website's machinations at the moment. What I do know is that it allows me to express my opinions through the art of writing, so I'm all up for it!

Oh yes, I'm here to learn from you guys too!

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