“A fictitious story about two legendary revolutionaries and their journey away from home before they started fighting for their country in the 1920s.”
Director: S.S. Rajamouli
Writers: Vijayendra Prasad, S.S. Rajamouli, Sai Madhav Burra, Madhan Karky
Staring: N.T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan Teja, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, Ray Stevenson
Release Date: March 25, 2022
RRR (2022) fucks. RRR is an action-loving kid’s wet dream. RRR is a ton of fucking fun.
The epic journey begins as a battle of fire and ice with two opposing sides of oppressions fighting one another in unreal over-the-top sequences. RRR then evolves into a buddy cop movie, devolves again into soap opera betrayal, then rises from the ashes as a redemptive story of freedom and rebellion. RRR is an absolutely absurd movie, in every single sense of the word. The action set pieces reach for the moon and end up in a different galaxy. RRR has four different climaxes, yet after the each Holy Fuck sensation you have new life and all you can think about is how are they going to top what you just witnessed.
RRR was nominated for Best Non-English Language film at the Golden Globes, and while it did not win that statue, it did take home the prize for Best Original Song. There is not denying that Naatu Naatu is a very fun movie, but I am here to say that the dance sequence was not one of my top five scenes of RRR. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it is up there with the 10-minute bromance getting-to-know-you sequence that stretched JUSTTTT a bit too far.
RRR runs over three hours, and if we are being honest, it could be cut down by half an hour. However, this is not the way of Bollywood. The dance sequences must be as extravagant as the as the action sequences. There is no discrimination when it comes to types of entertainment within the movie. Director S.S. Rajamouli does not believe if visual dieting. He wants it all, and he will have it all. He wants to eat up the audiences attention, and credit to him because the eight entree cinematic menu he cooks up leaves us viewers with the best kind of “I couldn’t possibly have anymore” coma.
But before I delve into my favorite moments from this bonanza of a movie, we should probably touch base on what it actually is about.
RRR takes place in 1920 and stars off with heartbreak. British general and asshole Scott Buxton (Ray Stevenson) and his wife Catherine (Alison Doody) take a child from a tribe and adopt it as their own. They show no empathy, and the tribe must take matters into their own hands. Tribal guardsman Komaram Bheem (N.T. Rama Rao Jr.) sets out to get the young girl back no matter what. Standing in his way is crazy warrior police officer Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan Teja). The young man determined on promotion within the ranks makes it his quest to find and stop Bheem, no matter what.
The story takes a turn when Bheem and Raju become the best of friends saving live of a young boy. Raju has no idea that Bheem is exactly who he is looking for. Despite all their presumed differences, the pair grow a strong bond that will be tested the entire story. After a barrage of scenes that have the same energy as “WE ARE THE THREE BEST FRIENDS THAT ANYONE CAN HAVE”, Raju learns that Bheem is the man that he is looking for, but the driven fighter is conflicted. Not only does Bheem save Raju’s life, but he proves to him that a man like Bheem is only doing what he is doing because Buxton and his wife are assholes.
This is where the crazy action begins. Bheem invades the Buxton residence with wild animals and an all-out war breaks out on the grounds. Bheem is so close to his gola, but Raju emerges from the flames after nearly dying and stops his best friend. Now Bheem is in the hands of his enemy, and Raju is promoted for his efforts. While he is now wearing the officer colors of red, his heart bleeds with guilt for arresting his friend and corrupting his ethics.
We learn through flashbacks that Raju is actually the son a rebel leader, and the reason he is enlisted in the British police force is so he can get access to their guns and ship them to his tribe who are all waiting for his success. This backstory makes the whipping punishment scene the two spiritual brothers extra heartbreaking. In a letter back to his tribe and his lover he notes that he can not abide by what he is doing. He has made a choice, and it is to save his friend and his quest.
Raju sets up an escape for Bheem. A miraculous plan involving much self sacrifice is successful. Bheem survives his hanging attempt and he is able to escape from the deathly scenario with his tribe’s young girl in toe. They escape the danger, but Raju is not so lucky. Buxton sniffs out his plan and takes action to prevent a worst case scenario. Raju is injured severely, but he fights hard until he is finally captured.
Bheem doesn’t know everything that Raju has done for him. While he is hiding out from the authorities who are trying to chase him down, he meets up with someone he never would have thought. Sita (Alia Bhatt), who is Raju’s fiancée, misleads some cops who are chasing Bheem. While thanking her and getting to know her own story, Sita begins talking about Raju and how he had his own anti-colonial objectives. Then he says that Raju is about to executed and she has been asked to come claim his body.
Bheem can not let this happen. He will not let it happen. Bheem comes up with a crazy plan to rescue Raju and finally dismantle this reign of English colonization. Bheem infiltrates where Raju is being held captive and uses a fantastic callback to find his friend who is underground in solitary confinement. He helps him escape, heals some wounds with magic herbs, and then the magic really happens.
Bheem and Raju both do their best Rambo impressions, and I mean impressions. They take up Rambo’s silent but deadly stealth style, then also go full crazy super hulk, chucking flaming motorcycles and creating massive explosions.
RRR ends with Bheem and Raju facing off against Buxton on his own doorstep. These two best friends, brothers, have been handcuffed by destiny since seeing one another, It all comes down to a final confrontation, and this time, they are on the same side.
RRR is fucking long, and if you are still here reading…then credit to you. I am not going to hash through all the boring shit. I am just going to tell you about my favorite scenes and you get to watch the YouTube clips.
If you didn’t do a fucking fist pump when Bheem entered the palace for the first time with a truckload of wild animals, then you don’t know fun. This scene was absolutely bonkers. There is no scene like this in any American movie. It could have been the climax of the entire movie, but this was just the end of the first act. We still had basically two hours to go at this point, and our adrenalin is at an all-time high.
This scene almost had me in tears. This may be the best acted scene of the entire movie? Bheem singing his heart out and inspiring a community is no small feat, but Ram Charan Teja brings so fucking much to this scene as Raju. He has wearing the confliction on his face, in his eyes, on his eye brows, in his hair. And if I were in charge of anything at all, I would have nominated Komuram Bheemudo for best Original song and not Naatu Naatu.
I got so fucking jacked up during this scene. When he is glaring eyes up at his imprisoners, I wanted him to hop out of the chains right there and then and kill everyone in his way. I would only have to wait a little while longer, but damn this one tease had me tingling with all the best sensations.
I wish that I could find a YouTube clip of the entire final battle sequence, but this clip with suffice. It is over-the-top. It is bonkers. It is absolutely out of this world. RRR is always cranked up to 11 on a scale to 10, but the whole goes to a different level when the final 30 minutes starts rolling. Bheem and Raju are killing machines, whether it be in slow motion or sped up. They can not be stopped. It is outrageous. I freaking loved every second of it. Capped off by the motorcycle flip.
Other scenes that almost made the cut are the Load, Aim, Shoot flashback with Raju, and the scene where Bheem learns to truth about Raju from Sita. You could also throw in the introduction to Raju when he beats the living shit out of 1,000,000 people. Well it feels like that.
RRR is the definition of a great time. The amount of action, slow-motion, drama, and emotion doused into every scene makes RRR a top-notch rival to Top Gun: Maverick (2022) in terms the lethal combo of entertainment and execution. It is not like RRR is a B-movie that rose to prominence. This movie was made like this with purpose. It was made to be something special. It was made to be self-aware but also high-art. That is really fucking hard to do! And RRR pulls it off! A movie with this amount of slow-motion should not be as good as this is. Zach Synder and Michael Bay have to be supremely jealous.
I implore anyone to watch RRR. I deem it impossible for you not to have a good time.
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